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.
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.
Rating: ** | Average
Carlos I. Cuevas