Fast And Furious 6 Review
With great action, a gleefully ridiculous story and entertaining characters, Fast & Furious 6 is as unapologetically dumb and awesome as one might expect.
12 years ago, the Fast & Furious franchise began, and for the first four entries critics were not pleased. I was among this crowd, for I found the mix of silly street racing shenanigans and crime thriller elements of those films to be tedious, boring and ridiculous. Then Fast Five happened, and suddenly the franchise became an entertaining, exciting and action-packed extravaganza of awesomeness. Universal Pictures and the creative team behind this series are hoping to replicate that success with the sixth installment, the film that directly precedes Tokyo Drift within the franchise’s timeline. In the end, does Fast & Furious 6 contain all of the elements that made its predecessor such a massive surprise?
Following the successful Rio de Janeiro heist, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team have gone their separate ways to begin new lives, despite remaining fugitives. However, they are soon dragged back onto the scene when DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) asks Toretto to regroup with his team for one last job. Hobbs tells him that a group of violent mercenaries led by former SAS operative Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and Toretto’s lover Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) – who was presumed dead – are a threat to international security. In exchange for helping to take down Shaw’s squad, Hobbs offers to grant full pardons to Toretto’s entire team. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to finally get their true freedom back, Toretto asks Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Han (Sung Kang) to help end their troubles once and for all.
A few weeks ago, I had never seen any of the Fast & Furious films. The first four were painful experiences for me when watching them at home, but then after the surprising Fast Five, I had high hopes for this new installment since the franchise had been rebooted with a greater focus on action and crime. Thankfully, Fast & Furious 6 is proof that the previous film wasn’t a one-hit wonder; this franchise is clearly heading in better directions. While this film is not as good as Fast Five, there is still plenty of exciting, action-packed fun.
Fast & Furious 6 also surprisingly succeeds because of its characters and their banter. Like Fast Five, this film is a reunion of nearly every protagonist from the franchise, and this move works since I actually cared about what happened to them. Beyond that, the presence of all these characters in the story further expanded on the franchise’s theme of family and loyalty. This motif also worked within the context of the villains – while successful, entertaining antagonists to begin with, they present challenges for our heroes that are enough to jeopardize their relationships, while the fact that they’re more despicable people paints Toretto’s crew as“likeable criminals.”
Despite my positive reaction to Fast & Furious 6, this is no great film, not even a perfect blockbuster. The plot is ridiculous as one might expect, and I was also surprised to find that the middle section slowed down to an unnecessary degree. However, the film soon picks itself back up, and Fast & Furious 6 is ultimately a very entertaining experience.
The Fast & Furious franchise has never been commendable for its acting. That same prospect carries over into Fast & Furious 6, for the acting is pretty stale in this picture. That said, what did anyone expect from Fast & Furious 6 in terms of the cast at hand? I will say that Dwayne Johnson continues his streak of success though, for he is still one of the best things about the new direction the franchise took starting with Fast Five. He brings the exact kind of physical presence and masculinity that is necessary for this series, and his performance is just as imposing, entertaining and simply awesome as it was in the previous film. Despite the overall quality of the acting in Fast & Furious 6, but it was still entertaining to have this entire cast reunited. I can also honestly say that the banter between Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris made my friends and I burst with laughter. Luke Evans also does a good enough job, making his character the best villain in the franchise, but that is honestly not saying much. Also, I will not spoil the cameo appearance in the post-credits sequence, but that alone was enough to get me excited for the next film.
I was certainly bothered by the poor directorial choices and horrid CGI in the earlier entries of the series, but Fast Five fixed these issues when Justin Lin changed his method of filming the action sequences. That change in style can be seen in Fast & Furious 6 as well, for despite a couple of awkward computer-generated shots this is a smoothly-edited, well-photographed action film. There are plenty of entertaining action scenes, and they are all well-produced. This is certainly a credit to Justin Lin’s use of wide camera angles, which allows the viewer to gain a better sense of the mayhem occurring onscreen. However, there is still enough of a modern edge to the direction so that Fast & Furious 6 is a successful blend of two different styles of filming action. One reason why I liked this film less than Fast Five is that some of the action is slightly less believable. While undeniably cool to behold onscreen, there a few set pieces that defy physics to the point that they are ridiculous even for a franchise such as this one. Nonetheless, if you come to Fast & Furious 6 expecting great action, you are going to get it.
While not as good as Fast Five, this film is a continuation of the successful rebooting of this hit-or-miss franchise. With great action, a gleefully ridiculous story and entertaining characters, Fast & Furious 6 is as unapologetically dumb and awesome as one might expect. It may not be the most necessary film to see this summer, but I can honestly say that with the right mindset, it is very easy to enjoy this summer blockbuster showcase.