Just when I thought that the Fast and Furious gang could not up the ante on the action of Fast Five, the filmmakers come out with this installment, which despite being a mere transition to the even more anticipated sequel in 2014, is as awesome as it gets.
After helping US DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) close his case in Brazil and leaving with $100 million that they stole from the cartel, Dominic Toretto and the gang go their separate ways. Retired from a life of crime, Dom (Vin Diesel), who is now living peacefully in a Spanish villa, together with Elena (Elsa Pataky from Fast Five), as a new uncle to Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia’s (Jordana Brewster) baby Jack, gets the shock of his life when Hobbs calls upon him and asks his team to help him nab a former Black Ops soldier Ian Shaw (Luke Evans), who is assembling a powerful scrambler that can paralyze communications of an entire country for 24 hours. Once assembled, the equipment could be sold for billions of dollars and in the wrong hands, it could result in a devastating amount of casualties. Initially apprehensive, Dom caves when Hobbs shows him evidence that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is alive and working with Shaw’s crew. On condition of amnesty and pardons, what’s left of the gang Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang), Giselle (Gal Gadot) fly in from different parts of the world, to get Letty back and stop Shaw from realizing his plan.
Fast and Furious 6 takes place after the events of Fast and Furious (Part 4) and Fast Five (Part 5) and before Tokyo Drift (Part 3). This installment is not lacking in the coolness department because cool car chases, top of the line and vintage vehicles all primed up and ready to burn rubber are a common staple for this movie, and it did not disappoint. Car afficionados are guaranteed to have a field day watching this popcorn movie, especially with the amount of hilarious one liners delivered by the cast. However, while Furious 6 operates on a solid storyline, I could not help but think that this was merely intended to be a transition movie to bring the franchise together. From the beginning, scenes from the first five movies were presented in a montage as if to refresh the audience on what transpired before this movie, and this particular story is even connected to the events of Fast and Furious (Part4) explaining Letty’s connection to Braga (villain in FF4) and later on Shaw and towards the end, how the events are connected to Tokyo Drift. Establishing the connection, I believe is a genius move because as it stands, Tokyo Drift (which I believe is the weakest link in the series) sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the franchise because aside from Han, there is nothing that ties the movie to the rest. With the latest revelation of the new villain (Jason Statham), everything now makes sense. Hopefully though, they do not bring back Tokyo Drift’s main protagonist Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) to the final installment. That would totally harsh my mellow.
Aside from the kickass action sequences which includes not one but two outstanding fight scenes by two of the hottest and toughest chicks in Hollywood today (Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carrano), and some great double team action from The Rock and Vin Diesel, Fast and Furious 6 played like an Expendables movie, in a sense that balanced exposure is achieved among all members of this superstar cast, and the amount of action (hand to hand combat, as well as on wheels) it provided. At the same time, because it talked about family, and reunion and home, it had a lot of heart. I very much liked how the characters blended together and it seemed that their rapport only grew stronger in this installment. I was a bit sad that because of the events of Tokyo Drift, Han would no longer be part of the cast for the next movie, which will come out in 2014. Perhaps, recognizing that there is only so much they can do in between Tokyo Drift and the rest of the franchise, the next movie will take place after Tokyo and will serve as the last movie of the Fast and Furious bunch. Unfortunately, because of the short timeline in between the target dates for movies 6 and 7, director Justin Lin will not be able to helm the finale. Dwayne Johnson will also not be joining the cast because of scheduling conflicts but original cast members Vin Diesel and Paul Walker have already signed on to star opposite main villain Jason Statham, who will play Owen Shaw, brother to the character of the villain in this installment.
All in all, Fast and Furious 6 was a very solid addition to the franchise, not just because of the strong cast but because of great direction from Justin Lin who set the tone in three of the last four FF movies. It had a great story, a kickass soundtrack, very cool cars, a great script, action sequences that sometimes bordered on fantasy — elements that formed a blockbuster movie that is truly entertaining, visually stimulating and thrilling. But for me, it was just so fun to watch the evolution of Dom’s gang from hijackers, to international criminals, to multimillionaires, to government consultants.
For those who want to watch the entire series in one go, here is a bit of the tip. Watch it in this sequence so you don’t get lost:
1. The Fast and the Furious
2. 2 Fast 2 Furious
3. Fast and Furious (Part 4)
4. Fast Five (Part 5)
6. Fast and Furious 6 (Part 6)
7. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Part 3)
8. Fast and Furious 7 – to be released in 2014