“Though the film did have some pretty big faults, the good ends up outweighing the bad.”
Fast & Furious 6 (or just “Furious 6”, which is the film’s true name if you ask me) is, as the title suggests, the sixth film in the Fast and Furious franchise. Fast & Furious 6 follows Dom (Vin Diesel) and co. as they are tasked with helping Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to take down who are essentially the bizarro versions of themselves. The catch? Letty, long thought to be dead (specifically for two movies) is actually alive and Dom will stop at nothing to get her back; because you never turn your back on family.
Fast & Furious 6 manages to effortlessly one-up it’s predecessor Fast Five, in ways that were only present in my dreams. Where Fast Five got bigger stunts, Fast & Furious 6 managed to go even bigger with it and continuously blow my mind. That’s not to say that the film is without it’s flaws, because believe me when I say they are present, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Like I said Fast & Furious 6 manages to improve on quite a few things that Fast Five already improved upon; for starters let’s discuss the action. Fast & Furious 6 has the biggest, and most outrageous action scenes we have seen in any Fast and Furious movie yet. Where the last film had two cars pulling a vault, this film had a giant tank riding down a highway destroying everything in it’s path. And to top it all off, Fast & Furious 6 one-upped itself again by creating what is probably one of the best action sequences in any of the Fast and Furious movies with the plane sequence at the end of the film. Now of course bigger action scenes means that more than likely most of the stunts are going to have to be CGI, and I will admit the CGI is very present during Fast & Furious 6; more so than the other films. But the difference between Fast & Furious 6 and the other films in terms of CGI is that Fast & Furious 6 looked fucking great. There were moments that I knew what I was seeing was CGI, mainly because of the scope of the scene or some minor details, but instead of being angry I was impressed with how good it looked. The CGI is used in a way that really only enhances what we are seeing, and because of that everything looks a lot more natural than it would otherwise. The action scenes that got bigger weren’t just the flagships sequences; even the smaller fight scenes improved in ways that I could have only dreamed of before. I mentioned in my last review that Fast Five turned the characters that we know and love into pseudo-superheroes, but Fast & Furious 6 takes that to a whole other level. The fight scenes in Fast & Furious 6 are some of the most brutal, ridiculous (in a good way) fights that I have ever seen. Forget about characters being thrown around like literal rag dolls for a second, some of the moves showcased in Fast & Furious 6 are cause to wonder if some of these characters are actually cyborgs. Be it the flying head but beautifully executed by Dominic Toretto, or the damn-near ten foot jump done by Hobbs, Fast & Furious 6 was ridiculous in all of the best ways when it came to it’s action scenes. On top of the bigger action and better CGI, we had even more of the characters actually having fun. A big problem I have with a lot of the early Fast and Furious films was the fact that, despite the action being over the top, the characters were too serious for the audience to have any fun watching them. Fast Five improved upon this, but at times Fast & Furious 6 was able to surpass it. I have to say that the chemistry between these characters only seemed to grow between films, and the one-liner said by Hobbs at the end of the film is probably the funniest line in the entire series. Fast & Furious 6, above all others, really cemented that this group of people are a family both on-screen and off.
Now as I mentioned before, Fast & Furious 6 is not without its flaws; and as a matter of fact, I would argue that the flaws in Fast & Furious 6 are some of the worst in the series. The best way to tackle this would be to start from the beginning: Fast & Furious 6 opens up with one of the weirdest credits sequences that I have ever seen, essentially giving you a “previously on…” for all of the films in the series. Now I can appreciate what the intention was in this regard, but I would argue that this was not only pointless but also poorly executed. First of all, Fast & Furious 6 is not a movie that requires previous knowledge of the franchise because, very intelligently might I add, the characters always recap what happened anyway. Your movies negate the point of a “previously on” montage by literally recapping everything that happened through conversation. Also, this sequence was poorly done because it managed to show us everything, while showing us nothing at the same time. So obviously someone thought “We’re six movies deep at this point, the audience is too stupid to remember everything that’s happened. Let’s give them a brief synopsis”; but instead of doing that they just gave us a slideshow that required you to have seen all of the previous films anyway to understand what was going on. Let’s forget about the fact that this scene was so jarring to have at the beginning of the film anyway, but this “recap” could have been accomplished in so many different ways that wouldn’t have disrupted the flow of the film. Moving on we have what is easily the most egregious sin that the Fast and Furious franchise has committed: not only did they bring a character back from the dead, but they then “fixed” it by giving her amnesia. It’s shit like this that makes people laugh at the people who like the Fast and Furious movies. What kind of bullshit, soap-opera plot point was that anyway? Obviously someone realized they fucked up by killing Letty, so they just wave their hands and hope that we forget about it? Why didn’t they just replace her with the cop? Or have Mia be kidnapped from the start which is why Dom agrees to help? There are so many ways that this could have been worked around, but instead they went for the easiest, and shittiest, option. Past that I do think that, while Fast & Furious 6 managed to be really great action-wise, the middle of the film really hit the brakes (pun intended). The problem I had with Fast & Furious (the fourth film) is that it assumed that we cared about the characters and therefore put them in serious situations; unfortunately Fast & Furious 6 falls into the same trap. The middle of the movie turns into this “heartfelt” movie where Dom is trying to win back the love of Letty who shouldn’t even be alive in the first place. This causes the movie’s pacing to suffer because we had an hour of fun, then we have to sit through twenty minutes of nothing (which honestly feels more like an hour) just to get to the last hour of fun. Fast & Furious 6 also had a few smaller issues like Hobbs’ magic goatee, or the never-ending runway; but those aren’t really points against the movie, they just show you how pedantic I can be. On a happy note at least Han finally got to go to Tokyo… only to die as soon as he gets there.
Overall Fast & Furious 6 is another solid entry into the Fast and Furious franchise. Though the film did have some pretty big faults, the good ends up outweighing the bad. The action got bigger, the jokes got funnier, the men got beefier; the only price of admission was a shitty plot line and a few slow scenes.
I give Fast & Furious 6 an A