Fast and Furious 6 reconciles us with the gang that we've come to know and love. Special Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is tracking a race crew across the world and their next job is going to be a big one. To stop the crew led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), Hobbs must find Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) to get their gang together and help stop Shaw. Hobbs' offer: full pardons and the chance to find Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom's ex-girl who was presumed dead but is now working for Shaw. Car and tank related mayhem ensue.
I think that I should get something out of the way first: I'm not a devoted fan of the Fast franchise. I've seen Fast Five (thought it was good, but overrated) but I haven't seen the rest of the franchise. So when I say that Fast and Furious 6 is the best action movie of the year and the best since Skyfall, you know I mean it. I'll be watching this movie for years. There is just so much to like about it. If you've been hearing from people that this movie is a check-your-brain-at-the-door film, don't listen. It's got a plot, the motive of Shaw is a bit shaky and the reasons for everything that the characters do get messy but I'll be darned if this movie isn't the most entertaining and thrilling film this year. My problem with the action in Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness is that it never feels very crazy. It's big and colorful and done with beautiful special effects but it's never so crazy that you think that any of the characters could die. Fast and Furious 6 solves that problem.
The acting is not something that you're seeing this movie for but I'll point it out anyways. Diesel, Walker and Johnson have essentially become their characters in some shape or form and are pretty good at it now. Michelle Rodriguez brings some emotional depth to Letty in a way that I didn't see in any characters in Fast Five. Luke Evans is villainous, Jordana Brewster is under-used, Gina Carano is a nice addition, and Gal Gadot and Sung Kang are good in their roles. The standouts for me were Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris as Roman and Tej. This was a very smart move by screenwriter Chris Morgan. He got rid of the annoying, useless Tego and Rico and gave more screentime to Roman and Tej. They're truly hilarious and help Fast and Furious 6 reach that amazing tone that makes it one part Skyfall, one part Dark Knight and one part Avengers. It's a nice balance and it really helped the film.
The story was the only place where the movie slipped up a bit was in the story. I'm getting a little sick of these villains that have absolutely no motive besides creating chaos. Just because it worked in The Dark Knight doesn't mean it has to work in every single movie. Owen Shaw's main goal is to create chaos and it makes him a forgettable villain. But, it might actually work to the film's advantage, because it makes him simple and easy villain. While Khan did have a motive in Star Trek Into Darkness, he was majorly underwritten, and it made him confusing. Shaw is plain and simple, a bad guy.
There were also a couple of times in the story when I was confused as to why certain characters were doing what. Like, Brian goes back to Los Angeles to get information from a drug dealer (John Ortiz) about Shaw and ends up getting something different. It's crazy. However, when you think about the movie afterwards, every development in the plot makes sense. Partially thanks to a late twist, partially thanks to extra time to go over everything, it all will make sense.
One thing that I thought was missing from Fast Five was any emotional depth. Even if they tried, it fell flat. However, the whole Letty subplot made this movie have some extra depth emotionally and I thought that those scenes were quite good.
Now for the reason that you're going to this movie: action. It's pretty freaking awesome. All the sequences are insane and defy the laws of gravity completely, but I didn't care: it just made me laugh and clap (there was clapping during my showing, a true crowd-pleaser). The action is well-executed and well-placed. The one thing about Star Trek Into Darkness that I didn't like was how the climax was essentially an hour and the biggest action sequence was in the first ten minutes. Fast and Furious 6 has a steady stream of action throughout but it's well-placed so that it never seems like too much or too little. Plus the last forty minutes are pure awesomeness. Those are the most entertaining forty minutes I've had in a theater in a while.
So, if you haven't already, take a trip out to see Fast and Furious 6. It's pretty awesome. I got out of the movie and I really felt that summer had come alive. Fast and Furious 6 is a pure blockbuster showcase and one that you will enjoy every minute of. It's got epic action, well-executed humor and it's a lot of fun. Read on after the grade rating for a dissertation on the after credits scene and some SPOILERS.
So about that ending. Apparently, Jason Statham is Shaw's brother and is now out for revenge. I have to say, my theater that was about 1/4 full, was buzzing with excitement. Fast and Furious 7 or whatever they call it is going to be awesome. But with two deaths in the last ten minutes (Gisele and Han), I'm wondering who's going to fill those spots in the crew.
Post Note: I keep comparing this movie to G.I. Joe: Retaliation for some reason (I think the ridiculousness and Dwayne Johnson) in my mind. I will say that this is a much better movie than Retaliation. I realized that the movie IS much better. It's a more exciting, more complete film and while Retaliation delivered big action, it is bankrupt on thrills. Plus, the characters are fleshed out and the action is bigger and better. Everything about it is better and more memorable.