Vehicular warfare is promised and delivered in Fast & Furious 6, the latest and best entry in the ever expanding gear head meets international heist action series.
Someone forgot to remind Universal Pictures that when a movie franchise hits its sixth entry the quality is supposed to depreciate, not improve. Yet here we are with Fast & Furious 6, another nitrous fuelled slab of fast cars, muscle men and kick-ass women set on an international stage. Think of it as a gear head version of a James Bond movie, only with less class and more torque, not to mention ridiculously entertaining action scenes.
The film catches up with the dynamic duo of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) who - along with their fearless crew of professional criminals – are living the high life on the spoils of their heists (as seen in Fast Five). That changes when hulk-ish DSS (Diplomatic Security Service) agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) convinces Toretto and co. to come out of retirement and assist in stopping another group of fast car driving criminals, led by cold as ice mercenary Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).
Resuming directing duties is Justin Lin, who once again ups the ante as cars, motorbikes, tanks and even planes (hauling ass down what has to be the world’s longest runway) roar across the screen in dazzling displays of stunt choreography (giving further credence for awards recognition to reward such skill) and well-designed CGI.
Lin’s ability to direct absurdly entertaining action sequences is indeed a fine art that has rightfully seen him hailed as one of Hollywood’s better action directors. Yet even more impressive is that he and screenwriter Chris Morgan have managed to take a one dimensional and little praised action series and transformed it into something worth investing in. If movie franchises were automobiles, then consider this series the ultimate “pimp-my-ride” custom job.
The trio of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the always entertaining Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson continue to bring the right amount of macho, mano-a-mano posturing expected of them. Yet while Fast & Furious 6 is firmly set in the world of male fantasy (with plenty shots of shiny cars and fit butts in short shorts), it’s great to see the ladies kick-ass as well, with special mention to professional fighter turned actress Gina Carano who has capitalised on the breakthrough Steven Soderbergh gave her on Haywire to quite possibly become the next big female action star.
Fast & Furious 6 features plenty of crazy moments, a few shocking moments and one hell of a cliff-hanger that’ll leave fans of this series salivating for more. Unfortunately Lin will not return for the seventh instalment. Let’s hope the work he put into this franchise still sticks with someone else behind the wheel.