DIR: Justin Lin • WRI: Chris Morgan • PRO: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz , Clayton Townsend . • DOP: Stephen F. Windon • ED:Greg D’Auria, Kelly Matsumoto, Christian Wagner • DES: Jan Roelfs • Cast: Tea Falco, Jacopo Olmo Antinori, Sonia Bergamasco, Veronica Lazar
Director Justin Lin (also directed the previous three instalments) brings us the latest episode in this now long-running series of films.
Picking up fairly quickly from where we left off in Fast & Furious 5 (a.k.a. Fast 5) we find Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) racing through the back roads of some undisclosed country to arrive at the birth of Brian and Mia Toretto’s (Jordana Brewster) baby. After the multi-million dollar heist of the last movie Dom and his crew are ‘out of the game’, but sadly this is not to last. Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) needs the help of Team Toretto to stop the latest car obsessed international criminal. A former S.A.S. operative by the name of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Shaw has been rampaging across Europe collecting the components for a ‘tech bomb’ said to be worth billions. What’s more Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), the until recently thought dead girlfriend of Dom, is one of his crew. It’s up to Dom, Brian, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Giselle (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sung Kang) along with Hobbs and his new sidekick Riley (Gina Carano) to stop Shaw and try to bring Letty back home.
For a series as long-running as the Fast & Furious family (the first movie was released in 2001) to have a coherent story the writers either need to have an excellent vision for where the characters are headed or be proficient in the use of redactive flashbacks. Conveniently it would seem that screenplay writer Chris Morgan is very safely in the latter category. The myriad relationships that have developed over the course of the franchise begin to verge on the levels of a soap opera in this, the sixth chapter of a story that began its life centred around the idea of driving cars very quickly in a straight line. The resurrection of the amnesiac Letty is not the only change to the Fast universe. It seems that the placement of ‘Tokyo Drift’ in the time line alters with each new movie released. Although there would appear to be a fairly definitive line drawn under that issue at the end of Fast & Furious 6.
Attempting to break the mould of one big heist or race per movie Dom and his team are now pitted against a similar skilled group of adversaries. Predominantly set in London, and with such well-matched rivals, the stage is set for lots of impressive, tense chases down narrow streets and busy thoroughfares as well as blistering fight scenes. Sadly, there seem to be comparatively few of these. The cars undertake their usual incredible feats but they are edited in such a way that no blurry, unsteady shot lasts for more than a second or two and it’s hard to get an overall idea of what’s going on. This leaves the film without a sense of tension or impetus. With the notable exception of one battle in an underground station the fight scenes also lack coherence. Incoherence is, in fact, the largest problem suffered by the film. The plot comes across as an incidental series of events to get the characters from one self-referential moment or clichéd piece of dialogue to the next. With that being said, if you have come to see Fast & Furious 6 for the plot and dialogue you are in the wrong place.
Fans of the franchise (of which there are many) will likely adore this as another adrenalin-fuelled, testosterone-heavy blast. If you are not already a fan then either go back to the beginning and try to become one or avoid this offering altogether.
Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
Fast & Furious 6 is released on 17th May 2013