Fast & Furious 6 — yes, there’s a SIXTH Fast & Furious movie — hits theaters this weekend, bringing with it a now-trademark mix of testosterone, hot women, cool cars, ridiculous action scenes, and far-fetched plot twists.
This time out, the gang, still ably led by Vin Diesel’s Dom and Paul Walker’s Brian, teams up with the Rock’s federal agent Hobbs to bring down a British terrorist whose own team includes the love of Dom’s life, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Wait, didn’t she die two movies ago? Surprise!
So yeah, that’s the big difference between this film and the others: Our “heroes,” who usually fall on the wrong side of the law — including in the last movie, where they pulled off an Ocean’s Eleven/Italian Job–style heist in Rio — here are on the side of the good guys.
Like that really makes a difference.
I don’t mean to be dismissive. (Alright, fine. Maybe a little.) In front of the camera, these Fast & Furious movies may be silly, mindless fun featuring a lunkheaded crew of actors who will never do Shakespeare. But they’re movies made by a smart team behind the camera that includes director Justin Lin, who takes the reins for the fourth time in the series.
Lin has a real gift for constructing over-the-top action scenes that take your breath away. Take, for example, the awesome, picture-perfect sequence that begins the film, where Dom and Brian are racing up the coast of the Canary Islands, zig-zagging in their cars, teetering on the edge, all so Brian can get home in time to see Mia (Jordana Brewster, not in the movie nearly enough for my taste) give birth to their first child. Whoa.
There are also car chases that zoom through the streets of London and Tokyo. And an over-the-top climax involving a giant cargo plane. And a scene atop a bridge in Spain where, amidst tanks, trucks, cars, and plenty of wreckage, Dom flies through the air to catch and rescue Letty. (Yes, really.) It’s all masterfully constructed, expertly filmed, completely ludicrous, and a whole lot of fun too.
Speaking of Ludacris, he’s back again as the team’s tech whiz, as is Tyrese Gibson, who supplies the lame jokes. And Gina Carano supplies the ass-kicking babe quotient while Brewster is off screen.
Yes, the plot sometimes strains credulity — you mean to tell me the only people who can catch the baddie are a group of criminals the FBI previously let get away? — and yeah, the dialogue (and the cast’s delivery of it) sometimes is pretty laughable.
But you don’t exactly go to a Fast & Furious movie for the screenplay, do you?
For what it is, Fast & Furious 6 (apparently, it was decided a couple movies ago that the word “the” slows things down a bit too much) is a real joyride. In a season of big, loud movies, this is one big, loud, fast, and yes, furious flick that definitely delivers the goods.
And if that’s not enough for you, just wait till the coda at the film’s end. That’s right: There’s gonna be a seventh movie sometime soon. I, for one, already have my motor running.
For now, I’m giving Fast & Furious 6 a B+.
How many of the Fast & Furious movies have you seen? Share your answer in the comments section below.