Summer is the season to have fun and indulge so it makes sense to have all stupid-but-great, turbo-charged action film guilty pleasures arrive at the theater within the same couple of months. The first installment of the Fast & Furious franchise came out in the summer of 2001; now, twelve years and five sequels later, the franchise is still operating on all eight cylinders and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It would be easy to dismiss it considering it began with no foreseeable plans of longevity and the only movies on such a trajectory are the crappy horror films that you find at the bottom of the bargain bin with whatever evil killer resurrected for the umpteenth time. F&F proves resilient though, with a cast that doesn’t ever seem to get any older driving evermore-amazing automobiles in the midst of forever escalating demolition-inducing antics. For the people who make these movies it is especially clear with this latest installment that these movies aren’t just a cash cow but challenging labors of love and craziness, with every film upping the ante from the last film, and number six is no exception.
This time around the crew is living comfortably in their own worlds under the radar in retirement. Paul Walker’s Brian and Jordana Brewster’s Mia have welcomed their new son Jack into the world with Vin Diesel’s Dom playing uncle close by. All is well until Dom’s former nemesis Agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) shows up looking for some help. There’s a new baddie on the map named Owen Shaw (Immortals’ Luke Evans) who’s been using precision driving tactics to steal a bunch of stuff to make some such destructive device, attacking military convoys and whatnot to procure said items. Hobbs wants Dom and his old crew to help him fight fire with fire, and one more thing…Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty is miraculously alive and in cohorts with the villainous Shaw.
All the usual suspects have returned. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, and Gal Gadot return as Tej, Roman, Han, and Giselle respectively, all back filling the necessary holes left behind by the driving plotline whether it be silly one-liners or sexual tension or immensely fascinating gear-head jargon shoptalk. The big heart of the movie is still Vin Diesel, whose supernaturally cool deep voice and strong-silent-type charm keep Dominic Toretto his best franchise character. Justin Lin, here directing his fourth F&F movie, had certainly out done himself this time considering the film’s climax, which involves an exploding cargo plane, is possibly the most ridiculous ending you’ll see in a movie for a long time…or at least until the next F&F movie rides into theaters. And considering who shows up in the Easter egg clip at the end of Fast & Furious 6 (for those who follow the news and rumors of the franchise, you can probably already guess who shows), you fans better stay buckled up because number seven is coming.