Fast & Furious 6
dir Justin Lin
scr Chris Morgan
prd Vin Diesel, Neal H Moritz, Clayton Townsend
with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez, Elsa Pataky, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Gina Carano, Jordana Brewster
release UK 17.May.13, US 24.May.13
13/US Universal 2h10
Fast & Furious 6
Bigger than ever: Walker, Johnson and Diesel

evans rodriguez gibson
See also:
Fast Five (2011) Furious 7 (2015)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Fast & Furious 6 Bigger, louder, more explosive and twice as stupid, this impressively massive sixth entry in the franchise makes one pivotal mistake: it takes the nonsense seriously. This means that we are laughing at them instead of with them, a sure sign the series is doomed unless the requisite sequel restores some tongue-in-cheek balance.

After their cash-grab antics in Rio, Dominic (Diesel) is hiding out in the Canary Islands with his sister Mia (Brewster), who has just had an adorable baby with his pal Brian (Walker). Then US Agent Hobbs (Johnson) appears asking for their help, so they reassemble the expanding team (Pataky, Gibson, Bridges, Kang, Gadot and Carano) to go after the villainous Shaw (Evans), who's stealing military technology as part of a nefarious plot. But the real reason they agree to help is that Shaw is working with Letty (Rodriguez), Dom's presumed-dead ex.

Letty's amnesiac switch to the dark side adds a soapy twist to the saga, which gives this chapter its one intriguing plot-strand as she and Dominic repeatedly square off while he reminds her that she loves him, really. Otherwise, cast members are relegated to background noise: Gibson and Bridges bicker about money and gadgets, Kang mopes about his future plans, and Pataky, Gadot and Carano are on feisty babe duties waiting to punch Letty as needed.

None of this would be a problem if the film had some buoyancy. But Lin directs with heavy foot, which amplifies the wooden dialog and some less-than-thrilling action. An early chase through the nighttime London is badly shot and edited (aside from the fact that London streets are never this empty), focussing on tossing cars around like toys rather than any sense of coherence. Much better is Dom and Letty's race through the West End, which adds to the characters and story. And the entertaining final series of set-pieces are gob-smackingly enormous.

But the long running time reveals the filmmakers' self-importance. Even if most of the vehicular carnage is staged to perfection, with a remarkable combination of stunt work and seamless effects, it's still utterly nonsensical. So playing it with a straight face while trying to choke us up with sentimentality only makes us roll our eyes derisively. At least the coda promises a lively new cast member. Yes, Part 7 is unstoppable.

cert 12 themes, violence, language 13.May.13

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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall