The Fast and Furious franchise is one of the most confusing things I have ever watched over the years. No, I’m not talking about the plot (the little there is), but I’m talking about the fact that the franchise has found an entirely new kind of life so late in the game. Who ever would have thought that the sixth installment in the series (or any, for that matter) would be as damn entertaining and exhilarating as this one? It’s quite baffling and adds an entirely new layer of awesome to the series and surprisingly, leaves you wanting another half dozen of the films almost immediately. What makes everything even more confusing is that I now actually genuinely care about these characters. And I have no idea why.
In this installment, Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Motherf**king Johnson) requests the help of Dominic Torreto (Vin “Motherf**king Diesel) in order to capture ex-military man turned evil genius, Owen Shaw. Seeing as Shaw is more than what Dom can handle on his own, he must gather his crew one more time and come together to take out the ultimate bad guy. Joining him are his best bud, Brian (Paul Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Han (Sung Kang), and Gisele (Gal Gadot). Together, the team plans on capturing Shaw to earn full pardons for their past crimes (The Rock can forgive anything) and uncover the mystery behind the reemergence of one of their thought-to-be deceased “family” members, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez).
While the acting in the film is far from great, each of these actors have played their characters for so long at this point, you really feel like you’re watching a bunch of friends get together to save the world. They all have great chemistry, work off one another really well, and new realizations about the characters give you even more to care about. They’re fun and ready to drive, and when you go into an action movie like this, that’s all you need. And I think that’s where the film finds its sweet spot.
The movie just has fun with everything and expands the series into an even bigger movie than just cars chasing after cars. We get a handful of fist fights (Jaka from The Raid makes a badass appearance), huge explosions, and so many crazy stunts you won’t know what the hell just happened. There are so many moments where you’re genuinely left impressed with what’s happening on screen and a couple of instances that left me saying, “Whaaaaaat!?” at the screen. It’s also mind-blowing seeing Vin Diesel look small compared to the The Rock and both of them looking puny compared to a massive German that’s one of Shaw’s lackies. It certainly makes you feel small and/or really want to hit up the gym.
As for the actual plot, however, there’s a bit to be desired. Owen Shaw is introduced as a great villain, with Luke Evans bringing a level of charisma we finally get to see from the man, but by the third act, he’s just another bad guy that gets thrown onto the pile of other baddies this franchise has seen come and go. There are also several plot points that you can see coming from miles away, but you’re so distracted by the awesome that’s unfolding, that by the time the predictability happens, you’re still surprised. It’s actually a marvel of its own on that aspect, but once you look back and realize all of that, you’re left a little disappointed. But I mean, how unpredictable can a movie like this be?
Regardless of its flaws, The Fast and Furious 6 is the perfect summer movie. It’s like a Michael Bay movie without Michael Bay, and in my opinion, that’s the most fun kind of movie. Justin Lin does a terrific job behind the helm (for the 4th time in the franchise) and while it only took him five other films to find the right fit, he most certainly does this time around. It’s an action-packed, explosion-filled movie with some incredible stunts and so much excitement. The film never gives you a chance to be bored and is something that would certainly be best viewed on the big screen. It’s also worth mentioning that the film does a terrific job at tying together all of the films (who knew that was possible?) and leaves you DYING for another one. Not to spoil anything, but there’s a post-credits scene that builds up another sequel to a whole new level. I know I’ve said it a ton of times already, but I did not expect to like this movie as much as I did. Bravo Vin Diesel and company. Bravo.
The Good: explosions, stunts, nifty effects, and one incredible build up
The Bad: It’s still a little messy and the villain still needs some work however…
The Best: It all works wonderfully and you don’t know why