Ladies and Gentlemen, the huge summer blockbusters are finally upon us. This year we arrive in style with a film franchise that would make most people scratch their heads and wonder. With the third installment the franchise was on shaky ground, only bringing Vin Diesel back for a cameo. But, when Vin Diesel and Paul Walker signed on for the fourth installment, the franchise was back in business. The box office take for the fourth installment was more than double that of the third; the numbers only go up from there. To date the Fast & Furious franchise has raked in $1.6 billion worldwide. That only accounts for box office dollars, not DVD and Blu-ray sales. Not to mention, Fast & Furious 6 has now arrived and Fast & Furious 7 is in pre-production…well, that’s Hollywood for you.
If you’ve seen all of the previous films then you have an idea of what to expect with Fast & Furious 6. If you haven’t seen all of the previous films then you won’t get all of the references. However, the movie really isn’t deep enough to worry about seeing all of the previous films before watching the sixth installment. As you’ve undoubtedly seen from the previews, there is a large heist that takes place overseas. Dominic “Dom” Toretto is approached by Hobbs to discuss his team’s involvement. Dom is reluctant to help until he learns that Letty is still alive. Dom begrudgingly agrees to help take down this group of highly organized criminals. Dom reaches out to his old crew and the movie starts to feel familiar, in a good way.
Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious, Fast Five) plays Dominic Toretto, the typical muscle head, alpha male. He’s the leader of what used to be a street racing criminal organization, which evolved exponentially over the franchise installments. As always, Vin delivers in his role as Dominic Toretto. Regardless of how many times Vin has played this roll, he still does a great job. Paul Walker (Fast & Furious, Fast Five) plays Brian O’Conner, the ex-FBI agent turned criminal. Paul seems to hold his own amongst some pretty big star power in the film. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Fast Five, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) plays Luke Hobbs, the overzealous super cop who will stop at nothing to track down criminals. As always Dwayne delivers in yet another role that is somewhat reminiscent of 80’s action star heroes.
Other stars seem to stand out in this installment as well. The first name on the standout list is Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast Five) who plays Tej and always does a great job at delivering the laughs. He does well at playing off of Tyrese Gibson (2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast Five) who plays Roman. Tyrese tends to play a loud and obnoxious character well and allows for others to play off of his character, resulting in even more laughs. Another veteran of the serious is Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious, Fast & Furious) who plays Letty. Michelle seems to find an even grittier side of herself in this role. She always plays tough chick parts, but she is really tough in this role. New to the franchise is Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans, Immortals) who plays Shaw. Luke plays a believable villain who seems hell bent on world domination. Sung Kang (Fast & Furious, Fast Five) has been in most of the installments, but delivers a subdued role that doesn’t really standout. Gina Carano (Blood and Bone, Haywire) is another new add, who holds her own given the part she was chosen to play.
The first Fast installment hit movie theaters in 2001 and did fairly well. The second installment did a little bit better, but was somewhat lackluster. The absence of franchise stars Paul Walker and Vin Diesel seemed to really hurt the third installment. The third installment felt like the studio just threw actors at an established franchise, which happens all the time. By most movie standards this franchise should have died with the third film. Somehow Vin, Paul and others were convinced to come back to the fourth installment, which was a huge success. The director, Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Fast Five) was able to take the franchise and reboot it completely. With Fast & Furious 6 Justin Lin takes the film to new heights. The movie is so over-the-top that it will blow you away. Justin Lin has certainly made a name for himself and will be sorely missed as he passes the baton to James Wan (Insidious, Saw III) for Fast & Furious 7.
Just in case you were wondering, the action sequences in Fast & Furious 6 are nonstop. It’s amazing you can even discern a plot from this movie there is literally so much action. The time and effort put into filming and editing this movie is incredible. This movie is pure heaven for the caffeine-fueled, adrenaline junkies seeking a thrill ride. Just when you think the movie has pushed the limits of action to the edge, it goes right over the top. If you were to cut the dialogue scenes and just leave the action you would still have over 90 minutes of action in this 2 hour and 10 minute film. Don’t let the length of the movie scare you away, because there simply is no lag to the film. It does not sag in the middle, it does not suffer from some wayward attempt to explore a deep plot or a deep psychological meaning. The movie, to sum it up in one word, is…action.
If you are a fan of the Fast & Furious franchise then you will not be disappointed by this latest installment. Even if you haven’t seen all of the previous installments, but you like action, you should enjoy this movie. If you are looking for anything but an action movie then you might want to steer clear. Fast & Furious 6 is the culmination of the previous installments, blended together and then jacked up on NOS. This movie is so over-the-top you have to see it to believe it. Thanks to our contest winners who came out to enjoy a screening of the movie with us. If you were unable to make one of the screenings you should go see it as soon as you can. Come back and tell us what you think about the movie.