PG Cooper: Fast and Furious 6 Review

Posted: May 27, 2013 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

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It’s fascinating how The Fast and the Furious series was able to rise from the ashes of irrelevance and became something of note worth. The first film was a pretty solid hit and while it was far from a critical darling, audiences did respond to the movie. However the good will of the series was damaged by two ridiculously named sequels which made less money and were liked far less than the original film. Tokyo Drift didn’t even manage to make its budget back domestically. It seemed the series was doomed, but 2009’s Fast & Furious brought in the most money of any entry at the time and revived interest in the series. Fast Five was an even bigger success, not only making money but also getting good reviews from critics. It was a weird case of a series becoming more credible as it went on instead of the opposite. I’m personally not really a fan of the series, but I do find the way it’s become successful interesting and I do admire that it has stuck with the same continuity. This led me to Fast and Furious 6.

The series picks up shortly after Fast Five. Our merry band of thieves are enjoying their success in various ways. Dom and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) are lying low in a foreign country with their families, Roman and Tej (Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris) are living excessive lives with their fortune, and Han and Gisele (Sung Kang and Gal Gadot) are living together in Hong Kong. However Hobbes (Dwayne Johnson) comes to them needing their help in bringing down another group of thieves. Initially Dom has no interest, but soon learns his former lover Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who was believed to be dead, is in fact alive and working with this other crew. So the team assembles again with the promise of pardons for their former crimes.

I like the set-up here. The idea of Dom and his crew facing against a similar group but with less morals is a solid one and opens up the film to all sorts of action scenarios. This also allows Hobbes to join the team. It’s not what I’d call a great plot, but as far as premises for movies like this go, they could do a whole lot worse. I do think more could have been done with the idea though, and there’s also a lot of scenes where characters flat-out explain the similarities and differences between the two. I’m never a fan of these scenes and they stick out here. The story also breaks off into pointless divergences which just slow things down and the mystery of how Letty survived events in the previous films is explained in a pretty half-assed way.

My issues with the story hurt the film, but the biggest problems here are the dialogue and characters. I don’t expect David Mamet like conversation from films like this, but a bit more wit and cleverness would be appreciated. The humour is very juvenile and none of the jokes worked for me, and there are a lot of jokes. These films are in desperate need of better writers. I also really don’t care for any of these characters. I found them boring at best and annoying at worst. Hobbes is probably the only character I sort of like, and that has more to do with Dwayne Johnson’s charisma than anything. Everyone else is just bland. Action films need great characters in order to be successful. The reason I enjoyed Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness as much as I did is in large part thanks to the characters. Fast and Furious 6 gives me no one to latch onto.

Of course I have yet to talk about the main reason people watch these movies; the action scenes. As expected, there are plenty of chases, shoot-outs, fist fights, and demolitions thrown at the audience. The film even brings in a tank in the third act. That said, only two action scenes really stand out. These being an early chase through the streets of London where a bunch of cars get flipped and the aforementioned tank scene. The rest of the action scenes are a lot more bland and forgettable. The action climax of the film, involving the plane highlighted in trailers, is also a let down. Simply put, there is so much shit going on that I found myself becoming numb to the action. Plus, without characters to root for, it’s hard to get invested.

Fast and Furious 6 is not a film I hated while it was on, but when I look back at it there isn’t much merit. There are stretches of boredom, the characters are dull and uninteresting, and the work on the whole is very forgettable. Granted, the film has two good action scenes and a fun cameo at the end that I enjoyed. I also think that fans of the series will likely enjoy this entry as it is pretty much more of the same. Personally, I wasn’t impressed and found myself forgetting the film as soon as I left the theater.

D+

Comments
  1. And you’re calling MY grade off? LOL… 8O

    Fugghedabboudit.

  2. CMrok93 says:

    Good review PG. I’ll give it to you, it’s idiotic and stupid, but still the best of the franchise. It means something to me, believe it or not.

  3. Mark Hobin says:

    I didn’t hate this, but I’ll admit it strains credibility and there isn’t much to recommend beyond some really exciting action sequences. When the stunts are happening it’s pretty fun, but when they start talking, it’s death.

    I enjoyed this more than you, but nice to see a blogger that didn’t give this some version of an of A.

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