“Fast and Furious 6” – I’m no gear head, but I like good trash as much as anyone. “F&F6,” however, isn’t good trash. The sixth installment in the most tiresome of current Hollywood franchises is simply junk: ineptly edited, atrociously acted, confusingly plotted and profoundly boring junk. While it was interesting to cast an actor who looks like Paul Walker’s twin brother as the lead villain (Luke Evans in the film’s only decent performance), hack director Justin Lin does nothing to exploit their uncanny resemblance. I’m starting to think the only reason this series exists is to hoodwink the gullible into thinking Vin Diesel is actually a movie star. (D).
“The Hangover”, Part II – I hated the first “Hangover” movie (it even made my 10-worst list), but surprised myself by actually enjoying the 2011 sequel although it was basically the same movie with Thailand subbing for the original’s Las Vegas setting. What I liked about “The Hangover, Part II” is the same thing that makes “Part III” so entertaining. Forget that it’s a comedy–which is fairly easy to do since there aren’t many laughs–and pretend you’re watching a particularly well-tooled genre flick. On those (admittedly limited) terms, both “Hangover” sequels are infinitely superior to, say, any of the dreary “Fast and Furious” movies. As someone who generally loathes Melissa McCarthy I’m shocked to report that her scenes are among this film’s very best moments. (B-).
New on DVD:
“Dark Skies” – Directed by Scott Stewart whose two previous films (“Priest” and “Legion”) were virtually unwatchable, this Spielberg knock-off in which a suburban family gets hassled by alien interlopers is a slight improvement, if still too derivative by half. Pokily paced and largely fright-free, the scariest thing here is ice queen Keri Russell’s spooky blue eyes. (C- ).