Fast & Furious 6 Review: A Full Throttle Summer Blockbuster

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The Fast & Furious franchise is actually quite remarkable. Going on its sixth entry the movies are more fun than ever, even if the basic premise behind the whole thing is all but erased.

This entry, titled as Furious 6 in the opening credits, brings the whole gang back together, courtesy of Dwayne Johnson’s hulking cop character Hobbs, including those played by Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Sung Kang. Even Michelle Rodriguez sees something of a resurrection, after being killed off in the fourth movie. Now she suffers from amnesia, and works for the bad guy, Shaw (Luke Evans).

The goal is to bring down Shaw, alongside Hobbs, and bring Letty (Rodriguez) back to Dominic (Diesel). But the plot is hardly as important here as the car chases, and there are plenty of them.

Through a revealing opening credits sequence, we see how the story has evolved from simple underground racing leagues to terrorist plots. It’s totally ridiculous but that’s part of the fun.

This is not a film you go to for the acting. Diesel is as one note as ever and Rodriguez hardly adds any charm. Although a case has to be made for the sarcastic manner Johnson (can we just call him the Rock again?) delivers all of his lines. At least he knows not to take things too seriously.

Chases take place through the streets of London, Spain, and other locales that remind us why we keep coming back to the Fast franchise. Of course here they’re chasing terrorists, but at least there is one old school street race the invokes the original midway through.

That’s not to say the other sequences are bad. In fact it’s quite the opposite. One particular chase involving a tank is so over-the-top and ridiculous you can’t help but slap a big grin on your face.

Between set pieces the movie is hardly fast or furious, but the action is so well done, and actually goes on for so long, that the race to the next special effect seems short.

And that is all the filmmakers really seem to be trying to accomplish. This obviously isn’t high art. If you go, know what to expect. If you’re a fan of the franchise, this sixth entry will not disappoint. It’s a rollicking good time and will definitely leave you wanting to buckle up for a seventh. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty


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