‘Fast & Furious 6’ holds true to the formula that has made the multi-part franchise gazillions of dollars worldwide. More than ever, the latest installment is not to be taken seriously. Instead, just sit back and enjoy the (almost) supersonic ride.
‘Fast and Furious,’ you say? ‘Isn’t that the 1939 film where a couple sells rare books and takes a vacation to Seaside City?’ In reality, no one, no one anywhere — worldwide — and with regular access to a television or the internet, will be confused about the basics of the Vin Diesel-helmed, six-part series. It is a given that there will be adrenaline-fueled car chases, fantastic cars, pumped-up muscles, rough fights with little permanent damage, and someone with a thirst for power/money/status.
The standard pieces of the plot are such that the satirical ‘The Onion’ online featured a fantastic comical piece in 2011 in which a 5-year-old boy was interviewed as the screenwriter for the last movie, ‘Fast Five.’ Said the supposed 5-year-old scribe of the script written in multicolor crayon, ‘I want the cars to drive fast and, then, some of them explode.’ In essence, this is what the audience gets in ‘Fast & Furious 6.’ Coming off their Brazilian mega-heist in ‘Fast Five’ and unable to return to the US without criminal proceedings, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) are contacted by American superagent (Dwayne Johnson) to team up against bad guy Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and crew, who are purportedly trying to assemble some kind of game-changing mighty weapon. Most of the rest of the Fast-ers join up as they chase Shaw (and his company of Fast-ers doppelgangers) across London and Spain. Will the good guys win? You already know the answer, but the real surprise is exactly how the tire squeals, huge explosions, and multi-vehicle pile-ups happen at breakneck speed across Europe.
Though cheesy and predictable, and totally beyond reality, there is a certain appeal to ‘Fast & Furious 6’ and the entire franchise. Most unique is its multiethnic cast. Very few films repeatedly feature such a diversity of players where all are on equal footing. Secondly, most females who appear in the cast are largely on par with the men for both fighting and rough-and-readiness. And, thirdly, possibly the most appealing aspect to the franchise (and to this film in particular), is its themes of fidelity, loyalty, and family. Dom, the father figure of the group, continuously goes to all superhuman lengths to retain members and keep them safe, no matter what the personal sacrifice, once they are part of his group. This idea of never-ending inclusion may be very appealing to young fans who, in reality, have suffered some form of fractionation in real life.
In sum, a viewer does not even need to hear much of the dialogue to understand what is happening in the film (possibly explaining its worldwide box office domination that first began in 2001). To enjoy this flick, turn off your mind, listen to the music, watch the crash-crash/boom-booms, and wait for the next sequel teased at the movie’s end. ‘Fast & Furious 6’ is rated 3 of 5 stars (‘mildly recommended’) for its revved-up mindlessness.
‘Fast & Furious 6’ is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and mayhem throughout, and some sexuality and language.
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