In a time where by a series sixth installment it’s either a direct-to-DVD or a complete flop, the one series that defies this is the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Having been resurrected at its fourth installment by director Justin Lin, the popularity for this series is only getting bigger.
“Furious 6” opens where “Fast Five” ended, with a race between Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Connor (Paul walker). O’Connor is a proud new father and the whole crew is settled into their multi-million dollar exile when agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) resurfaces asking for their help in tracking down Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his crew, who are slowly piecing together a device designed to shut down communications over a large area. The film also features the reveal that Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) is alive, after seemingly dying at the beginning of the fourth movie.
I’ve never been a huge follower of this series. Truthfully, I’d never gotten around to seeing “Fast Five” up until the weekend I went to see “Furious 6.” They’re fun summer movies but they’ve never quite caught my eye like a superhero flick or a foray into deep space.
That being said, “Furious 6” is a genuinely enjoyable popcorn movie. Check reality at the door, as physics will be defied at nearly every turn in this movie. As seen in the previews, a cargo plane is brought down by a group of cars. Granted, there were approximately five of them attached to it by way of steel cords shot through the plane’s paneling, but in all the interviews I’ve seen with scientists, they’ve practically giggled over this particular scene.
There are quite a few places that will have the audience scratching their head as to the reality of the scene, but at this stage, that is the point of this franchise: ridiculousness.
A newcomer to the franchise is fellow pro-wrestler Gina Carano, who plays Hobbs partner and pretty much only serves to show off her wrestling moves, punctuated by her complete lack of dialogue as well.
These movies aren’t so much special effects as they are destruction. It is reported that 300 cars were used for this movie. That number would seem incredibly small upon viewing, if you didn’t take into account that many were rebuilt overnight and used multiple times.
One of my favorite parts of the movie would have to be the inclusion of Luke Evans as the slick big bad, although his character never quite gets fleshed out. His motive is never established as to why he wants this device, although one can assume world domination as a safe bet.
Those who have followed the mythology of the series will recognize the scene from “Tokyo Drift” that occurs in the mid-credit scene and introduces Jason Statham (yes, I said Jason Statham) to the series, presumably as the foe for “Fast 7.” Theories right now have Statham playing Shaw’s brother.
Sans some pretty brutal fight scenes, this movie is an exhilarating addiction to the summer blockbuster season. Just don’t think too hard about it. I’d recommend this as a movie safe for older children, sticking with the PG13 rating, and just keep an eye on the speedometer driving home.