When the original The Fast and the Furious was released in 2001 I definitely thought that Universal Studios would make 5 more.  But in all seriousness I definitely didn’t think that.  As far as film franchises go you’d be hard pressed to find a more consistent one than FaF.  It delivers precisely what it sets out to deliver.  Babes? Yep.  Fast cars? Damn right. Stunningly bad acting? There is so much of this that nearly every scene is unintentionally funny (thanks Paul Walker for existing as you’re the only one who still seems is not in on the joke.)  Oh…The Rock is in it too continuing his quest to be in every movie while wrestling and making television shows.

Fast & Furious 6 continues the series long history of destruction with no consequences.  After the ridiculously fun events of Fast Five Dominic Torretto (the undeniably sleepy Vin Diesel) is holed up in his South American mansion with a beautiful Brazilian woman.  He’s living the life; racing his best friend Brian (Paul Walker), barbecuing with Brian and giving Brian parenting advice (a little presumptuous from a guy with no kids.)  Alas, the quiet life isn’t for this dynamic, monotone duo.  Special agent Hobbs (The Rock) needs their help.  A rogue group of highly skilled criminals (who are, GASP, incredible drivers) are stealing microchips that could lead to world domination or something and Hobbs needs Dom’s crew to reunite and help take them down.

hr_Fast___Furious_6_4It’s here where we get a montage of Ludacris, Tyrese, an Asian guy and a pretty girl with an accent.  Apparently all of these people were in the other movies.  They say funny things sometimes and generally perpetuate insensitive racial stereotypes (par for the course in a FAF movie.)  The big twist that’s been revealed in every trailer is that Dom’s lost love and childhood sweetheart Letty (Michelle Rodriguez in a desperate attempt to stay relevant) is alive and working with the enemy.  The world’s dumbest plot device is used to explain away her motivation and the fact that she’s not actually dead but it’s not really important.  What’s important…is the action and boy does it deliver.

Fast 6 takes its time to give us the set pieces but when it does they’re relentless.  The penultimate sequence takes place on a freeway in some foreign land.  It involves lots of fast cars and a tank that”s also really fast.  Lots of things explode.  What makes the action great is Director Justin Lin’s keen eye.  He always keeps the epic scope in mind while not resorting to the easy Michael Bay quick cuts.  That’s not to say these scenes aren’t kinetic, they are often riveting.  It’s Lin’s attention to detail combined with his mix of practical and CGI effects that give these scenes the depth they deserve.

The other oddly endearing side of these films is how they completely ignore plausibility.  Characters leap through dgfev online casino the sky as if physics don’t exist.  They move across continents in a matter of seconds.  There is a sequence where a character goes to America from London – is put in prison – meets a character for some information – gets out of jail and is back in London in 15 minutes (it’s incredible.)  The final battle takes place on a runway at a military base.  It’s wonderfully staged as the crew attempts to keep a cargo plane from taking off with the bad guys.  But after about 25 minutes I began to wonder, is this the world’s longest runway?  With how fast everyone was driving I’m guessing it was at minimum 30-miles long.

This dedication to the ridiculous filters through the ensemble as well.  As we know, Dom lives his life, “a quarter mile at a time.”  Diesel delivers that and other gems like, “ride or die” and, “family is my life” in his traditional monotone. Diesel is an amazing linguist.  Every line sounds like a 75-year old man who just woke up.  He’s not startled, just annoyed he has to read it.  And his quiet moments with the force that is Paul Walker are incredible in their badness. Even The Rock gets in on the act.  His wrestling background gives him perfect range for the material.  He also only wears under armor which got some audible chuckles by the end.

The plots of these films are pointless but because of that I have the perfect send off for the series.  In Fast 7: Super-Fast, Dom and Brian steal the world’s largest diamond.  As they drive super-fast (hence the subtitle) Ludacris tells them he has discovered an amazing new technology down by the harbor.  They drive down to discover their crew on a large floating vessel. “What’s this?” Dom asks puzzled.  “It’s called a boat,” Ludacris responds. “It’s like a car on the water.”  Dom slowly removes his glasses and smirks knowing that in this world he and his crew are the only people who have heard of boats.  As they pull away the bad guy sits at the water’s edge, devastated that his car can’t float. It would be 5-minutes long and I wouldn’t have to sit through another one of these.

Rating: 3 Stars

Fast & Furious 6 Opens Everywhere Friday