Movies: Favourites return for fast, furious film fun.......
Fast and Furious 6 is great, mindless fun, writes Lou Lumenick
STILL going strong in its sixth – and arguably most entertaining, or at least loudest – instalment (with a seventh already announced), you could look at the 12-yearold Fast and Furious series as a steroid-pumped 21st-century version of the Smokey and the Bandit films.
That one ran out of gas midway through the second instalment and expired after Burt Reynolds and Sally Fields refused to return for the third.
In its third outing, Fast and Furious replaced its entire original cast with cheaper personnel – but all of them eventually returned and are now reassembled with additional recruits from over the years.
Justin Lin, who helmed that third one, Tokyo Drift, and every one since, now perfectly understands what audiences want – eye-popping stunts involving a wide variety of vehicles, assorted martial arts, stuff blowing up and just a soupcon of plot, comedy, bromance and romance.
In many ways, Fast and Furious 6 is more fun than Skyfall and a lot more fun than the deadly dull Star Trek Into Darkness, both of which ask you to take their silly plots way too seriously.
There’s no such danger in Fast and Furious 6, which plays fast and loose with credibility and the laws of physics, allowing souped-up cars to tumble end over end and characters to leap across a chasm between two lanes of an elevated highway from which a tank is dangling precariously.
Especially enjoyable is a lengthy set-piece where the crew is pursuing an enormous cargo plane, which they try to prevent from taking off by lashing their cars to the underbelly. This takes place on the runway of a Spanish NATO base something like 50 kilometres long.
And yes, there is a story that surfaces now and then over two quickly moving hours.
Dwayne Johnson’s federal agent recruits the crew of badass drivers to stop a generic British bad guy (Luke Evans) with his own crew from stealing a component for a dirty bomb he plans to sell to terrorists.
Mere money being an insufficient inducement for drivers who scored millions at the end of Fast and Furious 5, Johnson offers amnesty so the fugitives from justice can return to the US.
As an added inducement for Vin Diesel’s crew leader, Johnson reveals Diesel’s former girlfriend (Michelle Rodriguez) – presumed dead at the end of 2009’s Fast and Furious – is alive, conveniently suffering from amnesia and currently the squeeze and chief lieutenant to the British bad guy. Got that?
The cast of Fast and Furious 6 – including co-leader Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster and series newcomer Gina Carino – seem to be having a grand old time chasing bad guys, stirring each other and busting heads on three continents.
If you’re willing to check your brains at the popcorn stand, you probably will enjoy yourself, too. And you won’t have to wear those stupid 3D glasses.
– The New York Post
Fast and Furious 6 opens today.
Left: Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 6.
Michelle Rodriguez, as Vin Diesel’s former girlfriend, rejoins the cast of the Fast
and Furious franchise.