"Fast & Furious 6"
Release Date: May 24, 2013
Running Time: 130 minutes
With one eye firmly on the front windshield and the other on the rearview mirror, Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin finally completes the turbo-charged franchise’s transition from street-racing saga to heist thriller with another all-star edition that features many of the lead-footed gearheads from the past five films. This time, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker find themselves driving fast and furious in the name of law. Dwayne Johnson’s Diplomatic Security Service agent recruits Diesel and Walker’s crew to takedown a criminal organization that’s operating in Europe. It just so happens that Michelle Rodriguez, whom we all assumed bite the dust in Fast & Furious, is alive and well and working for the bad guy, a former British soldier played by Luke Evans. Unfortunately, she’s suffering from amnesia, which makes her prone to shooting at the friends she no longer recognizes. So it’s down to Diesel, Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang, and Gal Gadot to stop Evans from stealing components for a device with the capability of shutting down a city’s power supply and to rescue Diesel’s true love Rodriguez in the process. As is now typical of the franchise, Fast & Furious 6 tones down the street racing in favor of eye-popping car chases that result in enough damage to keep an insurance adjuster buried in paperwork for years. It’s impossible to say that this franchise was ever grounded in reality, but nothing too crazy happened in past films beyond, say, Walker driving a car into a drug dealer’s boat in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Diesel. Fast & Furious 6 indicates that the nitrous oxide has finally gone to Lin’s head. At times, Fast & Furious is simply too preposterous for its own good. There are car chases involving tanks and airplanes that feel more at home in a XXX sequel, if Diesel ever chose to reprise his role as spy Xander Cage. For example, one midair rescue must be seen to be believed. This clearly is the cartoon-ish direction that the franchise will take with future installments, which is something of a letdown after the full, thrilling and less-absurd Fast Five. Still, Fast & Furious 6 is never less than an adrenaline rush. As for the new faces in Fast & Furious 6, Evans fails to make much of a mark as villain whose code is built on precision, as in the ability to replace one henchman with another like body parts. Evans sneers a lot, but he isn’t a threatening presence. Fast & Furious 6 confirms what we suspected from Haywire: that former mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano possesses zero onscreen personality. Which explain why, as Johnson’s second in command, all Carano’s required to do is trade punches and spin kicks with Rodriguez. Beyond overseeing the orchestrated mayhem, Lin’s other duties include playing up the importance of family that has been a trademark of the franchise since Walker first crossed paths with Diesel in The Fast and the Furious. He’s also charged with tying together Fast & Furious 6 with its predecessors to set up the first true sequel to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Remember, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6 occur before the events in Tokyo Drift left Kang dead. Since assuming control over the franchise with Tokyo Drift, Lin’s weaved together an intriguing mythology that is now much bigger than each sequel. The stinger at the end of Fast & Furious 6 promises a sequel that may be driven by revenge—as well as an adversary worthy of Diesel now that he and Johnson are barbeque buddies.
Aired: May 23, 2013
Web site: http://www.thefastandthefurious.com/