Fast & Furious 6 – 4 out of 5
I’m about to get real (that’s what the kids say, right?). Time for total honesty here…this review might be a little bias. No, I didn’t work on the film and, despite how our body builds are are so similar, The Rock is not my brother. Nope, I’m going to be bias because The Fast and the Furious films are guilty pleasures of mine. No matter how stupid they get or how many annoying characters they add (looking at you, Tyrese), no matter how ridiculous the car chases become or how many implied deaths occurred to innocent bystanders during the reckless racing and crime capering (seriously, at least 200 innocent people died while dragging the safe in Fast Five), these films entertain the hell out of me (even if, sometimes, it's just average or mildly entertaining) because they are unbridled testosterone in movie form. The cars are fast, the action is satisfying and there’s always hot girls only a scene away.
|It's pretty much legally required in these movies at this point.|
After the events in Fast Five, the gang has retired to the sweet life of doing nothing but working on cars and working on the ladies. However, DSS agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has uncovered a dangerous gang hitting military convoys and he asks for the help of Dom (Vin Diesel); the deal is sweetened with a full pardon if the crew helps him take down the nefarious Shaw (Luke Evans). With a chance for a normal life in their sights, Dom agrees and he, along with his crew; Brian (Paul Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang), Gisele (Gal Gadot), Tej (Ludacris), along with Hobbs and his partner Riley (Gina Carano), get in some supped up cars and get ready to deal out justice a quarter mile at a time. However, the crew soon learns that one who was once believed dead, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), is still alive and working with Shaw.
**Warning: This review may contain some spoilers and objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear.**
Like I stated before, I don’t care how many sequels they make to this franchise, I don’t care how incredibly stupid they become or how impossibly over-the-top they get, these movies are just stupid fun (except 2 Fast 2 Furious, I didn’t care for that one…too much Walker and way too much of Tyrese trying to be funny). Since the series has now officially moved its way away from street racing and moved into more crime capers and crime fighting, the series has been able to make itself self-sustaining. You still get the muscles cars, the drifting and the speed but now you get something a little more and something that can have life beyond someone having to race for pink slips in order to “fill-in-the-blank” (something like, I don’t know, save someone or make enough money to save someone or stop a crime organization that loves street racing and, in doing so, will save someone).
|Or maybe they're just racing fast because they really need to get to a bathroom...|
it would explain the face.
Fast & Furious 6 gets really out there to the point that the production clearly said, “Fuck it” to things like physics and the amount of punishment the human body can take before it loudly proclaims it is dead but that’s one of the things I love about the movie. It’s so unapologetic with its ridiculousness. For example, in the film’s climax, Dom somehow is able to blast a car through the front end of a plane as it is exploding in a fireball that would make Michael Bay pass out from the total blood-loss of an erection it would give him or how about the scene where the bad guy gets launched through the front windshield of a car when it is rolling in neutral and hits a barricade going exactly two miles an hour? Not to mention the climax of the film is a chase involving cars and a cargo plane on what has to be the world's longest runway. Then there’s the untold, numerous deaths that occur when Shaw successfully steals a tank and goes on a GTA-style rampage down the highway, squishing dozens of cars (and their drivers) beneath the treads while Dom, Brian and the gang race like madmen to stop him using the power of fast cars and looks that are either determination or constipation.
|Seriously, a lot of innocent people died during this rampage but, it's okay, Letty lived.|
There’s even a sequence in this chase where Letty is thrown from the tank and Dom launches himself out of his own car (through the totally feasible method of jumping while crashing the car into a guardrail), proceeds to catch the character-less character in midair and then uses the cushioned surface of another car for a safe, totally non-spinal injury landing.
|"I didn't really think this through!"|
That shit is insane and just stupid…but, goddamn it, it’s fun to watch. I don’t watch the Fast films for realism or even character, story or drama—no, I watch it to see explosions, cars zooming around like a video game and hot girls who wouldn’t look twice at me. I don’t even know anything about cars (or women for that matter). Hell, you can’t convince me that the gas I put in my vehicle to make it run isn’t some potion created by a wizard and I only learned a few years ago that horse power doesn’t actually mean I have tiny horses in my engine. I’m not a car guy but I do know that listening to the roar of a shifting engine and watching colorful hunks of steel fly by in a blur is simplistic, primitive entertainment and it works for me.
|I'm sure Paul Walker's car runs because of his piercing blue eyes.|
I won’t sugarcoat it, rarely does this series have a story that isn’t cheesy…and this one is no change. When you really look at it, it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous that a crime kingpin who targets military hardware would use a team of excellent drivers to start a criminal empire (and, strangely, Shaw’s team all come off like the “evil twin in a parallel universe” to Dom and his crew) or that it is totally batshit, underwear-on-your-head-like-a-hat insane that a law enforcement agent would gather a team of lawbreakers who are super good at driving to help him catch the guy. It’s laugh-out-loud silly but it works for the Fast and Furious universe and it works for Furious 6.
|You know he's evil because of the lighting. He has evil lighting.|
|Look at their excitement for this adventure.|
|And it keeps Vin Diesel out of comedies, so that's a plus.|
However, I have to say that The Rock is genuinely entertaining as Hobbs and bringing him into the franchise was a fantastic idea…even if it means making Vin Diesel look like a munchkin when the two men are in a scene together.
|It strange how so many people confuse The Rock and I.|
The only real complaint that I have for the film was the inclusion of Gina Carano in the cast. The fitness model/MMA fighter quickly gained the love of the internet because she’s tough and easy on the eyes, so, of course, someone who was either trying to sleep with her or was too scare of her and her possible wrath, decided that she should take up acting but the sad reality (a reality that some who are either too attracted to her or in great fear of her to reveal to the woman) is that she can’t act to save her fucking life.
|This is, literally, the most acting Carano gives the entire movie.|
Haywire was quick to prove that, despite the fact she can probably break a person’s spine in a matter of seconds, it can’t help her actually create some realism when playing a fictional character or make her bland portrayals sound less robot-like in her monotone, emotionally empty delivery. Shit, Haywire made me believe that the only reason she is tough is because she has a robot exoskeleton underneath some very convincing synthetic flesh and the programmers just forgot to give her human emotions.
|Someone also forgot to include the part of her body armor that covers up her cleavage.|
Her lifeless performance is apparent in every second of every scene she’s in (despite her being involved in some great action scenes but even then you can feel the humdrum, flavorless performance playing around). When she is not speaking in monosyllabic replies to the other characters in a way that only her lack of acting talent can justifiably call dialogue, she looks like a deer in headlights with no clue what she should be doing in any scene she’s in. There are extras in this film (and, really, ALL films) that give off far superior performances than Carano just standing lifeless next to her costars. Her presence was a really bad decision…however, the piss poor choice of including her only makes the piss poor choice of bringing Letty back from the dead look like a move of brilliance by comparison.
|Seriously, the best part of this franchise was eliminating her from the series.|
Why ruin it?
Besides a kinda/sort of good looking MMA fighter that can’t act being included in the film, Fast & Furious 6 is a fun, action-packed movie. It is just another brick in a franchise that will remain a guilty pleasure of mine. Not to mention, the film finally gets the timeline all zipped up as it sees Han (who dies in the third film, by the way…which, of course, means 4, 5 and this one take place BEFORE Tokyo Drift) lose his reason for being with the group and heads to Tokyo to meet his ultimate demise that we witnessed in the films’ third installment. While I’m not a fan of the man, it is cool to see Jason Statham be the one who removes Han from this mortal coil (even thought I really liked the character of Han and didn't want to see him go...of course, they DID bring Letty back, so...) and his arrival is just more star power from an incredibly generic action star to add to a franchise that is pretty generic to begin with…but it’s still fucking awesome and fun as shit to sit through.
|Alright, just what the franchise needs...another bald actor with a distinct voice.|