Synopsis: The Fast & Furious team reunites to fight a criminal outfit in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again.
Release Date: May 24, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Over the course of the past five Fast and Furious films, Universal Pictures happened upon a complex mythology that interweaves characters and storylines from what were originally developed as one-off adventures. Now at Fast and Furious 6, the franchise has come seemingly full circle with Dom Toretto’s crew now facing off against a carjacking group as skilled as his own. One would think that by the sixth entry this storyline would have been done before, but alas here we are.
While some film franchises, especially this late in the game, like to turn their IMDB cast list into a revolving door of action burnouts and rising stars, Fast and Furious 6 says the more the merrier. We’ve grown to love, or tolerate at least, these characters to the point that we know exactly what we’re going to get with each. Tyrese Gibson’s Roman likes to act bold, but is the butt of every joke, while Ludacris’ Tej is the brains of the operation that loves to turn Roman into that “butt.”
With character archetypes firmly established, Fast and Furious 6 doesn’t waste much time, thrusting the audience right into the action. And as Toretto and his ever-growing crew look to stop the vehicular-minded criminal Owen Shaw, they will risk life, limb, and axle in some of the most impressive practical set pieces ever put to film.
Fast and Furious 6 is total fan service, but I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Director Justin Lin knows how to leverage the basic concept of street racers turned criminals into a fun 2-hour package that, while light on logic, will have fans cheering throughout. The film’s use of practical stunts and minimal CGI makes for set pieces that are destructive cornucopias of metal, concrete, and rubber. There are a few moments where the film becomes outright goofy, but that also feels like part of the franchise’s DNA. You’re supposed to hoot, holler, and cheer even in the most improbable scenes, and most moviegoers will.
At the end of the day, Fast and Furious 6 is a movie built with its rabid fan base, and only them, in mind. Every actor (not necessarily their character) gets their moment to shine, more so than any of the past entries. That isn’t to say the acting in Fast and Furious 6 is exceptional, it’s actually pretty poor save for Luke Evan’s scenery-chewing turn as Shaw.
But you should know by now how you feel about Vin Diesel’s dull, emotionless delivery, and either you put up with it or not. Moviegoers looking for a smart action flick with a well-constructed plot should look elsewhere, but those who find that the Fast and Furious franchise is worth the investment, and love the actors involved, will find that Fast and Furious 6 fires on all cylinders.
At one point in time, the Fast and Furious franchise relied heavily on a combination of practical cars and CG effects to create its various races and action sequences. Not anymore. In Fast and Furious 6, cars really crash/explode/fly/get crushed. The film fakes very little, from a tank barreling down a busy freeway to a massive airliner getting pulled out of the sky. It’s also one of the few franchise entries that preserves that integral sense of high-octane speed without letting the various moving pieces get lost in the action.
Fight scenes also have a brutal practicality to them and less of a choreographed feel. Bare-knuckle brawls are the daily special on this film’s menu, and they are served up regularly. Fast and Furious 6 is the type of movie where fights don’t end because the hero pulled off some impressive move, but because they beat their opponent into submission or flat-out killed them. Heck, even the women get battered and bloodied.
To be fair, the action sequences at times feel a little flat with an endless wave of car flip after car flip, but they are shot well enough that it’s hardly a bother. The only time the action elicited a few eye rolls were when things turned from practical to CG, with one moment, in particular, coming across as laughably silly. And that’s in a movie where people use cars as weapons. Even so, the action sufficiently ups the ante in all the right ways.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Justin Lin
- Screenwriter(s): Chris Morgan
- Cast: Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), Paul Walker (Brian O’Connor), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Luke Evans (Shaw), Gina Carano (Riley), Elsa Pataky (Elena), Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto), Tyrese Gibson (Roman)
- Cinematographer: Stephen F. Windon
- Music Score: Lucas Vidal
- Country Of Origin: USA