What has beautiful women, fast cars, comedy, and action? No I’m not talking about a college spring break in Miami, Florida; I’m talking about the latest installment in the Fast and Furious Franchise. Last night two of my buddies and I had the privilege of seeing an early showing of Furious 6, and like always I have plenty to say. Let’s get started.
For those who saw Fast Five, you know that Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) were expecting their first child, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew were all millionaires and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) was “searching” for them. Number six picks up pretty much two months later, showing how the heist crew, minus the two demolition experts, are enjoying their well-earned rewards. In F&F world though, nothing every remains quiet for long as a ghost from the past, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) stirs the embers of intrigue and revenge in Dom resulting in the team coming together to find her. Now let’s start the review.
The opening of this movie is a bit slow at the beginning, but provides enough laughs and information to refresh old fans memory of the plot, while making a small foundation for those new to the series. After a ridiculous interrogation scene, a rushed planning scenes, and some more jokes later, bam we get to our first action scene. Now you might be thinking, oh great another loud sequence of cars rushing through the road sending pedestrians and bystanders dodging to the sides. For the most part you are right, but this time they are chasing after a band of mercenaries led by
Luke Evans attempting to steal some government secret weapon component. While this goal is not the most unique, it’s at least a slight change up to the typical motives behind the adrenaline pumping, engine roaring speed fest that we’ve seen for the last thirteen years. The stunts are still impressive, the cars so sleek and beautiful it hurts, and the music so aggressive that it blends into an exciting ride. Of course this wouldn’t be worthy of being an F&F movie if there was only one chase scene right Don’t worry number six has a few more car scenes that continue to show off the world of stunt driving, CGI and mediocre plots centered around finding ways to make cars go fast.
One should note though that the action isn’t just limited to cars. Nope F&F6 opens has taken the liberty to add more diversity in their butt kicking arsenal. With the Rock taking more screen time, fans get to see a few more fist fights and body slamming that allows you to see what the Rock is cooking. When Johnson isn’t putting the hurt on someone, the rest of the gang takes their shots at either putting a cap in someone, or pulling out some martial arts skills to defeat their opponents. Some of these fights rock, while others are merely meant to have you laughing as the heroes throw out witty banter. Despite some of the ridiculousness and over the top stunts, the action will still have action fans on the edge of their seats, hooting for their favorite characters.
Putting the action aside though, the movie does have other qualities that help balance things out. For one thing the comedy in this movie is still strong, especially when Roman (Tyrese Gibson) takes the stage. The feisty, self-involved, ladies’ man is the center of the comedic pillar pulling all the other characters in to a friendly rivalry that symbolizes the brotherhood between the team. From my standpoint, I think Gibson must make these jokes daily, as the acting made it seem that it was just an ordinary day, especially when going toe to toe with Tej (Ludacris).
For me the comedy also helped make up for some of the plot holes this movie had. The lack of reasoning behind Evans attacks left me feeling as this guy was just crazy. The plot revolving around Dom and Letty though was the better developed of the story, with much of the movie focusing on the internal struggles occurring between the two. While the romance is not my favorite part, the movie does a good job not rubbing love in my face, and actually uses the plot to bring in other ghosts from the pasts to strengthen the movie. Laughs and love aside, the movie also does a nice job keeping you on your toes as to who will survive the ordeal. Many times there are close calls where you are not sure if someone will live, and yes there are even some deaths that upset my friends, despite how predictable it was. All in all though, the plot isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen, it just was lacking in some areas that I felt failed where the fifth one succeeded.
Luckily we still have a nice balance of characters/actors in the movie, with the exception of a few who took a major back seat to Dom and Letty, (i.e. Mia, Tej, and Elena). While the action was impressive, the camera work still had a few spastic moments that were either a bit dizzying or a bit annoying. As for the villain, again the guy had skills and a lethal team, but they failed to really build him up or give him some pizazz to make him stand out as a great bad guy.
Regardless F&F6 is a good movie and keeps the series alive for at least one more movie to come, watch the credits. Acting is just like before, the action is still rip roaring fun, and the comedy is golden to keep you laughing the whole time. Yet some weaknesses in plot and centering on Letty/Dom hindered this movie to make it less enjoyable for me. My scores are below: