Dir. Justin Lin
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (read another version of this review over at the Bedfordshire Times & Citizen)
“Ride or die, remember?”
Fast Five back in 2011 was a crazy, jump-start for this auto-action franchise that was in danger of running out of gas.
Now the series blasts back and instead of miss firing, Fast & Furious 6 (yes with the ‘& Furious’ reinstated) sees loveable street racers Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), plus their pals Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang) and Tej (Ludacris) getting in over their heads - again.
"is it s bird? is it a plane?"
Director Justin ‘Community’ Lin somehow manages to create a plot that allows for the vehicular warfare to go further over the top than anything we’ve seen on a big screen before. It revolves around the ‘Fast’ gang – who are now fugitives living the high life after their successful Rio heist of Fast 5, being recalled by hard ass cop Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to help him take down a new threat in the form of Shaw (Luke ‘The new Crow’ Evans).
It seems that evil Shaw, working with a gang of nasty mercenary drivers is stealing parts to construct a super weapon, which would be worth over a billion dollars, by attacking military convoys. He only needs one more part and so Hobbs and his new partner Riley (Gina Carano) are desperate enough to offer full pardons to Dom and crew if they can help nail Shaw – and save the world.
Cue high speed chases, tons of auto-destruction – some involving a battle tank on a Spanish motorway and ending with a climax that would have been at home in a Die Hard movie…
The action globe hops round the world with segments in the U.S., London, Spain and Tokyo – each is well used and as a Brit it was especially cool to see the London scenes, although the good ol’ UK coppers aren’t any match for the hotshot street racers or their new enemies.
The car action is what has always been the beating heart of the ‘Fast & Furious’ films and it pays off again here although it does mean that the ‘acting’ has to take a back seat to modified vehicles going incredibly fast and crashing. There is an awkward subplot about Dom trying to win back the heart of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) who was though to have been killed in an earlier film but who survived, lost her memory and is now working for the bad guys.
"Battle cars anyone?"
So sure, it’s nonsense but it is highly entertaining nitrous fuelled nonsense and certainly keeps the series’ engine revving nicely!
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - Solid and lots of fun - who'd have thought!? )...
Awesomeness öööö – fast and furious action? oh yes...
Laughs öö – funny in places but don't take it seriously
Horror ö – crunching fights but nothing too grim
Babes ööö – Elsa Pataky, Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano plus eye-candy street racer crowds
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – not much