Fast & Furious 6
Exhilarating gung-ho sequel centred around a crew of international thieves led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). After hitting a big score in the previous outing (Fast Five) the gang are retired and living a life of luxury around the globe. But when Shaw (Luke Evans), a new international villain, surfaces he shows the same acumen for cars and robbery, leaving the DSS team led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) desperately in need of their help (“To catch wolves, you need wolves”). Luring them out of retirement with the opportunity of clearing their records and reconnecting with an old friend they thought was dead, the crack team including Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang), Tej (Chris Bridges) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) assemble in London and set out to take Shaw down in the only way they know – with brute force (and inexplicable, priceless vintage cars).
The Fast and Furious franchise is one of Hollywood’s most profitable and enduring, with its stripped-back formula and lack of any pretension. They’re films about men in cars, who occasionally also have guns – no more, no less; and with varying degrees of success they deliver the high-octane thrills and throwaway lines they should, without any filler or rationalising. Heavy with callbacks and references to the previous films, much of the plot and motivation of 'Fast & Furious 6' will be unfathomable to newcomers – but as a spectacle of unbridled over-the-top fun, it can be enjoyed by everyone. Enthusiasts will love the crossover of characters and plot, seeing old friends getting into new scrapes – as well as a post-credit sequence that satisfyingly ties the 3rd (weakest) film ‘Tokyo Drift’ into the rejuvenated series, tantalisingly teeing up a sequel.
With a poorly paced middle section and undeniably littered with plot holes, it’s far from perfect, but this isn’t a film that requires deconstruction and analysis, offering undemanding enjoyment and an infectious enthusiasm that even passing fans of the genre will be swept up in. The action is obviously the real meat of ‘Fast Six’ and every set-piece is executed phenomenally well – crunching fights capture a raw physicality and are executed with lightning fast choreography; and as always the “vehicular warfare” (to quote Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) is jaw-droppingly intense, deliriously excessive and huge fun – only the most joyless of tossers would fail to crack a smile as the cars and bullets fly across the screen. The stunts are truly remarkable and have patently been staged for real without visual effects – making them all the more stunning and involving. There are several set-pieces that deserve to pass into action movie history – as impressive (and batshit crazy) as anything the franchise or the genre has seen before. The pounding music and authentic sound of roaring engines add tremendously to the intensity of these scenes, never allowing your heart a moment's rest.
It’s big, loud, disposable fun produced with the inventiveness and enthusiasm of a kid playing with Hot Wheels and action figures – and this energy is translated vividly to the screen. A behemoth of a blockbuster that is far from soulless, shaped with a respect for the series and an understanding of what an action movie should be.
[ 2013 — Dir: Justin Lin — 130 mins — 12A cert — IMDb ]
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