FAST & FURIOUS 6
***1/2 (out of 5)
May 24, 2013
Vin Diesel as DOMINIC TORETTO
Paul Walker as BRIAN O’CONNER
Dwayne Johnson as HOBBS
Jordana Brewster as MIA
Michelle Rodriguez as LETTY
Tyrese Gibson as ROMAN
Sung Kang as HAN
Gal Gadot as GISELE
Ludacris as TEJ
Luke Evans as SHAW
Elsa Pataky as ELENA
Gina Carano as RILEY
Directed by: Justin Lin
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Pretty much everything about “Fast & Furious 6” (as well as the entire “Fast & Furious” franchise) is overdone. From the action sequences to the rabid testosterone orgasms of its fans, there’s very little moderation in this movie series.
If you listen to the fans – who can often transform from reasonable people to yelling, spitting crazy folks when defending the series a whole – you’d think that “Fast & Furious 6” is the greatest action movie to ever be born, representing the milk of the octane gods. It’s not. It doesn’t even come close.
But that doesn’t mean it’s still not a fun film to watch. Just because there are people out there who might get angry at you if you don’t love love love their dear franchise does not mean that there isn’t some enjoyment to come from the film and the series itself (well, at least the last two installments).
We are at the sixth film, and we see the franchise finally shrugging off much of its street-racing past. That was the primary focus of the first three films, and the fourth one tried to break out of that box. It wasn’t until the once-outlaws on L.A.’s streets stole a freaking bank vault in “Fast Five” did the series actually emerge from its cocoon of sequelitis to become the new template for international action movies.
Now, the “Fast & Furious” films represent an multicultural cast (to target more diverse demographics) in international locations (to maximize foreign box office) that feels more in line with a James Bond film or Oceans movie than a “Point Break” knock-off about street racing in southern California. I suppose that’s a good thing for the series. I just hope that we don’t start seeing this formulaic template applied to every other film series that Hollywood delivers.
In this film, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) gets in touch with Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) to help him capture a dangerous arms dealer. What convinces Dom to assemble his crew is the revelation that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is now working for the dealer. Forget the fact that Letty died in the fourth movie. “Fast & Furious 6” employs the best soap opera explanation available (convenient amnesia) to cover this little plot hole.
“Fast & Furious 6” simultaneously represents the best and the worst of big-budget Hollywood movies. On one hand, it’s a hell of a fun action flick. For popcorn movie entertainment value, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that delivers better. However, “Fast & Furious 6” is one of the dumbest movies I’ve seen all year. And by dumb, I mean utterly incomprehensible at times. It’s like the writers didn’t even care. All they needed to do was get to the next action sequence.
The film is filled with plot holes and two-dimensional characters. The motivation of different characters can be nonsensical, and the supposedly surprising plot twists are painfully obvious thirty minutes away. The action is some of the best you’ll see this year, but once the characters step out from behind the wheel, the movie comes to a grinding halt.
I’m all for silly action, but even this movie tested the limits. If you are among those who though the action and violence in “A Good Day to Die Hard” was unrealistic, you’ll see things that are even more ridiculous in this movie.
But then again, who cares? No one is seeing these movies for the plot or anything but the fast cars and high-speed chases. And on that note, the film excels.