Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Director: Justin Lin
Running Time: 131 mins
Fast & Furious 6 is an American film and the sixth in the Fast & Furious series. On the request of Hobbs, Dom and Brian reassemble their team in London, where a brutal criminal gang is wreaking havoc, and holds a secret weapon linked to Dom’s past.
While Fast Five took a step towards an all-out ridiculous popcorn blockbuster, Fast & Furious 6 actually takes a step back in the other direction, but that’s not to its detriment. Yes, there’s still a lot of great action here, but this film has the most engaging story of the entire series, and manages to keep it interesting over a long runtime that’s not as chock full of action as you’d expect.
But let’s start off with the action, because that’s what you really want to see from this film. Throughout, there are a handful of excellent action set pieces, starting off relatively calmly in comparison to Fast Five, but eventually exploding into something as crazy and spectacular as you can expect from this series.
Justin Lin’s strong directing style continues the series’ increasingly polished look, with Fast & Furious 6 coming off with the appearance of a Mission Impossible movie more than anything else. It’s by no means as heavily stylised and of its time as the series’ first three editions were, and that means it’ll have far better longevity, but the appearance of a proper action thriller combined with a crazed blockbuster is integral to making this film an entertaining watch.
What I was most surprised by here, however, was the story. Again, it’s not exceptional, and I was never quite on the edge of my seat, but for the first time since The Fast And The Furious, I felt like caring about the fate of the characters, thanks to some interesting developments that change the overall dynamic of the series’ story arc.
There’s heavy emphasis on the family vibe amongst the lead characters, so there isn’t going to be the same sort of dynamic between leads Dom and Brian, although Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs’ increased involvement in the story helps to keep up a good bit of tension and rivalry within the main team.
However, the way the story delves a little more into Dom’s character, pulling Brian a little further back from lead status, was actually very interesting to see. The events of Fast & Furious regarding his relationship with Letty finally come good, and you do get some a genuinely interesting story throughout the film centring on the fate of Letty, humanising both her and Dom as characters a little more, which I thought was great to see.
When it comes to the main action plot, it’s pretty much the same as we’ve had in the fourth and fifth films. Moving on from its focus on street racing, the Fast & Furious series is much more about crime, heists and action, thus giving it that Mission Impossible atmosphere. On the one hand, that allows for more fun and excitement than the rather restrictive street racing premise did, but on the other, it leads to a series of rather repetitive and predictable plots along the way.
Although there are good changes with regards to the characters, I couldn’t really get into the meat of the plot, with everything playing out in an almost identical fashion to the previous films, and not offering much excitement or unpredictability above the huge action sequences.
Finally, much like Fast Five, I still think that the runtime is a little too long. There’s a surprising amount in this story, but it definitely doesn’t need over two hours to be fleshed out, and because of that, there are still a few rather dull periods where there’s neither enough focus on the characters nor the action-oriented plot, which was a shame to see.
Overall, I enjoyed Fast & Furious 6. It’s nothing to write home about, but it provides another entertaining action spectacle with a lot more character depth and intrigue than in recent editions. With more good performances and excellent on-screen chemistry, along with Lin’s impressive directing, this is a much stronger entry for the series, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.1.