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Fast & Furious 6 (2013), bigger cast, bigger biceps, bigger explosions and bigger stakes.

April 13, 2017


MY CALL:  This sequel seems to mostly be about “more.” We have more of everything fans love down to more fights and chase scenes. I’ll always consider part 5 the best, but part 6 is sure to please any action movie fan.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Fast & Furious 6Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) for one. Of course, there are also a lot of other Fast and Furious films.  Personally, after the original (for the sake of historical franchise significance), I most strongly recommend Fast Five (2011; for a second opinion check out Mark’s review of Fast Five), followed by Furious 7 (2015), and this sixth installment (for a second opinion check out Mark’s review of Fast and Furious 6). However, Mark ranked the films quite differently than I did—Ranking Fast and Furious 1-6—and he’d suggest his favorite to be 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). For yet more Fast and Furious opinions be sure to check out our Podcast on Corona, Belgian Beer, BBQ and the Fast and Furious films, A Closer Look at the Corona Drinking in The Fast and The Furious Franchise and Paul Walker’s 7 Best Fast and Furious Moments.

Fast Five (2011) took the typical sequel path of “going global” and taking us to Brazil.  But evidently a single venue change just isn’t enough.  Now we find scenes speckled all over the globe: a crime scene in Moscow, Brian in Spain’s Canary Islands, Han and Gisele in Hong Kong, and now the crew is summoned to meet in London.

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson; Pain and Gain, Ballers, G I Joe: Retaliation) has even greater anger management issues than in Fast Five (2011) and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I guess it’s a bit comical when, during an interrogation scene, he tosses a pretty large dude up into the ceiling and across the room into the wall.  But The Rock is such a physically tremendous person with such a bigger-than-life persona that, you know what, I’m just gonna’ give him a pass and enjoy it.

So, at the end of Fast Five (2011) Hobbs said, “I’ll see you soon.”  And here he is knocking on Dom’s door asking for some big time favors in exchange for full pardons for his crew.  What’s the deal?  Dom’s crew of international criminals need to help Hobbs catch yet another crew of international criminals that also has an affinity for highspeed precision cars.

The already huge cast of Fast Five (2011) grows yet stronger—like a ‘roided out bicep!  In fact, with some added muscle mass from preparing for Pain and Gain (2013), The Rock has also literally come into this sequel bigger than before!  We sadly lose the comic relief of Leo and Santos, but gain Riley (Gina Carano; Haywire, Deadpool)!  And for our new villain we have Shaw (Luke Evans; Dracula Untold, Beauty and the Beast, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), who is far more methodical than Fast Fives Reyes.

At 46 years old (in 2013), Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel; The Last Witch Hunter, Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick) shows us that you’re never too old to wear a tight white tank top and continues to choose bare biceps over sleeves, Brian (Paul Walker; Brick Mansions, Hours, Into the Blue) and Mia (Jordana Brewster; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Chuck, Dallas) are starting a new family, Gisele (Gal Gadot; Fast and Furious, Dawn of Justice: Batman vs Superman, Wonder Woman), Han (Sung Kang; Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Ninja Assassin, Bullet to the Head), Roman (Tyrese Gibson; Legion, Transformers 1-3, 2 Fast 2 Furious), Tej (Chris Ludacris Bridges; Crash, Hustle and Flow, Gamer, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and rap performing artist) and Elsa (Elsa Pataky; Snakes on a Plane, Fast Five) return to round out our cast of heroes.  But, most importantly, everyone gets their moment to shine whether through humor or sentiment.

When we first meet Shaw he zooms from an exploding crime scene in an armored stock car aided by his accomplice Letty (Michelle Rodriguez; Resident Evil, Machete Kills, Avatar), who is actually alive and suffering from soap opera-levels of amnesia!  Shaw’s team is like the evil mirror image of our favorite drag-racing crew, down to the “white Hobbs” (Kim Kold; Star Trek Beyond, Deliver Us from Evil), wispy mysterious woman (Clara Paget; Black Sails), and Jah (Joe Taslim; The Raid: Redemption, Star Trek Beyond) among others.  This cast is humungous!

Director Justin Lin (Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Fast Five, Star Trek Beyond) has brought us more than just a bigger cast, but bigger action.  Consistent with Fast Five (2011), our chase scenes are not only by car but on foot.  And one split-cut pair of chase scenes lead us to my favorite part of the movie: THE SUBWAY FIGHT.  Riley and Letty beat the ever-loving crap out of each other as if this was a UFC event while Han and Roman team up against Shaw’s wily martial artist Jah.  The fights trade scenes as the fighters trade brutal blows—I winced a few times.  The close-quarters combat choreography was excellent!  What I loved about these fights (unlike so many non-finale fight scenes in action flicks) is that no one is flawless here.  Everyone gets beaten up, and the winners scramble or limp away after being bombarded with drop-kicks, choke holds, arm bars and spin kicks.  These brawls honor the high standard set by Fast Five’s (2011) Dom-Hobbs fight, complete with rib-crunching tackles.  The fight scenes and action sequence in the finale is a blast as well.

The car-crashing, shoot’em up action is in high gear, teeny bikinis get their fair share of screen time, subtle jokes about “Samoan Thor,” a destructive high-speed tank scene, and a great soundtrack all complement this action movie favorite.  But don’t forget, it’s not just about the action.

Somehow even more than in Fast Five (2011), you’ll hear the word “family” every ten minutes just remind you that this all started with barbeques, Corona, and drag racing in the ghetto.  In fact, you’ll even see a grill in the first 15 minutes harkening back to Dom’s driveway get-togethers.  But we are far from the NO2 days of living life a quarter mile at a time. Now everyone’s a millionaire! Despite that wealth, Dom remains a romantic and his heart will always belong to Letty.

We end part six much as it all started 12 years prior with everyone sharing a barbeque, Coronas, and grace with family at the old 1327 Toretto house.  We also end exactly as part 5, “I’ll see you soon.”

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