If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In fact, milk it for all it’s worth. That seems to be Universal Studios’ philosophy, considering that they have managed to spin the moderate cult success of the original The Fast and the Furious movie into a full-blown franchise. Never forget that one of the sequels was literally called “Fast & Furious.” They simply dropped the word ‘the.’ I couldn’t get past the absurdity of the title and didn’t see that one; but I’d seen all the other editions before this latest one.
Fast & Furious 6 picks up right where Fast 5 left off, as we find our merry misfits enjoying the spoils of their last heist in various exotic locales around the globe. While Roman (Tyrese Gibson, Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and Tej (Ludacris, New Year’s Eve) live flashy lives, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker, Takers) prefer more humble existences. Dom is settled with his live-in girlfriend Elena, and Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster, Fast Five) are expecting a baby. Han and Giselle are doing their thing, and everyone is living the life. A hundred million dollars is a pretty nice retirement fund; so there’s not much that would induce the gang to return to their former criminal ways. Their hiatus comes to a screeching halt when Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Pain & Gain) approaches Dom about helping him apprehend a criminal who uses his considerable driving acumen in a new type of “vehicular warfare.”
The man is Owen Shaw (Luke Evans, The Raven), and his skills behind the wheel make him a worthy adversary for Dom and Brian. Shaw is looking to acquire a processor, a necessary component in a device capable of disabling military communications. He is in bed with the cartel and the CIA, and it will take a (former) crook to catch a crook. This is where Dom, Brian, Roman, Tej, Han and Giselle come in. Hobbs and Dom share a begrudging respect between each other, but there’s no way Dom would be helping the authorities without good reason. We learned at the very end of Fast 5 that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez, Resident Evil: Retribution) is still alive. When Hobbs produces a recent photo of her and tells Dom that she’s working with Shaw, that’s all the incentive he needs.
I enjoyed the movie due in large part to the immensely entertaining action sequences. The fight scenes were plentiful, and both the guys and girls get in on the action. Eye candy littered the screen, with beautiful people, beautiful cars, and beautiful locations in abundance. There was never a dull moment in the entire movie, and everyone was a badass. Unfortunately though, more than one scene was completely implausible. I think you’re supposed to ignore the fact that there’s no way Vin Diesel can catapult himself from a moving vehicle to catch Michelle Rodriguez in mid air after she too goes hurtling through the air. But that’s ok, because it was a fun ride. The ending clearly sets us up for an astounding seventh movie – but I’m not sure we need another one, folks. On the one hand, they are entertaining, but on the other hand – haven’t we exhausted the possibilities yet? It’s kinda like making Ocean’s Fourteen. I’m sure we could, but is that really necessary? Nevertheless, if you want to be entertained, you can’t go wrong with Fast & Furious 6; a wild ride for sure. Grade: B+
This article first appeared at Poptimal and was reprinted with permission.