How does the latest entry in the Fast and Furious franchise hold up? One line from the movie sums up the theme of the entire film; “It changes everything.” In this case, it makes for one very captivating experience.
The following review will be spoiler-free, so rest easy readers, no plot points will be ruined before you get a chance to see the film, at least not by my hands. The exception to this will be mentioning things from past films or things seen in the trailer when they are relevant and worth mentioning. It is worth noting early on that in order to truly appreciate this movie, you will need to have seen all five of the previous films in the franchise.
If you’ve seen the trailer for the movie, you should have a fairly good idea of what the movie’s plot is. In short, the team is assembled once more by Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), this time in order to stop a crack team of international criminals who have thwarted police at every turn. In return for their help, Vin Diesel and his “family” want to have their criminal records wiped completely clean. For all intents and purposes, this movie’s plot is already far more promising than Tokyo Drift’s.
Given that the infamous team from the previous movie has been reassembled, you’ll instantly recognize the main protagonists and their chemistry with one another. The characters retain their unique personalities, and by now it’s become very evident that each of the actors have found their stride in portraying their respective characters. Whether it’s Chris Bridges portraying Tej Parker, Vin Diesel playing Dominic Toretto, Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner, or Sung Kang as Han, all of the characters feel very genuine, possibly moreso than they’ve ever felt. There is a palpable sense of emotion at all of the right times, and it connects the audience to the characters. No, this film won’t receive any Oscar nominations for acting, nor will these roles change how any of these actors are viewed by film critics or directors, but the writers and actors have done an amazing job inserting emotions into a franchise that isn’t regarded as being sentimental. This is not to say that the movie is sappy or that it loses touch with what made the series popular, but in order to excel with the film’s plot, the characters need to be viewed as human.
There are a few moments that occur during the movie that will cause the audience to snap out of their immersion with the film, one of the most notable comes during the segment of the film involving the tank. While nobody expects complete reality from a movie centering around a group of wanted criminals who successfully stole $100 million from the biggest drug lord in all of Brazil, these moments seem out of place even for this franchise. Clearly the stunts and scenes were designed as “epic” moments that would make the audience gasp in awe or build up tension, but they succeed in doing the exact opposite. In the screening I attended, the entire audience audibly groaned during the tank sequence due to how absurd a single stunt is. These ridiculous scenes do not occur so frequently as to take away from the enjoyment of the movie, but every now and then, they will appear and remind you that you’re watching something on a screen.
When I stated at the beginning of this review that the theme of the movie is “It changes everything,” it may have struck you as odd, but if you see the movie and think back to everything you witnessed once the film has finished, it will make more sense. So many things change during the course of the film that the same scenario can occur twice throughout the two hours, and your feeling towards that scenario will be completely different the second time around. As I also stated, this is not a bad thing by any means. This makes for an incredibly engaging experience, and there are just enough unexpected twists to take away the notion that you’re watching an action movie.
Despite the occasional stunt pushing the limits of what is acceptable as “realistic” in the realm of the Fast and Furious franchise, there are many areas in which Furious 6 excels. The chemistry among the actors, cinematography, the soundtrack, and the well-placed humour all combine to make this two hour movie extremely enjoyable to sit through. People who are not fans of the movie may not understand many of the nods to the previous entries in the series, but fans of the other Fast and Furious films will likely find themselves smirking as each reference gets made. If you love fast cars and are eager to see a summer blockbuster that doesn’t involve some form of comic book hero, Furious 6 is definitely a movie you should go see. It sets a new standard for the series and we can only hope the next one reaches the same quality.
Eric is an editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.