What Justin Lin has done to the Fast & Furious franchise is a modern day miracle. He created a brand new universe of vehicular action films, setting up seed after seed since Tokyo Drift. His final piece of work, Fast & Furious 6, is unfortunately the end of his involvement, but what a way to go out.
Fast & Furious 6 starts off where Fast 5 ended. But the ante quickly rises, as Brian has a son, and Dom receives very important information about the resurrection of Letty. Things move even faster as the whole team resembles, and gets thrown into the world of Owen Shaw, a ex-Military export with a whole lot of skills and violence. And unfortunately, Letty is now part of his crew, helping him retrieve intelligence and technology that does something. Honestly, the movie does a very poor job of explaining the purpose of these villains, but honestly, who cares.
Dom, Brian, and Hobbs are not all together working for the same team, and in exchange for the capturing of Shaw, will not only get Letty back but also receive pardons to go back home (I guess Brazil wasn’t good enough…). Through all of this, we get the chase scenes, the fights, and everything we ever wanted from this franchise: pure exhilaration.
Now look, this is no grand epic film that pushes the depths or themes reflecting society, but it does do is entertain the hell out of the audience, and really, that’s all we would ever ask for. What Justin Lin does well more than any other director working with car chase scenes is that he understands the importance of spatial awareness. You can’t just have mass chaos and not give a hoot about the viewer’s perception and understanding of what’s happening. This major flaw happens in almost every mediocre action film, thinking quick cuts and vicious editing will solve any dull set piece. Unfortunately, the audience isn’t that stupid, and when we lose all placement of what the hell is going on, then that’s the quickest way to kill your film in the action-adventure genre.
And with Fast & Furious 6, though crazy and obnoxious is happening all around, it moves at a linear pace. The film overall works well, placing plenty of humor and character development throughout this two hour plus film. There are times where the film is overflowing of exposition, and sometimes focuses too much on allowing these characters to expose themselves. Though I appreciate the approach, sometimes I just want to see stuff blow up, and I must admit I got a little impatient and anxious. But the last hour of the film eased my frustration and ran past my expectations.
The entire film is completely unnecessary. I mean, that’s kind of the entire franchise. Over enthusiasm, improbable scenarios and ludicrous (you see what I did there?) action sequences, but it’s all part of what makes this franchise, and Fast & Furious 6 specifically work so well. Once you know your identity, completely dive into it, and take it for an extremely enjoyable ride. What I loved most is how Justin Lin fits this film into the world of the Fast & Furious, placing it correctly with the chronological order of all films. It’s a stroke of genius, and you’ll see how important each moment is throughout the entirety of the franchise. And the teaser at the end of the film is absolutely incredible. One of the best eggs I’ve ever seen (even when I knew about it beforehand).
What works in this film is drenched to its maximum, taking us on an experience that matches any action film of the summer. It’s laughable at times, absurd, and complete stupidity, but at the end of the day, it works. It all works. And that’s all you can really ask for out Fast & Furious 6.
Fast & Furious 6 receives 3 ½ stars (out of 5).