Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Tyrese Gibson in “Fast & Furious 6”
Fast & Furious 6 as the poster would lead you to believe is actually titled Furious 6 when you get in the theatre to watch said after effects title make its 180 degree movement across the screen, for this slightly over-the-top action thrill ride. Furious 6 is by no means better than its predecessor Fast Five or other Fast & Furious installments in the franchise, but is more a of sound book-end than what was attempted in Fast Five. But nevertheless the gang returns for some good ol’ petal-the-metal drivin’ that pushes the boundaries of psychics.
Luke Hobbs, a cut and paste Dwayne Johnson straight out of GI Joe: Retaliation or anything else he has starred in recently; Recruits Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) and his team of drivers that has specialties in all fields beyond the normal street racing skills they already possess; To take down super criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) whom Braga (John Ortiz) studied under to become the local heroin supplier in the Mexico desert. It’s just under one condition that Dom’s team agrees: they are all given pardons for their past crimes. Just about everyone is back in the drivers seat as well except for Tego Leo (Tego Calderon) and Rico Santos (Don Omar). Nevertheless Gina Carano from last year’s HayWire joins the cast as Riley, Hobbs new right hand woman, after Elena (Elsa Patakay) joined Dom in his Venezuelan retirement. So when Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) name comes up it suddenly makes the few brief scenes in which we see Elena awkward and we almost feel as if Dom has used for her sex between the events of Fast Five and this new Furious 6.
In many ways it also feels like this early retirement that these characters go through was more of an extended getaway, Brian O’ Connor (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are in the middle of a pregnancy and the events that tie Fast & Furious (2009) to end of the events at the end of Tokyo Drift together are still unexplained and vague as this film progresses at an accelerated pace. Granted, Tokyo is talked about by Han (Sung Kane) and Gisele (Gal Gadot), but it’s never dealt with directly.
Furious 6 is also a macguffin film because Shaw is after a Government file with some sort of precious data on it. We don’t know what is on this file, we just know it must be damaging in some way to someone, because why would a villain go after something that doesn’t inflict some type of pain on someone or some local Government? What also makes Shaw such a threat to Hobbs is that he comes with his own team of skilled drivers that Tej Parker (Ludacris) is quick to point out as their “evil doubles”.
Furious 6 is by no means any better than any of its predecessors, but is in fact a better ending to what should have been a three movie trilogy, instead of the over-the-top franchise it is today. The action sequences in this outing are no more ridiculous than the opening train sequence in Fast Five and in this film the train is straight up swapped out for a tank in the climax of this film. Which is highly entertaining to watch and also why it’s also the funnest blockbuster that has come out yet this year alone. Furious 6 knows what it is and this is why it didn’t disappoint audiences.
To successfully pull off a franchise of such magnitude as the Fast and furious films like this is not easy. In Fact after Fast Five it was certainly going to be a good challenge for director Justin Lin. Fortunately he was successful and he didn’t hit a roadblock like Marvel did with Iron Man 3 a lackluster follow up to last summers record breaking box office film The Avengers. Which is why it was tragic to hear that the franchise director Lin would be leaving due to Universal pushing the seventh film into pre-pro while this sixth outing was still in post-production and famed horror film director James Wan would be taking over.
I’m certainly interested in how the next and hopefully final Fast and Furious film will play out, granted it was Justin Lin’s baby to helm this franchise, but I don’t think it would hurt to see it through a different director’s vision at such a pivotal point in the franchise.
That being said if you’ve enjoyed past installments in this franchise then I wouldn’t hesitate and go out and see Furious 6. You’re going to enjoy it just as much as the previous films if not more than the past installments. It’s a fun thrilling ride that despite its long and overly played out run doesn’t disappoint.