Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sketched Discussion: Fast Five is a great videogame movie

Fast Five, the somehow fifth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, is exactly like a videogame. I'm generally surprised there's not a Fast Five videogame Tie-in coming out. Watchign this made me want to go home and play burnout, and I usually hate driving games! How is this possible? I'm going to point out the various videogame tropes and how they parallel parts from the movie, not including all the generic story bits that videogames took from generic action movies.  Spoilers ensue.

Fun physics breaking car chases:
Videogame Trope: If there's a car in a videogame, you can bet your sweet Jamaican ass you're goign to do some crazy physics breaking stunts with it. Jumping off ramps, over buildings, and of course smashing into other cars with little to know damage or health repercussion.

Fast Five version: This is an easy one. It's a Fast and Furious movie, of course there will be ridiculous car chases. And this time, they all looked extremely fun.  Driving cars off a moving train? Check. Using two sports cars to rip out a bank vault, then proceed to drive through the city, using the momentum of the bank vault to smash cop cars? I think we have out co-op mission!

Unbeatable intermediately boss fight:
Videogame Trope: Some games will have you fight a huge boss in the middle(or even in the very beginning just to break your spirit), in which you have to beat him, but then right after the cutscene, it shows you still lose. How is that possible?! I just took all his health away!

Fast Five Version: The gang of thieves is just chillin' in their pad when the FBI break in and start bustin' skulls. Epic boss fight: VIN DIESEL VS. THE ROCK.  It's one of the highlights of the movie, and I'm sure a huge reason why some people are seeing it.  It's hard, brutal, sweet glistening everywhere, with plenty of the Rock crashing through windows(press X to dodge! make him crash through more windows to take out his health bar!).  Even though Diesel beats the Rock's ass and is about to take him out, he pounds the floor on futility and lets the FBI take him in. Why the hell did I have to play that? Couldn't you just give up without all that work and window busting?

Padding the middle with useless cutscenes and side missions:
Videogame Trope: Ever since videogames started emulating movies, they're expected to have a beginning, middle and end. But they're also expected to have a minimal gameplay time of 20 hours, and not all of that is guaranteed to have to do with the main story.  So your protagonist will meet some new characters, or have to do a number of smaller fetch quests before you can progress through the bigger story.

Fast Five version: Cutscene! Love interest between the asian guy and the badass chick. Side quest! Go steal a bunch of cars for no reason. Cutscene! that angry guy comes back. He's still angry about stuff. Side quest! Go win a bunch of cars in drag races for some reason! Ridiculous unneeded story mission! Race your mates in stolen cop cars that you just stole in the middle of the city at night!  And oddly no one is around to hear you yell or turn on the sirens!

Escort mission:
Videogame Trope: Everyone know and loathes the escort mission. You're character A, endowed with muscles on top of muscles and numerous firearms. You are paired with character B, who is completely weak and defenseless.  You must follow and defend character B as every enemy ever tries to kill her.

Fast Five Version:
It's been a couple of weeks since I saw this so I can't say if there was a specific, but there was a part in the movie where Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Jordana Brewster are escaping, and suddenly Brewster blurts out to Paul Walker, "I'm pregnant!" All I can imagine is you having to escape through the streets of Brazil while fighting and shooting FBI guys while the objective "Protect the baby!" flashes red.  Also, Jordana being the badass that she thinks she is, shewould run around trying to steal cop cars as they're shooting at you.

Obligatory unneeded stealth mission
Videogame Trope: They always seem to include these in run-and-gun shooters or action games, even though they don't fit with the rest of the game.  Not that stealth missions are bad-it happens to be some of my favorite gameplay-but when it's thrown into a high octane action game, it just slows the flow down, and becomes more of an annoyance than fun variety.

Fast Five version: The mission: Get the bad guy's hand print for the vault.  The player character: Gal Gadot(the one chick in the crew and the hot-headed, gun toting weapon's expert) in a bikini.  Sure, Sung Kang(who is brought in because he is the master of "blending in", even though he is the one Asian guy in Brazil), but he just stands there and watches.  How does she acquire the hand print? Sneaks in, and lets him slap her ass.

Needless item acquiring:
Videogame Trope: There's various types of item collecting in videogames. There's collecting something to make something to complete the story, there's collecting weapons, armor, potions, etc. to upgrade your character and make you better at the game, and then there's just collecting stuff because stuff needs to be collected and you need that 100% sticker.

Fast Five version: For their heist, they have to aquire a really fast car, so they just go stealing cars.  But then they change their plan so they also have to steal cop cars.  By the middle of the movie, they must have a garage filled with cars! what do they do with them all?  Do the cars have special abilities?

Unrealistic NPCs and Enemies
Videogame Trope: Those guys that just stand around and spout gibberish and not caring about you at all, no matter how many times you jump around and shoot them. Also, enemies that have a cone of vision in which you're only spotted if you step into said cone.

Fast Five Version: Remember that side quest I talked about before at night where they just stole those cop cars and now they feel like racing each other? Yeah, there is no one on the streets. NO ONE. They are drag racing, with generally loud cars, shouting to each other, turning on the sirens, and there is literally no one on the street and no one in any of the many accompanying buildings to call the cops. C'mon guys, get some better NPCs.

Ridiculous health meter:
Videogame Trope: There's always that balance between realistic and fun, with fun usually winning out. That's why when you get shot at in most games, your health meter runs a bit low, you take some health packs, and you're fine.  You don't have to go to the hospital, wait for an hour, get stitches, stay in the hospital for a week, and hobble around for the rest of the game after every bullet, that would be too boring and slow!

Fast Five version: There is no way these guys aren't running on health packs. They go throguh everything. In the first stunt, Paul Walker jumps from a moving train onto a truck bed easily, then drives a car off a steep cliff and plunges into the water. No he's fine, he just picked up a health pack.  Walker and Brewster run through the streets of Brazil and jump off a building and through a skylight.  They're cool, they did some sit-ups earlier. In the epic Diesel Rock battle I mentioned earlier, they pummel each other, rip each other to shreds, and just go at it until they're both bleeding profusely, coming close to near death. But the very next scene there's barley a scratch on either of them!  It's fine, it's just a scratch.

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