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Movie Review: Fast & Furious 6
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Fast and Furious 6 PosterFast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Screenwriter: Chris Morgan
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Gina Carano, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot
Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 130 Minutes
Release Date: May 24, 2013

Directed by Justin Lin, Fast & Furious 6 reunites Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) for their fastest, most furious adventure yet.

After 2011’s Fast Five, the Fast Family of professional criminals has retired around the world: Dominic lives with Elena (Elsa Pataky) in Spain; his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Brian have a son; Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sung Kang) are in Tokyo; and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) are livin’ it up like billionaire millionaire playboys.

U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) offers Toretto’s crew full pardons so they can return home in exchange for helping him take down a skilled mercenary organization led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his second-in-command, Dominic’s presumed-dead girlfriend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez).

Mixed martial arts fighter and all-around bad-ass Gina Carano joins the Fast franchise as Riley, Hobb’s Diplomatic Security Service partner. When Vin Diesel and The Rock suplexed and body-slammed each other through concrete walls in Fast Five, I found myself overcome with excitement in a way I didn’t think possible. In Fast & Furious 6, Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez engage in a series of epic brawls that will send you into fits of orgasmic fist-pumping.

There’s so much ass-kicking in Justin Lin’s film it makes WWE Monday Night Raw look like The View. There’s a roster of charismatic good guys and villains, a slew of one-liners, and monologues that might as well be delivered at the top of an entrance ramp under a JumboTron. There’s even a tag-team match where The Rock and Vin Diesel execute devastating double-team moves that would make The Road Warriors proud.

Fast & Furious 6 will be director Justin Lin’s last Fast film, after taking over the franchise in 2006 with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Really, this is Justin Lin’s franchise – sure there’s the first film, directed by Rob Cohen, and 2 Fast 2 Furious by John Singleton, but Lin resurrected the dwindling series and gave it a mythology and an ever-expanding cast of characters. Lin closes strong with Fast & Furious 6, bridging the continuity gap between the rest of the films as Tokyo Drift while also setting up the seventh installment, which will be helmed by Saw director James Wan.

I enjoyed Fast & Furious 6, but Lin’s latest street racing flick feels stuck in third gear and has trouble picking up speed. The first half stalls out when the characters aren’t running and gunning their way through London, or speeding through crowded intersections at breakneck speed. It isn’t as evenly paced as Fast Five – but there’s still sufficient laughs and high-octane thrills to keep you invested.

The film’s climactic action sequence, which involves our heroes chasing a gigantic cargo plane down the world’s longest runway, is pure gonzo filmmaking. It’s over-the-top, unbelievable, and… absolutely satisfying. It’s fuel-injected wish fulfillment at 200 miles per hour for those with a penchant to ride or die.

The Fast & Furious series isn’t Shakespeare, but it is a compelling case study for modern action cinema and the ever-evolving enterprise of sequels, spin-offs, and sagas. It’s Marvel’s The Avengers for gear-heads with plenty of twists, reveals, and call-backs to the previously established mythology.

Fast & Furious 6 is an insanely entertaining summer popcorn movie that proudly embraces its brainless, bombastic action in an effort to shock and awe its audience. Tanks, cargo planes, nitrous oxide-fueled grappling hooks, and Paul Walker… what more could you possibly want?


PS: Stick around for a post-credits scene that introduces the villain for Fast 7!

PPS: I wrote this review in a browser window opposite a smaller window with this animated GIF of Gina Carano on a never-ending loop, motivating me to perform at my peak potential.

PPPS: See. Told you. Actually, I think I might just keep my desktop organized this way from now on…

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