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Overall Rating

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Worth A Look73.33%
Average: 23.33%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 3.33%

4 reviews, 6 user ratings

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Fast and Furious 6
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Not quite 'Fast Five,' but close enough."
4 stars

Itís easy to see why the "Fast and Furious" series ó which started rather modestly twelve years and five films ago ó has developed into a major going concern and reliable ATM for Universal.

Yes, the vehicular mayhem has gotten crazier and more convoluted with each new entry, but it isnít just that. Partly itís the same reason a TV show succeeds: people like the characters and want to hang out with them. The reason for that, in the F&F movies, is simple: they show a well-calibrated team, a tight unit, a family, and without much bickering (aside from some good-natured ribbing). Over and over again, Vin Dieselís Dominic Toretto spells it out: family this, family that, all that matters is family. And this family is a bunch of people of different colors and genders working smoothly to get the job done.

This franchise has turned, very lucratively, into a fantasy of being part of a super-cool group, being part of something larger than oneself, where everyone is respected (once theyíve earned it by right of talent) and nobody is judged (as long as they stay true to the family). Former FBI agent Brian OíConner (Paul Walker) once betrayed the trust of Dom and his crew, but has since made up for it to the extent that Dom is now the proud uncle of Brianís son (by way of Domís sister Mia). Domís girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), presumed dead but discovered alive at the end of 2011ís Fast Five, has gone to work for a group of international thieves, but only because she has amnesia. You see, once youíve been in Domís family, only a catastrophic memory loss can break the bond.

Furious 6 (as itís actually titled onscreen) doesnít have as much tough-guy sentimentality or, consequently, as much amusing inadvertent (or perhaps advertent) homoerotic subtext as its predecessor, which offered hostile staring contests and a brutal fistfight between Dom and the oak-necked special agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Here, Hobbs recruits Dom and his crew to help catch the thieves who took Letty away. Yeah, blah blah, the thieves also possess a MacGuffin that threatens national security, but the real mission is to get Letty back in the family. Other things have to happen first, though, including a mad chase through London employing ďflip carsĒ (which, as advertised, ram into oncoming vehicles and flip them), a highway chase involving a tank, and a climax featuring a plane trying its best to take off while weighed down by several cars attached to it by grappling hooks.

None of this is quite as much hilarious fun as the endgame in Fast Five involving two cars dragging a ten-ton vault at high speed through the streets of Rio de Janeiro. But itís fun enough, with a satisfyingly vicious fight between Letty and agent Riley (Gina Carano, pretty much as wooden an actress as she was in Haywire) and frequent comic relief via Tyrese Gibson and Chris ďLudacrisĒ Bridges. The villain this time (Luke Evans) isnít much, but the villains have never been the point of the F&F series; the plot of the next sequel ó and there will be a next sequel ó could be about how Dom and his posse have to stop a movie critic from drinking too much iced tea as he writes a review, and as long as it retains the family dynamic and somehow involves outlandish stunts, itíd still fly.

These last four F&F installments have been directed by Justin Lin, who has taken a shaky franchise and beefed it up into the monster it is today. Furious 6 is his farewell to the series, and I think heís getting out while heís ahead. Where else can the stunts go? Will Dom and his people be chasing a space shuttle in Faster and Furiouser? Or will the series do a U-turn with Slow and Mellow, featuring Dom and his family sitting around their picnic table and encountering no bigger adversary than the occasional mosquito?

The end-credits stinger promises the introduction of a new Big Bad played by a veteran of not one but three recent action franchises noted for their cranked-up excess and machismo. The thought of the sullen staring contests between him and Dom is more exciting than the idea of however the new filmmakers plan to ramp up the action.

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originally posted: 05/26/13 09:20:39
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User Comments

8/02/14 The king these movies are beyond retarded 1 stars
1/18/14 mr.mike More of the same, with cheesy CGI and stunts. Good ending tho. 3 stars
10/24/13 Bernie High Octane Thrill Ride. One of my favorites this summer. 4 stars
6/26/13 Jesse Zuno It was pretty good. I wish they developed the villain a little better. 4 stars
5/27/13 jamiebraun worth seeing. decent car chases. lots of action, but not enough blood 4 stars
5/26/13 Philip Splendid action set-pieces and a great ensemble cast. 4 stars
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  24-May-2013 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Dec-2013


  DVD: 10-Dec-2013

Directed by
  Justin Lin

Written by
  Chris Morgan

  Vin Diesel
  Paul Walker
  Dwayne Johnson
  Luke Evans
  Gina Carano
  Jordana Brewster

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