Fast & Furious 6

Directed By: Justin Lin

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Sung Kang, Luke Evans, Gina Carano, Gal Gadot, Elsa Pataky, and John Ortiz

It's official.  I'm convinced that the Fast & Furious films are the 007 flicks of our time.  I'm not talking about Daniel Craig, the James Bond we know and love today.  I'm talking about the old days with Sean Connery, the master British spy of the 60s and 70s who got the whole franchise started in the first place.  Though Vin Diesel and Sean Connery are obviously nothing alike, their franchises share many similarities.  First and foremost, each series features hot cars, beautiful women, and plenty of hi-tech gadgets.  Each series has also got its fair share of international hotspots (e.g. Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, London, etc.).  Most importantly, each requires a pretty committed suspension of disbelief in the face of some really ridiculous stunts and action sequences.

After the events of Fast Five, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew are living the good life with a $100 million retirement fund.  Dom is enjoying his new life with his girlfriend Elena (Elsa Pataky).  Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have just had a baby.  Roman (Tyrese Gibson) is jet-setting with the ladies to Macao.  Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) is doing his thing as the black Robin Hood.  Finally, Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) are globetrotting and finding their fair share of trouble.  The last person Dom and his family expected to interrupt their brand new lives was their old foe Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) of the US Diplomatic Security Service.  They can't really say anything though.  After all, they weren't hiding.

Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) is a former Special Forces soldier who leads the world's best heist crew.  He's been trying to put some sort of secret weapon together that poses a major global threat, and Hobbs has chased him across four continents unsuccessfully.  After Shaw pulls off a major heist in Moscow with unparalleled precision, Hobbs decides to enlist the help of the best crew he can find.  He goes to get Dom and his team out of retirement.  To coax them into vehicular warfare with Shaw, Hobbs gives Dom some information on his long-lost love Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), a ghost who happens to be alive, well, and working for Shaw.  For family, Dom decides to get back in the game to try to take down Shaw's team.

By normal conventions, the Fast & Furious films are not good movies, but I don't come into these movies expecting The Dark Knight.  With this in mind, I can guaran-damn-tee you that Fast & Furious 6 is the most ridiculous film of the bunch.  The stunts are insanely impossible.  Vin Diesel is cheesier than ever.  Some of the plot developments are absolutely inexplicable with any logic known to man.  At the same time, however, director Justin Lin lets loose and has the same kind of fun that he did two years ago in Fast Five and weaves a film that's interconnected with many of the earlier installments in the franchise.  All in all, Fast & Furious 6 is an enjoyable romp that delivers on all the elements I mentioned at the beginning of this review — glossy gas guzzlers, gorgeous girls, and great gadgets.

At the center of this fun flick crafted by Justin Lin, we have a great cast, of whom the two best are undoubtedly Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Tyrese Gibson.  Reprising his role from Fast Five as DSS agent Luke Hobbs, Johnson gets to do the two things he does best, whooping ass and talking trash.  Time and time again, The Rock seriously lays the smackdown on some jabronis in this flick.  When he's not hulking up and kicking ass, he's trading hilarious barbs with each and every cast member and establishing himself as one of the film's key comedic gems.  For his part as Roman Pearce, Tyrese just serves up comedic gold every time he's on screen.  Whether dishing out buffet vouchers to hot women or trying to get a snack from a vending machine at the most inopportune moment, Tyrese keeps the laughs coming.  He's definitely my favorite character in the franchise.

Two other standouts in the film who serve up some serious cans of whoopass are Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano.  I'm not going to comment on their heavily marketed fight scene or the reason for which Letty is alive, but I will talk about their individual contributions to the movie.  Reprising her role as Letty, Rodriguez is a welcome addition to the film and makes the franchise feel at home again.  When Rodriguez is not breaking bones or burning rubber, this tough chick is sharing some surprisingly well-done romantic scenes with Vin Diesel.  For her part as DSS agent Riley, Gina Carano is not here to talk.  She's not here to act.  She's here to kick some ass, and she does just that throughout the movie.

Fast & Furious 6 is really an inflection point in the franchise.  It connects the dots between all the films, especially Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious.  It charts a course for the future of the series and ultimately takes us back home.  Obviously, the film does not do all of this perfectly, but it sure offers up some damn good fun along the way.  Fast & Furious 6 gets a strong 0.06% rating.  Have some Coronas with this one.  With Justin Lin once again pulling a page out of the Marvel playbook, stick around for a post-credits scene with some revelations you won't want to miss!