Monday 27 May 2013

Fast & Furious 6 Movie Review!!!

Is the latest installment in the series fast & furious or just slow & desperate??? Read on to find out!

What on earth is going on with this franchise?  Six movies and one more in the pipeline!  It’s crazy!  Let’s be honest, the first movie was pretty lame.  Some interesting characters but ultimately not enough decent car chases for what is supposed to be a car-racing movie.  A supposed homage to the Hong Kong classic Legend of Speed starring Ekin Cheng, the movie fell short of the mark.  A shining example of style over substance.  2 Fast 2 Furious was a big bag of poop, Tokyo Drift was surprisingly good and to date the only movie in the franchise that I own.  Fast & Furious appeared in 2009, which I’ve forgotten almost completely, and then something crazy happened in 2011; Fast Five.  Crazy because it suddenly became good and because finally there were some characters that people could care about.  It may have taken the directors and actors 10 years to get there but better late than never.

Fast Five was way more enjoyable than it ever deserved to be.  It breathed new life into old characters and brought much needed new muscle into the fray, by which I mean The Rock.  Dwayne Johnson was an essential ingredient in the franchise moving forward and in my eyes a quintessential part of the franchises recent success (even if he didn’t get time to change clothes between Fast Five, GI Joe Retaliation and Furious 6).  We got a pretty decent fight between Rock and Diesel and a real sense of brotherhood between the characters by the finale.  It was, up until now, easily the best film in the series.

I say up until now because Fast & Furious 6 is better.  It’s just bigger, louder and badder in every way – but in the good sense.

The story rolls out with Dom (Diesel) and crew living it large on the millions they ‘acquired’ at the end of the last movie in a non-extradition country.  Playing happy families is short lived when Hobbs (The Rock) re-appears asking for Dom's help to track down and catch a team of British ex-special forces guys who have gone rogue in a bid to steal a chip worth loads on the black market.  Shaw’s team (the bad guys), using speed and precision in custom made cars, have so far been untouchable, leaving Hobbs no choice but to get the best driving team he knows AKA Dom and his crew.  The incentive for Dom being that Hobbs has recent photos of Dom’s former girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who was thought to have been dead but is clearly still alive and kicking – seemingly working with Shaw’s team. 

Dom & Co are soon in London racing around against Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his team.  The action is pretty crazy to say the least; this latest installment in the series definitely pushes the action envelope beyond anything done in the previous movies.  The highlights being the motorway scene and the movies explosive finale.  All the actors play out these now familiar characters with a comfortable aplomb making everything much more relatable.  Although not an original cast member, The Rock has clearly made himself a part of the family and brings a great deal of gravitas to the movie.  It has to be mentioned that the movie is also damn funny.  Most of the jokes center around Tyrese Gibson’s Roman character who delivers some perfectly timed moments of comic relief genius.  MMA Star Gina Carano also gets to show off some moves and proves much more entertaining in this than in Haywire. 

This was a very good movie and a good start to the summer movie lineup.  Sure there were some pacing issues, especially in scenes surrounding Dom and Letty reacquainting themselves, the movie was also too long, but overall it was a very satisfying experience.  Shaw proved a worthy and respectable bad guy and the finale really hit the spot.  Don’t forget to stay for the mid-credits scene which leads us into the next movie and also finally makes sense of where Tokyo Drift falls in the timeline of the series.

I definitely want to see part 7 (I never thought I'd want to see a part 7 of anything) but I have my reservations with news of director Justin Lin’s departure from the franchise.  Having interwoven all the stories to finally bring the franchise where it is, he’s jumped ship stating that Universal's plans for an aggressive accelerated production to allow for a 2014 release would mean rushing the final film to likely produce a sloppy and unsatisfactory final installment.  I see his point but I would have thought that seeing someone else end the franchise he’s nurtured for all these years with a film not following the vision he’s created to be, potentially, an even more frustrating proposition.  Anyhow, we’ll see how things play out.

Just the right balance of mindless and mindful, humour, action and Hollywood extravagance, which makes for a great Saturday night at the movies – check it out!

Rating 3.5 out of 5.


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