Review - Fast & Furious 6

Back in 2001, the Fast & Furious franchise muscled on to our screens, bringing with it the fast cars and adrenaline fuelled action. Twelve years and four sequels later, Fast & Furious 6 is the latest of the franchise to enter multiplexes and keep audiences hooked.

After the first three films it was clear that the franchise needed major work as box-office takings were starting to falter. The idea for the fourth instalment was to have the original cast from the first film return and become the main focus of the films again. The idea worked and with the backing of Universal Pictures and a staggering total of over $1.5 billion in box-office takings, the Fast & Furious is now one of the strongest film franchises around at the moment.

So, where do I begin with Fast & Furious 6

Let's just say that our heroes are a little bit richer compared to when we were first introduced to them. This is of course after we saw them steal $100 million from a drug boss in Rio last time out in Fast FiveThey have all gone their own ways and have found something or another to spend their money on.

Toretto (Vin Diesel) lives with Elena (Elsa Pataky) on a beach somewhere, Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have started a family with new arrival Jack, Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) have set up home in Hong Kong while Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) are living lives of luxury.

A spanner is thrown into the works when Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turns up at Toretto's home with pictures proving that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), is still alive. That is not the only issue as she is now running with a new crew led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). His crew are hitting convoys across the globe to get their hands on the essential items needed to build a Nightshade device, a device that has the ability to cripple the power in a large region and can be sold for a very high price.

Of course when the opportunity to get back in their cars and do what they do best is on the cards it is not long before the group are back together plotting to take Shaw and his crew down, this time working with Hobbs.

Toretto wants one thing more than anything though and that is to get Letty back into their 'family'. Family is a major part of this film and I really did lose count of how many times the word was actually said throughout.

And there we have it. As soon as the crew are reassembled the action comes thick and fast. There is no letting up. There is no slowing down. Come on, I mean the film has the words fast and furious in its title, what were you expecting?

The idea to bring back the original cast obviously helped in giving the franchise a much needed kickstart back in 2009 but it is the story that, for me, has been the most interesting concept of these films. What started off as a film about illegal street racers has turned into a film where it seems anything is possible with these guys behind the wheel of a car.

Each film has got more and more ridiculous in terms of action. But like I said in my review of Star Trek Into Darkness, sequels these days are expected to be bigger and better. Fast & Furious 6 certainly ticks all the boxes in that department. It ups the ante from Fast Five, which saw police cars dragging a vault full of money through the streets of Rio, trashing everything in their path.

There is one race in this film and it features an unnecessary appearance from Rita Ora. An appearance that tops even the constant mention of family when it comes to things people may find cringeworthy about this film. But forget that, it is the extremely over-the-top action that people have flocked to see Fast & Furious 6 for.

Of course the majority of the action takes place in the cars but there are also a few fight scenes that are pretty hard-hitting. These include a brutal fight in the London Underground between Letty and Riley (Gina Carano) and a fight onboard a cargo plane that sees Toretto and Hobbs take down a man, the size of both combined, in a very unconventional manner.

However, the most ridiculous stuff happens when the cars come into play. It is hard to think of how Fast Five could be topped in terms of over-the-top action but when you see Fast & Furious 6, you will be questioning the laws of both physics and logic.

There are four separate occasions where death defying leaps are made from vehicle to vehicle while travelling at breakneck speeds, one of which sees Roman launch himself from the bonnet of his car on to the roof of Brian's car while his car is literally being eaten by a tank, yes I said a tank.

Surprisingly though, that is not the most ridiculous thing to happen. In the later stages of the film, a cargo plane is brought down mid take-off by Toretto's crew and their cars. Whoever wrote the story obviously thought that they should create a made up airfield for this set-piece as there is no way on earth that there is a runway on this planet that is long enough for what happens. I told you logic went amiss in this film.

For me though there was one particular scene that stole the show for me when it comes to ridiculousness. I think the audience in the same screening would agree with me on this as well judging by their reactions. Basically, Letty finds herself on top of the tank trying to cut lose a wire attached to a car anchoring them down. Toretto realises while on the other side of the bridge that the tank is about to flip over so decides to get on the bonnet of his car, all while managing to keep the car at its top speed. The inevitable happens and the tank flips, sending Letty through the air. Toretto takes a leap of faith and attempts to catch her. I have never heard so many gasps at the cinema before. People were shocked at the thought of Letty being killed off yet again, but the shock soon turned to relief when Toretto manages to catch her and they land on the windshield of another car across the bridge. 

Vin Diesel gives us his best Superman impression here but I'm afraid someone has to tell him that the lead role in Man of Steel has already been taken, better luck next time Vin!

There is a surprise appearance from someone in a scene after the end credits that will ensure the next entries into the franchise keep raising the bar for over-the-top action. 

Overall, it is fair to say that the Fast & Furious franchise is still going strong. Yes, the dialogue is some of the cheesiest I have heard in a while and the action is so outrageous you may need a lie down after a first viewing but there is no denying that the film itself is entertaining.

My advice to anyone would be to simply sit back and just enjoy the ride!

Verdict: 3/5


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