FAST & FURIOUS 6 is absolutely devilish entertainment. And we're OK with that.
Before I get into this review, let's get one thing straight: The Fast and The Furious films are not exactly The Italian Job, nor do they try to be. When you pay the big bucks to sit in a film like this, you know what you're going to get - implausible car chases that defy the laws of physics, bro-mance humor, and badass chicks driving fast cars while extras in skimpy clothes and knee-high boots dance behind them. And while it's not the smart, highly-detailed action/drama of a Skyfall, the franchise has matured over the years, settling in on fun action with enough story to keep things moving. As FAST & FURIOUS 6 opens this week, the boys (and girls) are back with enough stunts and twists to satiate anyone's appetite.
Fresh off their mammoth heist in Rio, the team has scattered to either find a quiet patch of life or live high from their earnings. Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are raising their first child, while Dom (Vin Deisel) is still haunted by the loss of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sung Kang) are living in Tokyo, while Roman (Tyrese Gibson, Transformers series) and Tej (Ludacris) do what they do best: spend. That all changes when DSS Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, Snitch) returns to enlist Dom and Brian to hunt down the international terrorist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans, Raven), who uses military tactics and armored vehicles to thwart the authorities. But this time, Shaw has upped the ante in hopes of stealing components for a Nightshade device. Assembled, Nighshade will render an entire country without power for 24 hours, and the terrorist wants to sell it to the highest bidder. Upon reassembling the team, Brian and Dom realize that Shaw and his team are no ordinary thugs who can be hunted down with fast cars, but are instead cold-blooded killers who will use any and all means to achieve their goals. As one team chases the other around Europe, Dom learns that an important character from his past (no spoilers here) is in fact alive and has teamed up with Shaw. With lives hanging in the balance, Dom's team must take out Shaw and his men before the device is assembled and carted away on a cargo plane.
There's so much going on in Fast Six that the trailers (luckily) don't tell the whole story. It represents the first true summer flick, complete with plenty of explosions, gunfire, incomprehensible action sequences, and funny comebacks, all surrounded by a competent story and cast. Walker and Deisel represent the sum parts of the whole, while Evans makes a terrific bad guy who should have been penned through a couple of films. He's the kind of dashing but deadly villain that can match up with Dom in every way, which makes his defeat here all the more disappointing. In the middle of this, you have NOS-flavored racing, large American engines rumbling their way through a scene, and the requisite scantily-clad female dancers at races. This is not a film for the logical mind, but with the title Fast and Furious, you weren't paying to see high-brow entertainment. FF franchise Director Justin Lin once again delivers an impressive and fast-paced film, nimbly merging new and impressive stunts with long-time collaborator and Writer Chris Morgan's funny and well-polished script. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of 'benefit of the doubt' scenes here, but they work so well that we can't be too critical. And with a end-credits scene that will have people talking, it's clear that the franchise won't be racing into the sunset any time soon.
In what might stand as the last true action franchise around, Fast Six offers something for everyone who loves the concept of Summer action films. If the words 'plausibility' and 'realism' enter your vocabulary when it comes to Summer films, look elsewhere. If you're able to check them comfortably at the door, with the words 'jocularity' and 'edge-of-your-seat action' taking over, then you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself with this one. After all, we don't visit summer movies just to go slow.
Fast Six is rated R for action and violence, has a runtime of 130 minutes, and is highly recommended.
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