Fast Five was such a big improvement over the previous four movies in this series that it was going to be difficult to top it. Fast & Furious 6 tries its best, but it doesn’t succeed. This movie resorts to its old tricks– flashy cars, half dressed ladies– and throws in plot points that stretch the limits of plausibility.
The biggest issue I have with this movie is that it basically tears down everything that Fast Five built. In that movie we were given a great cast with the promise of more ensemble fun in the future. Furious 6 starts out strong in this regard, bringing back all of our old favorites, but by the end of the film two of them are dead. Maybe it’s unreasonable to expect every character to survive given that they are constantly driving around at 100+ MPH speeds, but dammit, I liked these people. Their deaths are also not sufficiently mourned, but maybe that’s something the seventh movie will rectify?
Then there is the not so small issue of Michelle Rodriguez rejoining the cast. By all accounts I should be glad she’s back. She was the only female cast member allowed to get in on the action as much as the boys, she adds to the diversity of the cast (something this series does really well), and she plays the badass perfectly. But her character died in the third film. Died. Dead. How can she be back? Apparently this death happens off screen, so bringing her back is fair game. OK, I’ll buy that. However, the explanation for her not immediately seeking out her friends is the worst kind of lazy writing– she has amnesia. Nope, nope, nope. I’m having none of it.
The rest of the movie is pretty standard Fast & Furious fare. One of the highlights is the big finale, featuring the gang chasing an airplane down a runway. It’s also the least believable car chase in the franchise. This must be the world’s longest runway because the scene lasts at least 10 minutes. We are also given a hint of what’s to come in the seventh movie, which is bothersome. At the end of the movie everyone is finally home, living safe and sound having been cleared of all their previous crimes. Now it appears they are being roped back into danger, which at this point is a tad far fetched.
The sixth instalment in The Fast and the Furious series is definitely an improvement on some of the sub-par earlier movies, but never reaches the highs of the awesome fifth film.
The film opens with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) living in a sunny oasis with no extradition laws. They spend their days with their significant others, racing fast cars around the town and living off the drug money they stole in the previous film. Brian has recently become a father with Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), and everything seems ideal for this family of street racers. That is, until Federal Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turns up to coerce them into helping him solve a crime. A gang has been stealing top secret military technology using fast vehicles to make their getaways. Hobbs wants Dom and his crew to help him catch the thieves, as he assumed it was them performing these robberies. When he realised it wasn’t, he figured they’d be the best team to help catch the real thieves. They make a deal to help in exchange for full pardons all around so they can return home to America (I guess racing cars by the beach is fine, but it still isn’t home). Dom is also intrigued by this gang of thieves as they look to have recruited his former flame, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who was thought to be murdered in the fourth film. Dom and Brian gather their crew (Ludacris, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, and Tyrese Gibson) from the previous film and together they head to London to stop this gang of robbers, led by the devious Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).
It was always going to be hard to top the fantastic Fast Five, but this film does an admirable job of trying. I am really enjoying the addition of Dwayne Johnson to this cast. He fits in so well with Diesel’s macho man and Walker’s good looking pretty boy. My only real problem with this film is that Diesel and his crew are clearly good guys. In all of the previous instalments, there was a question mark about Diesel and his intentions, but here, he is clearly working for Hobbs and trying to bring down the bad guy. I always liked the fact that Dom was not good or bad, and crossed into either territory when it suited him. This film is still a lot of fun though, I really enjoyed the sequence involving a tank rolling along a highway in England. It is one of the film’s highlights. The climax, set on an airport runway, is well done, although I believe that is the longest runway ever constructed given how long they seem to be travelling down it.
This is an entertaining film, but it left me wanting more after the amount of fun I had watching the fifth movie.