I would have never guessed when The Fast and the Furious was released back in 2001 this would become a franchise with at least 7 movies (the seventh is in the pipeline). What I would have expect even less is that this franchise actually went upwards in terms of quality and scope instead of down like most of them do. From a stupid movie about a couple of street racers jacking trucks with DVD’s, the movies now are more about a tight team of excellent car drivers who take down drug lords, evade the US authorities all over the globe and perform impressive stunts that defy even the most basic laws of science.
Furious 6 continous the trend set by part 4 and especially part 5 by bringing back the majority of the cast, including agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) for another round. This time he’s on the trail of a similar crew like Toretto’s, who are using modified cars to steal valuable artifacts. Since they’re always one step ahead of him he decides to track down Toretto and his gang, of which the main people are living in non-extradation countries, to ask them for help. His only piece of leverage are security photos featuring Letty, who everybody presumed dead since the fourth movie but is apparently working for the other crew. That, together with a full pardon, is enough to get the whole crew together.
Furious 6 has the same high energy over-the-top approach the previous movie did. The addition of The Rock was one of the strongest points of that movie and bringing him back for this one is a smart move. Seeing him interrogate someone by throwing that person literally through a room and against the ceiling is the approach these movies need. His new female partner is played by Gina Carano who gets into multiple nasty fights with Letty (Rodriguez). Both these women are proof that a female Expendables movie could work.
After driving a safe through Rio this movie gives us a whole new set of impressive stunts. Two major set pieces see Dom and his crew take on a tank and a cargo plane respectively. Both of them are really over the top but I’ve come to terms that when watching these movies I should leave any expectation of realism at the door. Though I could not help but wonder if there is a runway as long as the one featured in the finale of Furious 6.
With a running time of over two hours Furious 6 covers a lot of ground for something that could be a simple action movie. The writers took the Dark Knight Trilogy approach by inserting some twists and turns as well as some side elements in the plot and a whole unexpected fourth act. While the majority of the movie takes place in London and Spain there’s a whole side story in which Walker returns to the US and goes undercover in jail to meet with Braga, the nemesis from Fast & Furious. I liked the way the writers actually try to serve up something extra, though I don’t think this is the right movie for it. The actual final act just felt like it was there to upstage the previous act, which was already pretty damn spectacular. Also the twist in which the true loyalty of one of the characters becomes clear felt contrived and was there only for exposition. It didn’t even make sense for this person to be revealed on purpose, since now the bad guys immediately lose their advantage this person provided them.
The acting is what you would expect from a F&F movie. Nothing outstanding, but that’s to be expected as almost all of the cast had different professions before taking on acting. In terms of character development there’s also some points of criticism: somehow the character of Ludacris went on from being a mechanic to a full fledged hacker, which is kind of ludicrous (Ba-dum Tsss) and Jordana Brewster’s role is completely wasted as she hardly gets anything to do other than play the damsel in distress in the final act.
Despite the sweaty bulging biceps of The Rock the franchise continues to be less gay with each installment. That said, the character of Roman (Gibson) is still a closeted homosexual. While on a plane with at least 5 extremely hot women of which he touches none, but comes immediately when Toretto calls. The rest of the movie he once again has no problem with touching his fellow male gang members or giving them meaningful looks. Johnson and Diesel also share some intense scenes in which they are just that little too close standing to each other making it feel awkward.
Furious 6 is a fun packed action movie. It’s loud and over the top just the way I like my summer block buster. Though it could have used some trimming by removing some unnecessary scenes that are little more than filler I did find it a cool movie and I actually look forward to seeing Jason Statham being the villain in the next installment.