Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
written by Chris Morgan
based on original characters by Gary Scott Thompson
directed by Justin Lin
Sometimes you just need a dumb, entertaining movie to relax for a couple of hours. I readily admit I’m a fan of The Fast and the Furious street racing franchise, and by fan I don’t mean I think these films are any good, only that they can be fun. The first one in the series, The Fast and the Furious (2001), introduced the core group of characters: Racer/criminal Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), his hot sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), badass girlfriend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and undercover cop-turned-felon Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). Sure, it was silly, but there were girls walking around in skimpy dresses, chases in fast cars, and a general atmosphere of “we’re not taking ourselves too seriously.”
However, each time one of the sequels does take itself too seriously – as is the case with Fast & Furious 6 – things go south. Nothing here tops the cool “drifting” vehicles of 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift or the exciting Rio de Janeiro heist which closes 2015’s Fast Five, in which a bank vault destroys half the city. I was terribly bored by the inept macho acting – it’s difficult to tell who’s the worst offender, Diesel or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reprising his role from the previous film – and general lack of chemistry between the leads as they attempt to stop a rogue Special Forces soldier. Since when did this crew get trapped in a James Bond movie? And the whole subplot about Letty having amnesia after presumably being left for dead in Fast & Furious (2009) just feels rote. Rodriguez deserves better than this. So do we.
Everyone looks kind of bored in Fast & Furious 6, and there’s very little of the lighthearted banter which has characterized previous installments (where are Tego Calderón and Don Omar when you need them?). The only saving grace is a highway pursuit where the gang tries to outrun a tank (and I always thought tanks were slow mofos). It’s thrilling, but certainly not worth spending two hours and ten minutes of your time on. This franchise is now running on fumes.
Carlos I. Cuevas