Movie Review: ‘Fast & Furious 6’

fast-furious-6It is almost hard to believe that we are up to the sixth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise. But we are, and Fast & Furious 6 is here and, as a big fan of the series, this one really delivered. Now I liked the first film, it was fun and the cast were all great. It was almost a remake of Point Break but with cars instead of surf boards. The second film took a bit of a fall, and the third film, Tokyo Drift, didn’t have either of the original leads. It seemed like an odd stream of films, until everyone came back for the fourth film and it’s only gotten better since. These films now aren’t just about street racing, but the stakes have been highly raised and I think the franchise works better with the change. It has allowed the films to become full blown crazy action films, and they don’t have anything stale about them.

Fast 6 (as I shall call it) follows on from Fast 5 (but it takes place before Toyko Drift) and the gang are living where they can’t be extradited for stealing a good $100 million. But they are called back to help Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) take down big criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), who has very destructive plans. They get pulled in because Dom’s (Vin Diesel) former flame Letti (a returning Michelle Rodriguez) is alive and working with Shaw.

What a way to pull me right in and get my excited, if you haven’t seen Fast 5 well, obviously, spoilers here…with their after the credits easter egg featuring Letti being alive I knew I needed Fast 6 and I was excited. To be honest, this has been one of my most anticipated films of the year. They sucked me in and it paid off. I hated that they killed off Letti, and the twist with her being alive was great. The funny thing with these last few films is that they have on-going elements, and Letti has been one of those. The gang’s main players coming back is also a good element and it really gives me something to connect to in tjhe movie. It helps to see the other films before Fast 6, but at the same time there is enough there to catch up anyone going in blind. It sort of has something for everyone.

Now I don’t love this series because it is spectacular and serious filmmaking. These have proven to be really fun action films. They don’t take themselves serious and we naturally have to suspend disbelief. It is escapism and silly good fun. I like that once in a while. This is well-made fun, the action is big and quite a spectacle, it is just awesome to watch. Our characters are fun and it’s good to be around them, especially as they all share a very strong chemistry and now are quite at home with their roles.

Dwayne Johnson has proven to be a really strong asset. He is probably better here than he was in Fast 5. His role is bigger and the charisma oozes off him. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker work once again as Dom and Brian. Ludacris as Tej was great and I found Tyrese Gibson as Roman a tad annoying to start with. Sung Kang as Han and Gal Gadot as Gisele are also really good, and its nice to have them back too. Jordana Brewster as Mia isn’t in this much but when she is, she’s fine too. Gina Carano as Riley was a very welcome new addition, that woman is such a badass. Michelle Rodriguez was great and she delivered something a little different with her character. Luke Evans made a fine villain, he was not what I was expecting and I do think he’s quite talented. Fans of The Raid: Redemption look out for Joe Taslim in a henchman role.

This series isn’t a cinematic masterpiece. But on the action scale of an awesome good time, it strongly hands out the goods. This has more in common with an 80’s film than anything else and it’s a good thing, because back then you could easily sit back and enjoy the ride without over thinking things, and Fast 6 does just that. I had a blast and I look forward to Fast 7, and be sure to watch at the start of the credits for a hint at what’s to come.