FASTER & FURIOUSERER
Fast & Furious 6
Review by Paul Preston
I don’t want you to read too far into this review and get your eyes too far away from the three star rating before I lay down…the disclaimer.
This movie is dumb as the post up other movies’ asses. The relationships are simplistic and the dialogue is thin.
That being said, those attributes are countered by bombastic, outrageous action sequences that are 4000 pounds of fun.
“Fast Five” brought the best film yet in the flawed yet exciting “Fast & Furious” franchise, so I thought, why not? Let’s have another. And the filmmakers have wisely taken a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach here. Very little of this movie is real, but the last two action sequences are certainly well realIZED, and well executed. And there’s a set-up for a seventh film, so Vin Diesel knows where his bread is buttered. I hope you like bread. ‘Cause there’s a lot of that bread.
After the heist of “Fast Five”, Vin Diesel’s hot rod gang, which includes Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, are all millionaires, either blowing their money like a fool or enjoying the quiet, comfortable-forever life. In a plot twist set up at the end of the previous film, it seems Michelle Rodriguez’ character Letty has returned from her seeming demise in “Fast & Furious”, the fourth film in the series (you’re right to get them all confused). CIA agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, concluding the list of cast members with nicknames) uses Letty’s return to coax Diesel and his team to help him track down a thief named Owen Shaw, who’s on the verge of stealing a unique weapon of mass destruction. In return, the gang could get full pardons.
But who gives a damn about all that.
The best part is that the bad guys are a team full of street racers! Mercenary drivers (in fact, there’s some clever dialogue delivered by Gibson about how the bad guy team is a straight-up evil version of the good guys, character by character)! This is perfect, ‘cause it can lead to kick-ass car chases and wild stunts.
And that’s just what you get. And if you like that, you’re gonna be well sated. If not, you’re gonna want to wait until September to go to the movies again.
The bar gets raised so high nowadays in action that you really have to pull out all the stops to entertain an audience in a new, fresh way. I can’t deny that “Fast & Furious 6” totally delivers in that department.
Luke Evans plays Owen Shaw and he supplies the right amount of British to be convincingly villainous. I’m not entirely sure when this happened in the “Fast & Furious” universe, but now it seems Tyrese Gibson is the comic foil, providing goofy lines and slapstick tomfoolery now and then. Paul Walker is serviceable in his role that’s now five films deep. He’s tough and serious and seems less dopey than he used to be in other films, where he often all-too-well reflected his San Fernando Valley roots. It’s Vin Diesel who has pulled a Chris Tucker and decided to appear in only one franchise as of late. He’s even taken up producing duties with this film. But sadly, he’s not the most magnetic lead. He’s tough, steely and he growls, but there’s no real dramatic pull to Dom Toretto like there is with John McClane or certainly with Martin Riggs. And when he’s called on to be romantic, it’s basically Michelle Rodriguez acting with a wall.
Luckily the movie basically says, “Never mind that shit, here comes Mongo”, and Mongo is some outlandish action scene that will knock you about the theater. And I have to say that’s worth the price of your no-way-you-thought-you-were-getting-more admission.
This is at least as good as the last one, which means the “Fast & Furious” franchise has hit it’s stride right when most have long faded out.
Directed by: Justin Lin
Release Date: May 24, 2012
Run Time: 130 Minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures