Review: Fast and Furious 6
Fast & Furious 6 is the final film in the franchise to be directed by Justin Lin, who took over the franchise starting with Tokyo Drift. During his time directing the Fast franchise has gone from being on life support to one of the most commercially successful in all of Hollywood. His farewell film is a tour de force of cars, Vin Diesel, and ridiculousness.
The story takes place a few months after the conclusion of Fast 5, with Dominic Toretto’s (Diesel) gang living large off their score. However when Agent Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) comes around asking for help in bringing down the international criminal known as Shaw (Luke Evans), Toretto and O’Conner (The immortal Paul Walker) agree to help once they learn that Dom’s previously thought dead lover Letti Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) is on his crew. All the main members of the crew return to help the effort, highlighted by Han (Sung Kang), Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), and Roman (Tyrese Gibson), as they team up with Hobbs to take down Shaw.
Oh wait, this is a Fast movie, so no one besides me really cares about the intricacies of the narrative and it still has the same corny moments and overly tense conversations that define the franchise for better or worse. There is also a particular bit of fan service, with references to past movies and events occurring frequently, even back to the first movie. These moments are played completely straight and like any great 80’s action movie of yesteryear, are some of the funniest things I have ever seen. Calling Fast 6 the franchise’s attempt at an 80’s action movie is not far off either as it continues the tradition of a different sub-genre per movie (Fast 1 being the ode to the 90’s, Fast 2 being DUB edition, Fast 5 being a Heist movie, etc.) and does it perfectly.
Fast 5 took the series down a more action-y road, one that Fast 6 sprints its way to John Claude Van Damme levels of insanity. There is more hand to hand combat in the first 45 minutes of the movie than the entirety of the franchise before it, with fighting by The Rock (who looks painfully jacked), Diesel, and Walker buoyed by Gina Carano and Joe Taslim, of MMA and The Raid: Redemption fame respectively. It all looks well done, and there is one particular aerial take down by Diesel that renders all other forms of fighting obsolete. Fighting is not limited to being on foot either, as there is “Vehicular Warfare” to be had as well, highlighted by multiple instances of someone jumping from one fast moving car to another, without any hesitation because that is a perfectly normal situation to be in. Oh, and a tank, because of course there is a tank.
The driving scenes play a less prevalent role in this movie compared to previous installments, besides Tokyo Drift. But when they occur, they are very Fast & Furious in their execution, including a bit that makes the EMP Harpoon’s from Fast 2 look subdued, mostly as a way to get all the old muscle cars you can dream of in London and Spain. I actually do not know much about cars, which probably helps my love of the series continue on, because from what I have heard/realized from watching these movies that there is little attention paid to treating the cars realistically because that is way less fun that what the movie attempts to do, which is drive an APC at the same speed as what appears to be a modified F1 car with giant flipper on the front.
There is also a stinger before the end credits (but after the movie) that is the single greatest thing I have ever seen and man Fast 7 is going to be amazing. But before we get to that momentous day next summer, we have Fast 6, which is the most Fast & Furious a Fast & Furious has ever been with its insanity, unintentionally hilarious performances, Paul Walker’s steely blue eyes, and OH MAN THERE IS A TANK AND A MILITARY TRANSPORT PLANE IN THIS MOVIE I IMPLORE YOU TO SEE IT.
On the five star scale I give it a 4 mind-blowing-experiences out of 5, which seems impossible but also seems right, but on the watch-a-bility scale I give it a 19/5.