While most franchises lose their steam with each succeeding sequel, the Fast and the Furious franchise is that rare exception where its later films breathe in new life into the series. Once a franchise about car racing, “Fast Five” took an unexpected turn as a bank heist thriller in the vein of “Ocean’s 11,” a welcomed change as seen by its huge box office earnings and critical success. Now, “Fast & Furious 6” is neither about car racing nor bank heists, but rather a terrorist threat. The results are immensely satisfying and undeniably entertaining.
Mounted on an even larger scale than 2011’s massively profitable “Fast Five,” this series swan song for helmer Justin Lin (on board since 2006’s “Tokyo Drift”) ups its own ante on balletic vehicular mayhem and international intrigue, while mending some loose narrative ends and unfurling others. Faithful fans and passersby alike should be more than pleased by this superior piece of classical action craftsmanship. This movie isn’t what I call the most coherent, it has issues and Owen Shaw’s character is kind of one note, but this isn’t the type of movie that you need to worry about great story. It’s the type of movie that you go to watch and have fun , and watch the unbelievable happen. Everyone In this movie looks like they’re comfortable being there and seem to be having fun.
This is a continuation of Fast Five, and some kind of prequel to the first. Impressive action stunts, fast cars, sexy entertainment, well acted by the crew we’ve grown to like so much. I love that Gina Carano and Jason Statham is added to the crew. The amazing British handmade Jensen Interceptor, the ultra rare Dodge Charger Daytona made in only 300 ex (though here in a replica) and the sporting legend of a every day classic, the Ford Escort RS2000 are tangled in together with the well known Mustang and Corvette. You’ll also find a Plymouth Barracuda, a 2011 Dodge Charger, A Nissan GTR, BMW M5 and Aston Martin is also present. Put into the mix the most classic tank driving since James Bond drowned his in Russia, sadly enough crushing a Mustang, and you got a driving focused classic which is even better than the Fast Five!
The key to the franchise’s upward turn in quality is due to director Justin Lin. He is a skilled action director, and many filmmakers can learn a few things or two from him: The action sequences are impressive, engaging, comprehensible, and well-shot, with practical effects to boot. There is a sense of danger, verve, and life in these scenes rarely found in other films, despite how over-the-top and ridiculous they may be; and yes, they often drift into gratify-defying territory. While I usually don’t react out loudly when watching a film, this film had me gasping, jaw dropping, laughing, and applauding, sometimes all at once! This installment is good dirty fun, and delivers what its inspiration, the 007 series, used to before they decided that it was all somehow beneath them (good luck on the future there guys!) The ending returns to the series roots, with the Toretto’s Italian-American family values at play in a round table barbecue, but of course it won’t end there, not yet at least.