Randy here with a early review one of the big summer movie franchise-Fast & Furious 6!
Vin and company have returned yet again!
Hot Cars? Check.
High-speed chases? Check.
Beautiful women? Check.
Buff men? Check.
Big explosions? Check.
Hand-to-hand combat? Check.
Funny dialogue? Check.
So did you enjoy the insane madness and mayhem of Fast 5?
Then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy Fast & Furious 6. (Though on the print I saw, it was Furious 6).
The Summer 2013 movie season is in full gear!
LONG VERSION REVIEW:
In case you forgot, here’s the official synopsis:
“Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian’s (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete.
Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again.”
“All roads lead to this…” –Tag Line for Fast & Furious 6
So this franchise has twisted and turned since The Fast and the Furious was released in 2001. Characters has left, new ones added and things felt like they were getting ready to retire by the time Fast and Furious-Tokyo Drift came out.
Starting with the fourth movie, Fast and Furious, things started changing. Much of the original cast came back and the story actually moved forward based on their previous choices. But what was most interesting is that is stopped being about illegal racing and now was more about crimes and capers on a larger scale. Then came Fast 5, which embraced fully the idea of this being about heists… that happen to involve cars!
That one was made of insane madness, that pushed the laws of physics but was about the lives and choices that all the characters had made over the years. It brought in characters from all the previous movies to build a team that was fresh and funny. This especially included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I love that he has his own “taglines” and acts like this is HIS franchise and he expects to “win” and capture Dom!
All of this is setup to go into this new film and it’s a continuation of the story and more of the over-the-top madness. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Elsa Pataky are all back doing what they do best, though Brewster and Pataky are sidelined for most of the movie. They know their parts in the Team Toretto. Luke Evans steps in quite nicely as villain Owen Shaw with a cold, unemotional methodology, a kind of mirror to what Diesel and his team represent. He’s a smart guy who is ahead of the game. Gina Carano is a fun addition and I’d love to see her teamed with Johnson’s Hobbs for their own spin-off movie, though I doubt that’ll happen.
But there is a little more to it. Not a WHOLE lot, but enough that keeps my interest beyond the obvious car porn. The last film was about doing one last job two secure the future for the “family”. This one is about taking a job to make their family whole again-to rescue Letty. It may be played in very broad strokes, but I’m glad to see some story amidst the carnage. I’m weird like that.
Along with the story is a nice sense of continuity to the prior films, which if you’ve seen the first three you might think a little problematic. I appreciate that screenwriter Chris Morgan and director Justin Lin, who have worked on Fast 3-6, actually want to use the history of all the movies. So many sequels seem to forget, ignore or just replicate what came before. While it would never hurt to watch the entire series before seeing this, I would certainly catch up with 3, 4 & 5 if you can. A couple of character return…
Now, be warned that there are a couple of reveals during the film. I was spoiled by one in an article without a spoiler tag and the latest trailer and tv ads should be avoided at all costs if you wish to keep pure.
The reasons for Letty’s return are a little shaky, fairly soap opera in nature. Some of the actions of characters, especially towards the end of the film, are a bit tenuous to muddled. I don’t think the film is as wonderfully bat-shit insane as Fast 5, which is Fast & Furious 6’s biggest drawback to me. Fast 5 came out of left-field and was full of over-the-top joy for me. But Fast & Furious 6 IS still BIG and FUN. Let’s just say “vehicular warfare” is an apt term to be coined for this movie…
It feels like the series could end here. Maybe even should end. But based on the during the credits post-script and the fact that Universal has Fast 7 already being pushed into production for NEXT May, it’s going to happen… without Lin.
I hope that it ends big and wraps it all up, because I think they’ve gone as far as they can go. Well, at least with these characters…
But the question really is, is Fast & Furious 6 an entertaining piece of summer popcorn action?
The kind of movies that you WANT to see on a big screen, loud & proud!
I say it again-
WORTH PAYING… Evening prices, if you want to enjoy a big, booming summer movie with an audience.
WORTH MAKING TOYS? So. Many. Cars.
Be seeing you,