The Fast and the Furious franchise confuses the hell out of me purely and simply because I love it. I probably shouldn’t, but I do. It baffles me that we have are now on film number6. The fact that the films genuinely get better with each instalment makes the situation all the more ridiculous.
In terms of my favourite summer blockbusters it has always been between Pacific Rim and Fast and Furious 6 (herein after referred to as Fast6) to be at the top of the list.
PLOT: Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the gang are happily living in non-extradition countries following their heist in Brazil (Fast5). Their crime free lives are interrupted when Agent Hobbs (The Rock) offers them all full pardons if they help catch Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). The team head to London but Shaw is a step ahead of them with every rev of an engine. Things become personal between Dom and Shaw when it becomes apparent that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is alive and working with Shaw. END PLOT
The Fast films are not famous for their intricate plotting. This isn’t a criticism as they are heavy on fast cars and action which is what we all pay to see. Unfortunately with a running length of 130mins (IMDB) Fast6 becomes a tad too long and it loses some of the fast paced mayhem that we have come to expect.
The return of Letty is the main problem as far too much time is spent on the character. Letty wasn’t that interesting to begin with and Rodriguez’s special brand of acting, in which she always appears to be mentally computing really hard sums while smelling something bad, makes this subplot drag. The promise of a full pardon and a return to LA was enough motivation for Dom and his crew to return. Letty should have remained dead.
The main plot is the basic “stop the villain from stealing components to make a weapon that will destroy the world” caper. The technology and science are thankfully kept to minimum. It is all preamble to the car chases and rightfully so.
The action is fast, slick and totally in keeping with the Fast franchise. There is more hand-to-hand combat this time around but the car action doesn’t take a back seat. The car chases are standard fare and if you can look past the fact that the finale takes place on a suspiciously long runway it is very well put together set piece.
Character development isn’t something that the Fast films attempt but it doesn’t matter as we know the characters and if we are honest with ourselves; have affection for them.
Diesel, Walker and Jordana Brewster owe their careers to Fast and Furious and although they are never going to be bothering the Oscars they are as solid as ever.
The Rock is a very welcome returnee and although Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot are also back it doesn’t feel like a case of the-gangs-all-here-itis. There is plenty of humour from the supporting cast and the banter between Gibson, Ludacris and The Rock caused a respectable amount of giggles. Family is a key theme in Fast6 and it pays off at the end of the film when there are a few shocking moments and, as a fan of the characters, I felt them.
Luke Evans is a decent villain but is hampered as his screen time is minimal; again, if the Letty subplot wasn’t shoehorned in I think Evans would have been given a lot more to do.
It would have taken a lot for me not to enjoy Fast and Furious 6. This was probably one of the easiest trips to the cinema I’ve had in quite a while as I knew exactly what I was going to get and I got it. There are arguments to be had about the top speed of a tank but this isn’t the blog that is going to make them.
Fast and Furious 6 didn’t disappoint and it will in all likelihood be viewed again in glorious 2D before it leaves the cinema. Fast7 is coming next year and Fast6 laid the groundwork for anticipation levels to be ridiculously high before I had left the screen.
Fast6 gets an 8.5/10 – it won’t be the best film of the year but the franchise knows its strengths and plays them well.