Review: Fast & Furious 6
Directed by: Justin Lin.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Gina Carano, Jordana Brewster, Elsa Pataky.
Since the events of Fast Five, all is good for the families of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and the members of their crew who worked together to rob $100 million from a drug dealer, living happy extravagant lives in non-extradition countries. Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) now have a son and Dom is living with Elena (Elsa Pataky), but Brian admits to Dom that there’s no sense of having a home since they are wanted in the United States and unable to return. Meanwhile, Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who promised to chase down the crew, is dealing with a bigger fish – Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a man similar to Dominic who runs a crew, only with lower morals.
After a job pulled by Shaw’s crew on a Russian military convoy leaves a massive trail of destruction, Hobbs discovers that Shaw is headed to London, but realises he needs help to catch him from a crew who can keep up with Shaw, leading him to come to Dom and ask him for his help. Dom, knowing that Hobbs can’t arrest him in a non-extradition country declines, but when Hobbs shows him photos from the crime scene showing that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still alive and part of Shaw’s crew, Dom and Brian assemble the crew, calling on Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), Han (Sung Kang), and Gisele (Gal Gadot). Meeting with Hobbs and his second in command, Riley (Gina Carano), they agree to help him in return for full pardons so they can return home.
The Fast & Furious series has been going now for over a decade since the first movie in 2001, though director Justin Lin hasn’t been with the series that long, it has become his series as much as the main cast’s since he has directed all ‘Fast’ movies since the third one, Tokyo Drift, so if you’ve seen any of the past three movies, you’ll know to expect a frenetic mix of action set-pieces involving fast cars, snappy dialogue, and some above average characters. Though early word on the movie has been mixed, Fast & Furious 6 is no exception to that.
It’s as ludicrous as any of the previous movies, perhaps filled with a lot more conveniences, but like the other movies is one that a fan of the series will eat up in spades. I myself have been following the series since the first movie, and found myself enjoying the action, the humour, and seeing the further exploits of the already established characters, and picked up on lots of references and callbacks to the previous movies which will make fans smile.
I can also tell you, as someone who has been following the series and the characters, it’s truthful to them, with the returning principal cast, all giving solid performances in their roles, and though I’ve never been a big fan of some of them, here I enjoyed seeing them all on the screen. Most surprising is the balanced screen time that all of them manage to get, with Justin Lin bringing a little finesse, juggling no fewer than twelve characters and all of them getting screen time instead of being too forefront or left in the background. Lesser directors would not have handled this so well.
Perhaps it’s no surprise to learn that the weakest roles are the newer ones, with Gina Carano’s Riley being little other than a subordinate until later in the movie, and Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw, but neither due to performance. Shaw is played as a cool calculating villain who keeps his cards close to his chest, never revealing what his final plan is. He has the makings of a fairly decent Bond villain, since he oddly seems to have the resources of one but none of the ego, hence the lack of over-sharing any plans. There is also likely a reason behind this to do with the next movie, already greenlit, which to divulge any further I would go heavily into spoiler territory, and that I won’t do.
Overall, this is a movie made for the fans of the series, It’s doubtful it will win over anyone whose never seen the previous ones, but honestly why would you go into a movie with a 6 in the title unless you had already seen the earlier ones, and judging by the audience in the packed screening I saw the movie in, there are plenty of fans out there just eating this up, who I suspect will give this a thumbs up, looking forwards to the next one. It won’t win any awards, but it’s solid popcorn action following characters we already know and love, and that’s more than good enough reason to enjoy it.
Be sure and stay around past the stunts safety disclaimer at the end of the movie for the clip that got an applause from the audience not only for being a great setup for the next movie, but also tying up threads from previous movies.
Posted on May 18, 2013, in Reviews and tagged Brian O’Conner, Dominic Toretto, dwayne johnson, Elsa Pataky, fast, franchise, furious, Gal Gadot, gina carano, Jordana Brewster, justin lin, Ludacris, luke evans, michelle rodriguez, paul walker, series, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, vin diesel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.