Wednesday 15 May 2013

Fast & Furious 6 review

Fast & Furious 6 (12A/PG-13, 130 mins)
Director: Justin Lin
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

There’s something to be admired about a movie series that has gone from fun to bloated to having stuck around so long that it actually became fun again, largely thanks to the introduction of Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five.

Now the Fast & Furiouses are being churned out at such an alarming rate, you’ll barely have time to catch your breath before part seven will be with us next spring. But we’ll need to make do in the meantime with this ludicrously enjoyable sixth entry that sees former criminals Dom and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) retired to family life in Spain.

Meanwhile Johnson’s cop is on the trail of another set of bad guys led by Luke Evans, and goes to Dom and his crew of street-racers for their help, the carrot being that Dom’s one-time squeeze Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) isn’t as dead as he thought she was. And if they can bring the gang down, they’ll get the pardons that will allow them to return to the States.

By becoming increasingly convoluted and introducing too many characters, it means there’s an awful lot of movie here for a daft racing flick. When they talk it can sometimes be best to look away, as feeble lines delivered by subpar actors aren’t what you’ve signed up to a Fast & Furious picture for. And it can sometimes be very po-faced, generally whenever Diesel is around. Thank heavens then for Johnson, who punctures the stern atmosphere with some engaging stuff.

But when it takes to the roads, it’s a Ferrari of a different colour. The vehicular mayhem is stunningly executed, often thrilling, albeit not all of it coherent, and at least a good percentage of it looks done for real. An exposition-heavy midsection in between the bouts of carnage threatens to outstay its welcome, but a centrepiece chase on a Spanish highway involving a tank is worth the wait. That’s merely a taster for a quite colossal climactic sequence on the world’s longest airport runway, making the final third of the movie unrepentantly silly and thoroughly enjoyable.

And stick around once the credits start rolling to see who’ll be joining the fun in episode seven!

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