There is no good reason why this film franchise has lasted this long, but it has. Now, after the unexpectedly great Fast Five, the Fast crew are in London, chasing a similarly fast and furious baddie. Has this franchise finally run out of road?
Vin Diesel- Dominic Toretto
Dwayne Johnson- Luke Hobbs
Paul Walker- Brian O’Conner
Michelle Rodriguez- Letty Ortiz
Jordana Brewster- Mia Toretto
Luke Evans- Shaw
Gina Carano- Riley
Tyrese Gibson- Roman
Ludacris- Tej (as Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges)
Previously in Fast & Furious: The Fast And The Furious was fun, but dumb, and Vin was cool. 2 Fast 2 Furious was more dumb, less fun, but no Vin. The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift was the weakest, distancing itself from the first two, and felt like a direct to DVD sequel, with a Vin cameo. Fast & Furious (missed opportunity to call it Fast & FOURious) is when things got back on track, bringing back Vin and the original cast, but relied too heavily on CGI. Then things got Rocking awesome with Fast 5.
These movies are about cool cars going fast, and big men hitting hard, with glaring sub-text of family! With Fast 5, we got what you’d expect from a Fast movie, and so much more. However, with Fast 6, you get what you’d expect…just about…and not a whole lot more. Which is to say, high octane action, with daft macho dialogue, and a story that just about holds all this together.
The thing is, the action is brilliant, and if you’ve seen the trailer you know this already. Every action scene in the movie, every single one, is represented in the movie, including the big “Millennium Falcon Exploding Out Of The Death Star At The End Of Jedi” type moment. It is incredibly refreshing to see what seem to be good old fashioned stunts at work, with no over-reliance on CGI. The action is very impressive, but they show UTTER disregard for civilians. In the tank scene alone the collateral damage, and cost of human life, must be staggering. But the cars are still shiny, fast and cool, particularly baddie Shaw’s little get-about, which resembles a sports version of Batman’s Tumbler. There are fisty action scenes too, particularly the girl fight between Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez, which is pretty brutal, and has a great physicality and ferocity The climactic action scene, while pretty cool is ridiculous.
The acting in these movies has never been the main attraction, however The Rock is awesome, massive, and aside from the cars, is the best thing in this movie by a country mile. He is far better here than he was in G.I. Joe 2. Vin is a little soft around the edges…and jowls. Plus, he still has a mumbling problem. That said, he is pretty cool, and this movie is less concerned with making Vin (not Dom) look awesome, which was a fault of Fast 5. Walker looks about the same as he did 13 years ago, only now he is a better actor, so is less surfer-dude like. Luke Evans is very good as the Moriarty of Motor Crimes. He makes for a cool baddie, and is probably the best baddie of the series to date. Rodriguez is better than she’s been in a while, and is actually kinda likable by the end. Carano kicks a whole lot of ass, but the poor girl just can’t act. The rest of the team are grand, essentially being plot filler, but do okay.
All of this is directed by Fast film veteran Justin Lin, who has directed them all since Fast 3. Like his previous Fasts this it is quite a bright movie, which makes for a nice change from the “dark” and “gritty” sequels that tend to be churned out. His use of the camera is is very suited to the movie, as it moves in an increasingly kinetic manner. It adds energy to the frantic car sequences, and shows off the set-up and surroundings quite well. The thing about these movies is the cars, meaning they all look pretty damn awesome, and could be confused with car-porn. The car-nage is fun too. Fun, and considerable.
Chris Morgan, who has written all of Lin’s Fast movies, does an admirable job of weaving aspects of the previous movies together, even if the links are a bit tenuous at times, making this seem like a real part of a saga, not just another sequel. And there is a mid-end-credits scene that is quite cool, and clearly rolls straight in to Fast 7…which I am officially interested in seeing, as a result of this sting! The movie doesn’t waste time getting straight in to the “story”, and getting the team together, and promptly splitting them up to separate side missions. This movie lacks the Oceans Lets-Put-A-Team-Together cool of Fast 5. They do all get to do their own bit, get their own moments to be a hero, but it doesn’t seem to gel. For example, Walker, in the middle of all these London shenanigans, flies back to California, to go to jail, for a day, and then flies back just in time for the finale. Why? Who knows. But it does give Walker his best performance moments. Minor gripe, being from Dublin and getting to London a few times a year, I can assure you that this is not an accurate representation of London, it’s traffic, or it’s police. The cops have been American-ified, because they don’t make a habit of firing automatic weapons out of moving cars, in populated areas.
BOTTOM LINE: FAST AND ADAQUATE
This movie is, essentially, a massive juggernaut of a movie, filled with high explosives, left on auto-pilot. It is good, but is not quite as fun, or as funny, as it needs to be to overcome all this dumb. There are a few good lines, but there isn’t the same joy to this as there was to Fast 5. Fast 6 delivers the franchise expectations, no more, no less. It certainly doesn’t exceed them, as Fast 5 did, but it is also far better than Fasts 2 and 3. If you like the Fast films, this will be about what you expect, and you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t, then this is just a ludicrous action movie, with fast cars, powered by machismo, and scantily clad women.
DID YOU SEE THIS MOVIE? RATE IT!