Written by Nicholas Simonovski
I think it’s safe to say that I was pretty excited for the latest Fast & Furious film. While I could tell you that I’ve been keen to see it since the trailer was released earlier this year, the truth is, I’ve been playing the waiting game pretty much since the moment a sequel was hinted at the end of Fast Five. Two years later, with the movie finally released in Australia (only a fortnight behind the rest of the world!), has Fast & Furious 6 been worth the wait, or is it time to finally park the franchise in the garage?
Now, before I continue with the review, I should tell you that I enjoyed this film. I walked in as a long-time fan of the franchise, and I didn’t walk out disappointed.
Moving on though, the plot of Fast & Furious 6 begins a short while after the events of Fast Five. Mia is about to give birth to her and Brian’s child, Dom and Elena are enjoying their freedom, and the rest of the crew are living it up with their recently earned $11 million (we don’t see Rico and Tego, but we are told that they lost all their money at the casino).
Shortly into the movie however, Hobbs finds and confronts Toretto, and asks him to assist in taking down another crew, which has recently pulled off a large-scale job on a military convoy in Russia. Headed by Owen Shaw (played by Luke Evans), this group operates on a much larger scale than Toretto’s, and we are told they are one part away from assembling an EMP-styled weapon, possible of disabling an entire country for 24 hours. It’s up to Dominic and his crew to stop Shaw before he finds the chip, with the promise of finding Letty (who we were lead to believe died in the last film) as his source of motivation.
It should be noted (and I feel, this is perhaps the most important thing that should be emphasised not just about this film, but the entire franchise itself), that the Fast & Furious films have evolved over the past six movies. Where this franchise started with The Fast & The Furious over a decade ago, is not where it is now. Ever since the release of the fourth film, it was clear that they were moving away from being just about street-racing, to being more action-focused.
While you won’t see any ‘tricked’ RX7s racing alongside Skylines, the film still features a decent amount of action scenes with the actors in cars, and there is a major street race in the middle as well. As far as I’m concerned, it’s still very much a Fast & Furious movie.
Another thing I wanted to touch on was the realism in this film … and the fact of the matter is, there’s little of it. From one of the opening scenes showing Toretto and O’Connor racing far too fast down a mountainside path (where there is no chance they could make the corners), to the now famous airstrip scene at the end of the film (where everyone would have seen the memes by now about how ridiculously long it is), it’s clear that F&F6 is all about massive action scenes – and to be honest, it works well. While I didn’t quite feel as on the edge of my seat as I did for the last two films (maybe because they teased a few big scenes in the trailers), the movie definitely satisfied that racing itch, while proving itself as a great action film too.
Some fans might disagree with what I’ve written above, but looking back on the franchise, Fast & Furious has really matured since the early days of the original film, into a decent action franchise. It’s great to have the entire cast back (minus Rico and Tego – but in-the-end, who cares about them) and it’s also awesome to see the franchise getting better and better each time. The driving scenes are great, the action is solid, and the ending is also a great way to end everything on. The only thing I’m worried about, is how the next film will play out. F&F6 raised the bar high as an action film, and with Tokyo Drift being an awesome racing film, I wonder how long the franchise can continue with the strength it has seen thus far.