Movie Review: Fast & Furious 6Posted: June 11, 2013
This isn’t going to be a standard review. It’s hard to review a movie which is the sixth installment in a series, because surely by now everyone knows if it’s their kinda thing or not.
So basically deciding to see this movie comes down to one simple question: Did you like the other Fast and Furious movies?
If you say “no” then this isn’t going to change your opinion.
Personally, I did (well, apart from 3, which I didn’t dig that much) and so I already have a taste for it’s brand of action. Like previous installments its stock full of things that will please teenage males.
Following on from part 5 this finds the group enjoying their new wealth. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has settled down with Brazilian copper Elena, and Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) have a child together. The rest of the gang is spread around the world having fun and living large.
Things change however when Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turns up to ask for Dom’s help in tracking down a highly skilled and vicious gang of thieves. The incentive for Dom is a recent photograph of his old flame Lettie (Michelle Rodriguez), who he believed was killed two films ago.
Dom and O’Connor rally the gang (Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot) to go after the gang with Hobbs and his new partner, Riley (Gina Carano), with the promise of full pardons and being able to return home to the US.
The leader of the gang, Shaw (Luke Evans) is an ex-SAS officer and general badass. Dom chases Lettie down, but she shoots him. O’Connor discovers she is suffering from amnesia and has been recruited by Shaw.
Can the gang figure out Shaw’s moves and bring him to justice? Will Lettie remember her former life?
I had a ball watching this movie.
It’s pretty simple and fun, but it works. The cast all know what they’re doing and Vin Diesel is still cool as Toretto, all gravel voiced intensity and macho swagger, although it’s nice to see him display a slightly softer side in his scenes with Rodriguez.
Similarly Rodriguez has a switch of pace, with Lettie being less self-assured than before and struggling with who she is and what she’s doing, although she’s still something of a badass. Of course, it’s hardly an in depth character study, but it’s more than the hot badass chick she’s played in the past.
As with part 5 the show is stolen by Dwayne Johnson, who’s hulking form dwarfs Diesel and who’s easy, muscular charm is in evidence. He gets stuck with a bit of exposition work, but he’s still badass when the action starts and shares some nice comedic chemistry with Ludacris. They also give him a decent physical threat in the form of a gigantic henchman.
The rest of the gang are on familiar ground, and all do fairly well with what they get. Walker is still the weak link, but he does well enough as O’Connor, even if he doesn’t convince as a tough guy. Tyrese Gibson is quite fun as the slightly dim car thief and Sung Kang and Gal Gadot are kinda sweet as the lovers in the gang.
Newcomer Gina Carano is quite cool as Hobbs’ partner and has a bruising fight with Rodriguez which was one of my favourite parts of the movie (I just like a good catfight, alright?).
As the villain of the piece Luke Evans is alright, he’s cold and ruthless seeming, but the character is a little on the bland side and underwritten.
It all whips along at a lick, and they keep it light, with lots of gags and tomfoolery along the way. The script is nothing special but I’ve definitely seen worse in the action genre, and there are some nice touches, even if one of the “twists” fails to fully shock.
The action is pretty well done, with some great car chases and some explosive set pieces, but on a simpler level it works with the shootouts done well and some nice hand-to-hand stuff.
The last two chases involving a tank and a plane are over the top to a ludicrous degree, but it’s never been a series built around subtlety, has it? And in a way the ridiculous stunts just add to the cartoony joy of the film, as every other franchise seems to buy into the idea that you have to go darker, it’s nice to see an action movie that knows it’s role as popcorn fodder.
And oddly for a higher numbered sequel, this actually leaves you eager for more, thanks in no small part to a scene in the end credits which teases the villain for Fast 7, the awesome Jason Statham. The Rock vs the Stath? I’m in.
Verdict: Loud and dumb, but great fun. Johnson and Diesel do the action hero stuff well enough, and the supporting cast do their jobs. The villain is lacklustre, and it holds no surprises, but on balance it’s a solid action movie and an entertaining way to spend an evening. Get a pizza and some cans in, kick back and enjoy the show. 7/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.