Now...because it's a Fast & Furious movie, I'm not going to bog you down with a "review". It's an over-the-top action flick about cars. It has flat-assed bimbos in tacky clothing. It has tattoos and muscles. It has high-tech crime. It even has a few laughs. You already know the beginning, middle, and end without watching the trailer or reading a review, so I'm not going to even bother.
I do, however, want to talk about Sung Kang's character, Han. Some of you know I've been a fan of his for years; I liked him in Better Luck Tomorrow (Happy 10th Anniversary again, boo-boo) and I fell in love with his character in The Motel.
Han first appeared in the third installment of the F&F franchise - Tokyo Drift - and he died before the movie ended. Right there, I called fail. That was some short-sighted, bogus fail. Why was it necessary to kill off the good-looking Asian protagonist? What purpose did that serve? Why was he considered so expendable? Who held a gun to the writer's head and forced him to off Kang's character?
Granted, the next few movies take place before his death - so that his character may live, but the newest installment brings us up to his death in a car crash and explosion (which effectively bars him from the 2014 installment). Mind you, this latest installment brings Michelle Rodriguez's character back from the dead. And not just back from the dead, but back from a similar death - car crash and explosion. She lived to tell the tale. True, she has an amnesia, but she's alive.
How come Sung Kang didn't get the same loophole?
Then there's the love interest issue. Y'all know how that goes. Whenever it's an Asian guy there's almost always a "catch". There's always "something":
- He doesn't get the girl. Plain and simple, and the most common scenario...assuming an Asian guy is even cast.
- He gets the girl, but it's only implied and ambiguous enough to be up for debate.
- He gets the girl, it's flat-out stated, but they don't kiss, they don't get nekkid, and the audience is left wondering why they were even written as a couple in the first place.
- He gets the girl, gets to kiss the girl, but she's not a woman of color, so it doesn't resonate with a wider audience*, and the relationship is summarily dismissed and forgotten before the movie even ends.
- He gets the girl, gets to kiss the girl, she's a woman of color...and they either break up or somebody dies.
Let me recap: the white guy gets to keep his woman (and their child), the mixed-passing-as-white guy gets two women in this movie...but the Asian guy's woman falls to her death - the fuck is up with that?
No, Han wasn't in a Blasian relationship, but this is still part of The Pattern, and no one knows the Pattern the way Blasians know the Pattern. Jet Li and Aaliyah fell prey to the Pattern, as did Rain and Naomi Harris, John Cho and Gabrielle Union, and Tim Kang and Eissa Davis...dating all the way back to George Takei and Nichelle Nichols (oh, yes). The Pattern is ancient and evil and since it's 2013, it really needs to be destroyed once and for all.
I'll be honest...Sung Kang was my reason to even bother with these movies. Dude's forty and still looking fabulous as ever. Most of the other "stars" came to the set looking wrecked.
But that's just my humble opinion.
*I bring this up because 1) we've already talked about this and, 2) the unspoken statement of the century is that straight men of color actually prefer women of color. Take the Asian Invasion on YouTube, for example. The guy's love interest is 99% of the time a woman of color, usually Asian. Same thing with Black & Sexy TV, another online invasion. When POC are doing the writing and directing, their first choice is to pair POC...with other POC.
Which explains the #1 reason why POC are often barred from writing and directing...unless they're Tyler Perry.