Six. Can you believe it? Six? With a seventh already on the way. Yeah … for real.
Since 2001, Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner have been revving the engines of fans and taking audiences for rides in some of the fastest 10 second cars Hollywood could build and while the second film in the series suffered from a sophomore slump … there’s no denying that the filmmakers behind the Fast and the Furious franchise are living by the motto – “Go big or go home.”
While not nearly as good (surprisingly) as Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6 is pretty damn entertaining. By bringing back Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Agent Hobbs and Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, this film is giving fans exactly want they want in their summer film fun – more, more, more. Of course, this film is not going to win any acting awards. Never. No way. But in knowing that, this movie can be appreciated it for what it truly is – a return to the macho, one-liner, testosterone fueled action-fests that are hardly ever done well anymore.
Quickly wrapping up the events of the first, second, fourth and fifth installments (skipping part three of course because Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift occurs after the events of all of the before-mentioned films) with a montage of scenes over a hip hop beat, everyone gets back on the same page. After pulling off the big heist from the last film, our heroes are all living the life, spending their riches and trying to move on from their criminal pasts. That is until Toretto has an encounter with Hobbs, learns that Letty is still alive and calls the team back in for an afternoon drive. Now, with Tyrese Gibson (Roman), Sung Kang (Han), Gal Gadot (Gisele) and Ludacris (Tej) all together, they can help Hobbs take down an international criminal (Luke Evans) and (possibly) get their records wiped clear and be able to return to American soil. Got it. Yeah, like a season of Scandal, this is soap opera goodness for gear heads.
Along the way, Gina Carano shows up, kicks some ass and shows why she is the baddest hot-chick on screen. And yes, I understand that in calling her a chick, I run the risk of getting punched really hard in the face by her … but that’s a risk I’ll take just to be near her.
This film is ridiculous. Not in the “were-they-trying-to-be-serious” kind-0f way, but overall in terms of the action, plot/story and character development. From the thuggish thievery of the first film to this international espionage tale, everything has grown exponentially over-the-top. Luckily, in this case, it kind of works … for the most part.
Things to consider before watching this film:
1. Physics do not really apply.
2. Everyone can take ass beatings that would kill an average person.
3. A quarter-mile race in a 10-second car takes about five minutes.
4. You will see gear shifting.
5. Who cares? Just have fun.
Super-charged muscle cars, bone-shattering wrecks and a tank are just the beginning. When the action is on, the movie really works. Put any of the characters behind the wheel of anything with tires or let them fight and it pops. Clearly, this cast is having fun. You can actually see Carano smirking through every fight scene showing off her skills. Where the movie fails … pretty much at all the quiet spots in between. While the cast does have good chemistry and there is some fun humor, the dialogue is cringe-inducing and the over-acting is silly at times. Luckily … who cares? It’s the Fast series. You’re not expecting Shakespeare. Just go with it. However, the run time is 20 minutes too long and I believe would have been a better experience if it was shorter. Cut out some of the excess and the movie would stay in gear longer.
While nowhere near the level of Fast Five, Fast 6 is still a solid addition to this guilty pleasure franchise. In my opinion, Tokyo Drift was the best – which also (interestingly enough) only included Diesel in a quick cameo role at the end – but with the addition of Johnson and growth of action in the last film, the franchise has grown with its audience and expanded into something more than street racers running from the cops. Pure cheesy goodness, fans will be excited with what they see and by connecting the dots throughout all six of the films, this oil soaked soap opera will get the one thing every summer movie wants – fans in the seats. While average in terms of scale when compared to the other big films coming out, I’m sure fans will not be disappointed.
3 out of 5 NOS canisters