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. Written by
I don't think many other franchises has been as turbulent and uneven as The Fast and the Furious films. Things started off pretty earnestly with Rob Cohen's first film, but quickly careened into odd directions, with the ever-cheesy 2 Fast 2 Furious taking off and running with one main character while leaving the other in the dust, and with Tokyo Drift drifting away with totally different characters altogether. Thankfully, Fast & Furious realigned the series with its roots. But it wasn't until Fast Five when I really began to give a darn about this series. Granted that all films have had their fun moments, the fifth film magically tied in every single strand from every single film, and made every single character relevant. Best of all, it did so with a great sense of fun: it had great pacing, amusing comedy, great action, and it made the characters stand out as a collectively outstanding cast.
So now Fast & Furious 6 has come out, reuniting the entire gang once more to take on bigger stakes. The spectacle in this film tries its best to be even bigger, more absurd, and more awesome than before: the film is effectively book-ended with two massive action setpieces. The first involves a decently destructive car chase in London, where the villain effectively uses his custom-built ride to launch other cars all over the place. The film's final act features a really crazy sequence in which a tank roars across a highway, crushing other cars and blowing up bridges. This all culminates with all the muscle cars banding together to bring down a massive cargo plane in a fiery blaze of glory. In between, the film slows down a bit, but there's frequent fist-fights and pursuits, a few scenes of witty comedy, and there's one decent car-racing scene.
Whether or not you really dig this film may depend on how well you dig the characters and all their dynamics. It definitely helps to watch and understand the events of the first five films, because at this point, they've all been through so much and changed so much; for a late-comer like me, who never was invested in the characters until the last film, it can be confusing to remember who was who and what their history was. Fortunately, the film does insert some flashbacks and reminders for the audience's benefit. If you are keeping up with things, then the film will reward you with a cast of endearing and heartfelt characters, and the film's plot generally revolves around their continuing struggles. As far as the actual plot goes, it's pretty brainless and absurd action-movie fodder, and there are plot holes to be found. However, the film does have the merit of presenting a cast of villains to directly oppose the cast of heroes, and the story pulls out a few surprising twists.
The film generally looks good, but many of the action scenes are hectically shot and edited, and it can be hard to tell what's going on in certain scenes. What you can see is awesome, but sometimes, it's just aggravating. Acting is generally fun and enjoyable from the whole cast. Writing gets the job done well enough. This production uses a plethora of quality sets, props, and costumes, with loads of flashy cars at its disposal, and some okay-looking special effects. This film uses some cool hip rap and techno music, while the music score is pretty cool (sounds a lot like Brian Tyler's work from Tokyo Drift, which was one of my favorite soundtracks).
Best recommended to fans of the series, especially if you've been following the last few movies.
4/5 (Entertainment: Good | Story: Pretty Good | Film: Pretty Good)
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