So it has been 2 years since we last saw a Fast and Furious movie in the cinema. Was it worth the wait? In short yes. Fast and Furious 6 is a direct continuation of the story and events established in Fast Five and we see the return of the cast ensemble from that film with the exception of Tego Calderon and Don Omar. Fist pump, I didn’t really like their characters. Knowing the types of action sequences that director Justin Lin and his team brought to the party in Fast Five, I had to walk into that cinema and check my Ph.D. in Physics well and truly in my car in the parking lot. Alas to say the film doesn’t get off lightly from a reality check. In fact you can read my reality check at the end of this review. For the most part the movie was fairly well grounded in a reality that was not Star Trek, Star Wars or Superman even. So as the Looney Toons say, “On with the show…” Or in this case the review. There will be reference to events in the movie so if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you read on and don’t cry because the movie has been spoiled. That or come back to it once you have seen it. The power is in your hands.
So the movie basically starts out where we finished up with Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) racing each other along a hill side. Why? Well Mia (Jordana Brewster) has just gone into labor so they are racing there to see the birth of the child. Personally I think Brian’s R35 GTR would have left Dom’s U.S. muscle car for dust. I digress… Anyway at this point we have some terrible foreshadowing for what is the rest of the movie. Dom says to Brian “If you walk through that door you leave the old life behind.” Ok this is not only stupid, but unnecessary. As if anything is really going to stop a father from walking through the door to see his child born. On top of that they are wanted fugitives. That never goes away unless you get a pardon so there’s basically no way in hell he is going to be able to disassociate himself from his past.
Lastly we know that there would be no movie if he completely left that life behind. Anyway we move on and we find that Hobbs (The Rock) is chasing our villain and we find out that one of the bad guys is in fact Dom’s former love interest Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). This then provides Hobbs with the necessary leverage to get Dom and his team on-board. At this point we get to see what the rest of the team have been up to and it comes as no shocker that they have been living the dream. I think the premise for the movie at this point is a little week, but that’s not why we’re here remember. We are here to see some awesome cars, smack-down action and a few hot babes am I right? Nod… You know it’s true… So basically the Bad guys are trying to steal some high tech gear which can be put together to form a weapon that will put the world in jeopardy. Yes the whole world in jeopardy thing. To top it off, the bad guys have some pretty mad skills behind the wheel and elsewhere, so why wouldn’t you need a team like Dom’s? So our band of brothers (and sisters) joins forces with Hobbs in exchange for full pardons and the dream of returning to the USA. More importantly our team are looking to re-unite and protect one of their own. So we are not really dealing with Gone With the Wind here, but who cares.
So our team have their first encounter with our antagonist and his team thanks to a snitch that Hobbs managed to beat into submission Wrestle Mania style. I suddenly had a vision of Marcey sitting next to me cheering. Police brutality? I was half expecting Hobbs’ partner to say that he wasn’t really a cop, but the “Do you want to go in there and tell him that” line worked much better. In fact the one line humour in this instalment was quite good and an improvement over the previous instalment. Our first encounter with the antagonist sees out team licking their wounds. Why not? We need something to bring our team together and showcase what they can do right? I have to say that at this point I was feeling right at home in this movie. By that I mean it really was feeling like a Fast and Furious movie of old, in line with what we saw and felt in the first couple and number four.
We really don’t expect to consider character development at all in this movie because hey… It’s a FF (Fast and furious) movie. So it is somewhat surprising to see that there is indeed some character development which occurs with Hobbs in that by the end of the film he is more of a guy who realises that doing the right thing isn’t always doing the right thing. This is pretty much a stark contrast to the straight arrow character that was depicted in the previous instalment.
The movie progresses in the usual manner filling in the required elements with some good humour thrown in for good measure and I found it quite enjoyable. In fact I found this instalment to be one of the most enjoyable next to first and second. I know not many liked the second, but the opening scene with Brian in the R34 GTR is just awesome, despite the 40,000 gear changes that happen. I thought the scene of Brian going back to America to meet the drug lord in prison was really surplus to the story and was in my opinion a vain attempt at trying to do some form of closure and came off as a little weak. Especially when he returns and Dom tells Brian that whatever he learned was for him and him alone. One scene that did stand out though was where Gisele (Gal Gadot), Elena (Elsa Pataky), Han (Sung Kang) and Roman (tyrese Gibson) shake down the harpoon testing guy. Why? For the simple reason the Elena steals the scene with some awesome Jiu Jitsu moves at the end of the scene. They were so tight and polished I was like wow! This girl is a pro… Pro in the kick your ass way and you had better not joke about the other context way!
This brings us pretty much to the end of the movie and out climactic chase sequences. There is not much to say other than fun and complete and utter fantasy. I would like to think that most people recognise the complete fantasy of these scenes, but then again I have my doubts. I think it is more a case of ignorance is bliss that you can attribute Hollywood’s continued desire to produce movies that have scenes that are so outrageously fictional but in the guise of a realistic real world setting. Why do they continue to do that I don’t know. The thing I find completely funny is when someone says to me that they would never watch something like Superman or Star Wars because it complete fantasy yet they will watch something like this. Go figure. Regardless there is still a degree of entertainment in it, even if you have to wage an inner battle with your inner scientist like me.
Overall the movie was an enjoyable experience and certainly the thrill ride we were all looking for. At the end of the day the guys watch this for the girls, the cars and thrills and spills… The girls watch this for guys and the thrills and the spills, so there is something in it for everyone. The after credit sequence which really helps tie in this movie to the time line and all the other movies is fantastic and it really does have me craving for the next instalment. In fact it is worth mentioning that the most impressive part about this franchise is that they never went into it with any sense of overall story arc and the Tokyo Drift instalment was potentially a chance at spinning off the franchise without the original cast. The way that they have been able to tie all the movies together in one overall somewhat cohesive story line and interlink the events of all the movies is an impressive feat in itself and you have to take your hats off to the creative team that have been able to group and steer the franchise instalments in this way It helps if you have watched the fourth and fifth instalments of the franchise, but there is enough filler that you don’t have to, but it will help with the more subtle references. . At the end of the day I would recommend that you check this puppy out. Now read on if you would like an interesting quick look at just non-realistic two of the biggest events are…
Review written by Dan McIntosh