I will keep the spoilers to a minimum…
The Fast and The Furious series has come a long way from the OG “The Fast and The Furious” to its now lazily titled Fast & Furious 6. I recall watching the original back in 2001 and thinking how terribly awesome it was. It had over the top acting, cheesy lines, fast cars, and unbelievable stunts. The movie successfully revealed to the world the underground culture of sport compact cars from its outlandish modifications to its grassroots style community that it thrives on. Twelve years and five movies later the series has gone from grand theft auto to heists at the global scale.
Like the preceding fast and furious films the cars are the real stars. This latest rendition does not disappoint. Much like how the plot has gone from small time crime to transnational levels, the cast of cars have gone from the usual suspects in the sport compact car realm to a huge list including the most obscure makes and models from various decades of automotive history. The ‘Carsenal’ consisted of muscle car family reunions between Chargers of the 70’s and 2010’s, an RS2000 Ford Escort fit for rally duty, Ferrari FXX, Aston Martin Vanquish, even a Jensen Interceptor. If this was a Bond film, it’s as if all the Bond girls have come back in the same form, some donning a bit more enhancements than in their original showing. Other vehicles include classics such as the Dodge Daytona, Plymouth ‘Cuda and Ford Mustangs. A squadron of M5 Bimmers also showed up, recalling images of buzzing Honda Civics weaving in and out, and underneath 18 wheelers from the first film.
Next to the amazing cars were the mainstay actors and actresses of the Fast and Furious franchise. Like the previous movies there was no shortage of furrowed brows, over-clenched jaws, or general alpha-male posturing. The acting and writing is nothing spectacular or memorable but is par for the course for a fast and furious film. It’s a terrible film by any movie standards and I think the producers and directors are comfortable with this fact. They know what sells and making a fun, action packed movie that doesn’t take itself seriously AND has a ton of cars, babes, and violence, sells very well at the box office.
The fifth rendition of the Fast and Furious have taken on an Ocean’s Eleven approach of throwing as many cast members onto the screen. Fast and Furious 6 brings back Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Sung Kang, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Opposite the good guys is also a motley crew of bizarro evil versions led by Owen Shaw, a British SAS soldier played by Luke Evans.
The story of Fast and Furious 6 continues after the unbelievable Rio heist in the Fast 5 movie. While the gang is enjoying their hundreds of millions and living the high life with super cars, private jets, and beachfront properties, the Super Cop Luke Hobbs encounters an elaborate heist of the same caliber in a different part of the world. Realizing that he’s facing another highly talented crew he consorts with Dom Torreto’s similarly capable gang of criminals to take down the bad guys. Hobbs uses zombie Letty Ortiz, Dom’s old girlfriend previously thought dead, as the carrot on the stick to entice Dom and his crew to take the job. Dom and the gang proceeds to chase down leads to find the elusive mastermind bent on retrieving a widget necessary for some sort of an epic weapon capable of taking down nations. It didn’t really matter what that widget was, but it allowed the filmmakers to send the muscly good guys on an action filled thrill ride that is sure to entertain movie goers. This movie is the definition of action packed. Fast 5 was a solid action film, this movie had to top it out of necessity. There are plenty of racing through the streets, manly brawls, cat-fights, and human bodies flying through the air. If you have photosensitive epilepsy it is best to avoid watching this as the editing would melt your eyeballs. The action scenes were also lengthy that it left me exhausted by the end of the movie.
Given the high price of movie tickets these days you’d have to really consider whether a movie is really worth going to or not. Is it best to wait a couple of months for a Blu-Ray copy for the price of two tickets? Or maybe wait a little longer so you can rent it for much less at Netflix/Redbox? It’s not a surprise then to find movies designed to appeal more to the general public by wearing a PG-13 rating as opposed to an R. The fast and furious films have all been PG-13 and that helps explain the non-adult thin plot accompanied by the pro-wrestling style violence. This movie is another run-of-the-mill hollywood product set not to further the art of moviemaking but to generate yearly profits. However, this movie is still fun for those who loves cars and explains why people like myself would see it in the theaters when it comes out, and buy it when it comes out on Blu-Ray.
Is this a movie that needs to be seen and heard in a theater setting? Definitely not. Though there is something unique about seeing a fast and furious film in the theater that you don’t see with other movies. When the next one comes out (and there will be another one) go see it in the theaters within the first two weeks of its release. Afterward, go outside to the theater’s parking lot and witness pimply faced teenagers hop in their modded four-bangers and peacock like there is no tomorrow.
Verdict: Wait for Blu-Ray, 7/10.