Welcome to Thursday Trailer Face-Off, a feature in which we cast a critical eye on two similar upcoming film releases, pitting them against each other across a variety of categories to determine which is most deserving of your two hours. This week: Stand Off vs. Fast & Furious 6, two heist movies about reuniting with loved ones and getting out of trouble with the law.
PremiseStand Off is a movie about a man trying to rescue his son and save his own life by escaping from his crushing debt to the mob. To this end, he pulls off a robbery of a fish market, escaping with a valuable and rare coin. The police and the mob and everyone else who’s chasing him corner him in an antique shop, where he meets Brendan Fraser and some other people. The people inside the shop and the police outside the shop have… a stand off. As for Fast & Furious 6, The Rock helpfully explains the entire plot in the opening minute of the trailer. In his words: “A team of highly coordinated drivers took down an entire military convoy… I know you didn’t do it, but you’re going to help me track down the team that did.” Then he shows Vin Diesel a picture of his sister. “I need your help, Dom, I need your team.” Ok, The Rock, we can definitely smell what you’re cooking.Advantage: Fast & Furious 6
The CrewThe crew in Stand Off consists of Brendan Fraser, an American; Martin McCan, a dimwit criminal; Yaya Alafia, who isn’t given much to do in the trailer; and McCan’s baby, a baby. Will this ragtag group of people thrown together by chance be able to save McCan and his son from blowtorch castration at the hands of a mobster? Probably. The Fast & Furious crew needs little introduction. They will see your team of highly coordinated drivers and raise you a team of even more highly coordinated drivers. As Vin Diesel says: “You got the best crew in the world standing in front of you.” These people have dragged a giant safe through the streets of Rio and feature an all-star cast of the best drivers from all of the previous Fast & Furious movies. They can handle anything that gets thrown at them, provided they have souped-up cars at their disposal. From the looks of this trailer, that’s pretty much a guarantee. Also, they have The Rock.Advantage: Fast & Furious 6
The Bad GuysDavid O’Hara and the appropriately named Colm Meaney play the villains in Stand Offˆ. Meaney, despite his rude name, deadpans his lines with Fraser in the trailer. O’Hara, who plays a character nicknamed “Mad Dog,” threatens to blowtorch McCan’s privates, then tries to take his baby. Sinister. The bad guys in Fast & Furious 6 are the aforementioned “team of highly coordinated drivers.” They also feature Michelle Rodriguez, who died a few movies ago, but appears very much alive in this movie as she shoots Vin Diesel (her boyfriend) in the shoulder. The head bad guy is a former spec ops soldier who says he can reach out and break Vin Diesel whenever he wants. Bold words, and Vin Diesel is sure to make him eat them.Advantage: Stand Off
The StakesMcCan wants to save his son, a noble goal. To do so, he must escape with an exceedingly rare coin that he has stolen by mistake. He has decided that a good way to do this is to bring the baby with him on the robbery, which is maybe not the best idea. Also, there are insinuations that Fraser might in fact be McCan’s father. Memo to movie dads: please keep track of your long-lost offspring before they become trapped in a high-stakes standoff with both the police and the mob. Fast & Furious 6 is also all about saving family—well, kind of. Michelle Rodriguez looks to shoot her man, but as Vin Diesel says: “You don’t turn your back on family, even when they do.” The rest of the crew has full pardons on the table, so they have a reason to be there, but the real stakes here are: How many cars can we flip in a two-hour movie? And: No, really, can’t we have a few more car chases? Those are delicious stakes.Advantage: Fast & Furious 6
The FinaleThere’s a rocket launcher at the end of Stand Off, and a large police presence. There is also a sniper scope trained on Brendan Fraser and an unidentifiable hostage. It seems like a very explosive finale. Then, there’s Fast & Furious 6. Ludacris, please explain: “Uh, guys? They got a tank.” Here’s the thing: that’s not even the end of the trailer. That would be when they take down a transport plane using grappling hooks that they shoot out of three cars. Vin Diesel then drives his own car through the nose of the crashing transport plane. And then, for good measure, they flip a car for no apparent reason.Advantage: Fast & Furious 6
DirectorTerry George, who directs Stand Off, features Hotel Rwanda and Reservation Road in his credits. Two very heavy movies, and it will be interesting to see how his dramatic chops translate to the action-comedy genre. Justin Lin directs Fast & Furious 6, his fourth title in the franchise. He has also directed three episodes of Community and the excellent Better Luck Tomorrow. The man knows his way around blowing up a car or two, and he always delivers.Advantage: Fast & Furious 6
ConclusionOne of these films was completed in 2011 and was originally titled “Whole Lotta Sole,” a reference to the fish market that the main character robs. That film is not Fast & Furious 6. Fast & Furious 6 promises lots of car chases, lots of beautiful locations, and lots of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel trying to act. In other words: all the comforts of home.Winner: Fast & Furious 6
Trailer Face-Off runs every Thursday. For more, click here.