DID YOU READ

Five Things About “Fast & Furious” That Make No Sense

Five Things About “Fast & Furious” That Make No Sense (photo)

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Good news fans of quickness and anger: the fifth film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise opens this Friday. “Fast Five” continues the full cast reunion begun with 2009’s “Fast & Furious” and takes it a step further by bringing in characters from “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Tokyo Drift.” Paul Walker! Vin Diesel! Tyrese Gibson! Ludacris! Sung Kang! Plus new addition Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson! This thing is like the “House of Frankenstein” of muscle-bound muscle car movies.

As I recall, “House of Frankenstein” wasn’t exactly the most tightly plotted film, either. But the insanity is part of the “Fast & Furious” series’ charm. These movies represent a decade-long celebration of the nonsensical, a triumph of swagger over substance, and an unprecedented achievement in the annals of unintentional comedy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the elements from the most recent film in the series, “Fast & Furious,” that made absolutely no sense.

On second thought, let’s just take a look at some of the elements. If we listed them all, we’d be here for a while.

1. The Bad Guy’s Plan Makes No Sense

The villain in “Fast & Furious” is a shadowy drug kingpin named Arturo Braga. He hires drivers from Los Angeles’ underground street racing scene to mule drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border in their hot rods. Now I’m not a drug smuggler, but it just seems like common sense that when you’re smuggling drugs you want to do it as inconspicuously as possible. Hiring a dude in a neon yellow muscle car with LCD televisions for headlights might not be the best way to avoid arousing the border patrol’s suspicions.


Plus, Braga doesn’t just drive the drugs across the border. He sneaks them in through an underground tunnel he built in a mountain. The whole reason he needs street racers and their souped up cars is because they have to be fast enough to sneak into the entrance to this tunnel before they’re detected by security cameras. Fine. But if there are security cameras watching the border, how did Braga build several miles of tunnel through a mountain in the first place?



But wait! It gets dumber! Braga maintains a veil of secrecy around his activities by murdering his drivers after they deliver his goods. As we’ve seen in four different “Fast & Furious” films, the underground street racing scene is a close-knit community. Everybody knows everybody. Wouldn’t someone notice that all the drivers who go to work for this guy comes back deader than disco? Evidently not. Because all the underground street racers in “Fast & Furious” are stupid.

2. The Representation of the American Justice System Makes No Sense

To expose Braga’s operation, FBI Agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) convinces an old street racing buddy named Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) to go undercover as one of Braga’s drug mules. She agrees to do it, only on the condition that the government drop their charges against her boyfriend Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who’s currently a fugitive from justice in South America.

Now I’m not a legal expert, but this sounded mildly insane. So I asked a friend who is a legal expert, a practicing attorney, if this scenario — someone becoming an informant in order to obtain leniency for a loved one who is still on the run from the law — was remotely possible. His response:

“It’s possible, but it really doesn’t make sense. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: I swear, I didn’t put him up to saying that.] Usually people become informants to either get a better deal for themselves or for money. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it to get a better deal for another person. I don’t see why any law enforcement agency would give a lighter sentence to a fugitive who’s gone to another country to escape the law without doing anything themselves to earn better treatment.”



Of course, when Brian tells a furious Dom (he’s totally fast too!) why Letty was helping him, his explanation is vague enough that it’s possible he didn’t necessarily guarantee herpreferential treatment for Dom. So someone’s an idiot here, either Brian or Letty. Or maybe the idiot’s me, for actually trying to figure this stuff out.

3. The Government’s Plan Makes No Sense

Brian and Dom follow in Letty’s footsteps and become drivers for Braga in the hopes of destroying his operation from within. Braga tries to kill them, but they’re able to escape with some of Braga’s drugs. Brian’s superiors at the FBI want to hold a press conference and announce the contraband seizure, but he convinces them not to. “Braga’s just gonna send another shipment next week and the week after that,” he tells them. His plan? “Let’s use the shipment to lure Braga out and lop the head off a multibillion dollar cartel.” He wants to catch Braga red-handed during a hand-to-hand exchange. One of the other FBI agents says, “He’ll never show,” to which Brian replies “He can’t afford not to.”

But wait, Brian, you just specifically said Braga could afford not to. You said he could lose one shipment and carry on with his business! What changed in the four seconds since you said that? Other FBI Agent is correct: Braga would never show. But then guess what? He does show after all! Because he’s an idiot too.

4. The Police’s Search Techniques Make No Sense

Before the big finale in Mexico, Brian comes to see Dom at his house, where he’s working on a car. “Everyone’s looking for you,” says Brian. The police were looking for a fugitive and Paul Walker was the only guy who thought to check his house? What kind of police search is that? That’s not a police search, that’s a Google search. Nothing came up and they all went back to playing Zuma Blitz. So add the local police to the list of morons in this movie.

5. The Fact That Paul Walker Is Still Alive At the End of the Movie Makes No Sense

Through the mass stupidity of everyone involved, Brian and Dom capture Braga in Mexico and bring him back to the United States. Braga’s stooge Fenix, played by Laz Alonso, crashes Brian’s car, and pulls him out of the wreckage. He’s about to shoot him when Dom rides to the rescue. Dom guns it at Fenix, and before he can get out of the way, a wounded Brian, lying on the ground at Fenix’s feet, grabs his leg to hold him in place. Dom runs over Fenix, killing him. But somehow Brian, who was laying right next to him, is perfectly fine. He couldn’t have jumped out of the way because a)he was badly wounded and b)he was holding Fenix to keep him from jumping out of the way himself. Which means that Brian should have been crushed by the front right tire of Dom’s car, killing him instantly. But the dumbness must continue in “Fast Five,” and so Brian magically survives.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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