I’m paraphrasing here – at one point in Fast & Furious 6 Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) says “I’ve never seen this before” as a reference to the absolute mayhem that’s being caused as a result of the manhunt for Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his crew of professional criminals. That one line of dialogue is exactly how we all feel as this franchise has evolved. What started out back in 2001 is completely different in 2013 with the 6th installment of this franchise. The Fast saga has evolved way past what anyone expected or predicted it would be. It’s a necessary evolution – staying uniform and constant can create a sense that things will get tired and played out. This change had to come, and it came at the right time when the franchise needed it the most.
But as the changes were made to one area of the franchise, another was inadvertently mishandled and mistreated. No longer does the Fast saga feel grounded in the reality the first few films established. Continuity, verisimilitude, and timeline are essentially thrown out the window without a care as to how the story makes any sense whatsoever and part of that can be lived with given that Fast & Furious 6 still has that excitement and energy to it that the previous films also had. The blood still pumps when gears are shifted, and the roar of the tires reign out over the pavement. The adrenaline rushes, the pulse elevates as the set pieces are bigger and bolder than anyone could possibly imagine.
With all the action literally jumping off the screen, the one thing absolutely necessary to make all of this believable is missing: the physics.
And whats a Family without a home, a singular location where they can all gather, drink Corona’s, and sit around the table sharing a meal together? Being on the run is tiresome but, in all honesty, where Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster), Dom (Vin Diesel) and Elena (Elsa Pataky) ended up after Fast Five is not too bad a place to live. Right by the ocean with no fear of extradition.
I’m definitely no expert in any scientific discipline but how in the world is it possible that these stunts exist? I cannot imagine anyone being thrown from a tank of all vehicles and someone else leaping from the other side of the highway to catch them midair and land on a windshield of a moving car. But here we are, Dom timed his jump perfectly from his car that was going well over 90 mph to catch Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), rotate their bodies to land on a separate car and walk away without a scratch. Watching this sequence in particular, in the moment the science doesn’t matter, it’s a bad ass sequence but when you think about it none of it is actually possible.
Dom is on his way to becoming a superhero the way his body ragdolls around bouncing off metal and pavement while simultaneously getting shot in the shoulder and pulling the bullet out himself. A plane basically blows up with him still inside, he escapes, crashes, and walks away without a bruise or a laceration. This was a guy who boosted DVD players in Los Angeles and now he’s at the top of the most wanted list along with his team, working with their enemy Luke Hobbs (Dwyane Johnson).
As wild and unexpected as the science behind the action set pieces have become, the progression from The Fast and the Furious to now is even more unpredictable. There is no feasible explanation to how this team is equipped to handle these high-profile criminals from stealing billions worth in technology. It somehow makes sense thanks to returning writer Chris Morgan and director Justin Lin.
The family aspect is still the strongest thematically to get the team back together for the pardons. It wouldn’t be a family if Tej (Christopher Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang), and Gisele (Gal Gadot) weren’t involved to bring back Letty, who was presumed dead two films ago. In a way, the Fast Saga mirrors the MCU in that regard, no one ever really dies that matters, even using post-credit scenes to tease the next adventure.
Fast & Furious 6 takes a lot of what influences it and applies it to the universe. All the characters are spot on and their chemistry with one another is unrivaled at this point. Hobbs and Toretto are an odd couple – unlikely allies that work better than expected when sharing the screen or tag teaming Owen and his version of Hobbs, Klaus (Kim Kold).
Out of the 6 total films, Owen is the most formidable villain Dom’s team has gone up against. There is very little exposition and depth to Owen Shaw, as expected, but as a villain he’s their perfect match, staying five steps ahead of everyone. Predictability isn’t as glaring an issue as before, but we all saw Riley (Gina Carano) flipping from a mile away. Aside from that, the villain is never the focus for the individual film, their presence is felt throughout but these movies are made for Dom and his ragtag team that ride or die.
If one thing can be guaranteed with Fast & Furious 6 as well as the previous films, this series is made to be enjoyed with a theater full of people during peak summer blockbuster months.
Fast & Furious 6 is written by Chris Morgan based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson, directed by Justin Lin is Rated PG-13 and has a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fast & Furious 6 was released on May 24, 2013 in the United States and has a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. Fast & Furious 6 can be bought by online retailers like iTunes, Amazon, and Google. 4.2 out of 5.