Somewhere at the beginning of “Fast & Furious 6,” upon viewing a crime scene which involved a great deal of vehicular mayhem (yes, “vehicular mayhem” is a thing), FBI agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) says the following: “There’s only one crew in the world that could get this done.”
The joke here is that he’s NOT talking about the Fast and/or Furious crew of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and company, but a different group of automotive-based criminals.
In fact, Agent Hobbs going to need the assistance and expertise of the Fast and/or Furious crew to capture these vehicular ne’er-do-wells.
Having subverted our expectations this once, the rest of “Fast & Furious 6” is basically what you think it’s going to be if you’ve seen any of the other films in the series, particularly its immediate predecessor, “Fast Five.”
Again directed by Justin Lin, “Fast & Furious 6” follows a script (a term which I’m using loosely here) by Chris Morgan, who has written a screenplay with as much brainless macho posturing as audiences have come to expect from these kind of films.
“Furious & Furious 6” features Dominic (Diesel), Brian (Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang), and Tej (Chris Ludacris Bridges) cooperating with Agent Hobbs and his new partner, the butt-kicking femme Riley (Gina Carano), to stop the evil Shaw (Luke Evans) from obtaining a dangerous weapon. Or something like that.
Shaw and his friends use cars to do everything, and you know what they say — fight cars with cars.
Oh, and remember Vin Diesel’s girlfriend who was killed in one of the earlier movies? No? Well, me neither, honestly, but we learned at the very end of “Fast 5” that she was alive after all (gasp!), and in “Fast & Furious 6” she’s still alive, but she suffers from amnesia and may have turned to the dark side.
Despite small touches like this, in which the franchise has been turned into a high-octane soap opera, the real reason to watch is the action, which this movie has in excess.
“Fast & Furious 6” more than delivers its share of spectacular death-, gravity-, and (quite frankly) logic-defying stunt sequences, including a centerpiece on a bridge which builds to a marvelously unlikely climax, and a finale involving a giant airplane, a lot of cars, and the world’s longest runway.
The fact that so much of the action ranges from the implausible to the literally impossible hardly matters here, as the movie is presented with so much energy and ernest commitment, and even without shaky cameras or chaotic editing. While these aren’t exactly my kind of films, clearly they’ve caught on with audiences, and who doesn’t enjoy a little over-the-top action every so often?
Given this, it would help if the vehicular shenanigans weren’t so spread out over the course of the movie’s 120 or so minutes.
I suppose it does help to be emotionally invested in the characters (two-dimensional as most of them are), but outside of anything pertaining to car chases, crashes or similarly high-octane action, the rest of the movie comes off as filler, clocking time until the next big action scene.
For what it is, “Fast & Furious 6” is enjoyable, shiny brain candy — not exactly a bad movie, but hardly one to get too excited about. It’s fairly harmless fun, but fun that’s as quickly forgotten as it is consumed. — forgotten at least, until they start showing trailers for “Fast & Furious 7.”
“Fast & Furious 6” is rated PG-13 for moderate profanity (including one F-bomb), lots and lots and lots of action violence and gratuitous pectoral muscles. “Fast & Furious 6” is showing in Claremore at the Claremore Cinema 8. For a complete listing of showtimes, contact CC8 at (918) 342-2422.