Unreal Movie Review: Fast and Furious 6


3.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve been a prophet extolling the idiotic brilliance of The Fast and the Furious series for years, but only recently has the rest of the world seem to have finally gotten the joke. After Tokyo Drift eliminated 100% of the old cast, the fourth film brought everyone back on board, and the series has been a moneymaking runaway train ever since.

2011’s Fast Five was one of the best blockbusters of that year, arguably the best, and with instant success, two more films were greenlit immediately. The cast, most of which have literally nothing better to do, would return, and we now get to see just how far this series can go before running out of gas.

Part of Fast Five’s appeal was that it wrapped the series up in a nice little bow that brought infinite riches and happy endings for everyone. Fast and Furious 6 dangles the one thing in front of the crew that they still don’t yet have, freedom.

Exiled to all corners of the world after their latest heist, the crew reunites at the behest of enemy-turned-ally/government stooge/Samoan Thor, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). He brings tidings to Dom (Vin Diesel) that his long-lost love Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has somehow survived her death in the fourth film, and is now working for a Very Bad Dude.


The Dude in question is Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), an ex-special service Brit who is using custom vehicles to hijack military technology to build some uber-techno-weapon that can be sold for billions. Everyone jumps on board even when it’s just Letty on the table, with Brian (Paul Walker) even leaving his wife and newborn son to do so because… “family.” Also tagging along are the subcharacters the series has been dragging since the second, third and fourth films, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sun Kang), Giselle (Gal Gadot) and Tej (Ludacris). The only truly new face other than Shaw is Riley (Gina Carano), Hobbs’ ass-kicking new partner. Once they’re all assembled, they’re also promised a full pardon for their past misdeeds, which would allow them to return to the US. Even though half of them aren’t even from there.

What follows is a plot that goes beyond absurd into outright insanity. Fast Five may have seemed similarly ridiculous on the surface, but it made a lot more sense logistically than what we see here. Brian sneaks back into America and is almost killed in prison so he can learn why Letty isn’t dead, something that has no bearing on the plot other than providing a bit of backstory for the audience. Letty is given convenient amnesia which is supposed to explain her switch being flipped to “bad guy,” but it’s a completely unnecessary turn. Given how she was essentially betrayed and abandoned by the crew in the fourth film, it would have been perfectly logical for her to have a real grudge against them, but that would have required too much emotional complexity for a movie like this.

The action is similarly bonkers, which can be good and bad. The series seems to feel the need to top itself with each new installment, and it ups the ante here with stunts that defy the laws of physics more than ever before. There’s a sequence with a runaway tank that would have easily been the grand finale for most other films, but it’s just a warmup for the movie’s true climax.


That would be the often-spotted trailer sequence where a pack of cars take down a military cargo plane attempting to take off. It’s an undeniably harrowing scene, though it lasts for twenty minutes and will have you saying “how long is this runway?” out loud by the end. It’s such a ridiculous sequence, someone actually figured out that answer to that question hours after the film premiered. Thirty miles, end to end, ten times as long as the longest runway in existence.

That pretty much sums up the universe of Fast and the Furious. The action sequences defy plausibility, the dialogue contains phrases no one has ever thought to string together. But it’s fun. It’s just so goddamn fun.

I don’t know what it is about this series that makes it able to leap over gaping plot holes in a single bound. They’re the likes of which that would sink other films, but Fast and the Furious is simply immune to such critique for some reason or another.

I did prefer Fast Five, which did contain its share of absurdity, but was a little more grounded and much better structured. I would argue that film was actually in many ways a good movie, but Fast and Furious 6 is back to where the series started in “so bad it’s good” territory. That’s perfectly okay, but I would caution them against going too far for their own good. Every series has a breaking point, and this one could be racing toward its own at 200 miles per hour. That said, it’s going to be a hell of a ride to get there.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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  1. I dont know what I was doing but I think I saw a sport fo Fast 6 or saw a poster to it, but then I said to my GF that I couldnt believe that 6 fast and furious movies have been made. The premise was silly halfway through the first movie, and then they named it 2Fast 2 Furious and it was just stupid. Now 6 movies, well damn its unbelievable, good thing Michelle Rodriguez found work though, same goes for Vin Diesel. Anyway, I saw faast 5 on netflix one of these days but I didnt get around to watch it and I watched The Informers isntead and am now considering buying Imperial Bedrooms by Ellis and on an 80s music binge.

  2. I’ll say this for the rest of the nerds. WTF?! Fast 6 gets a better rating than Star Trek 2?

    *rage quit*

    But seriously, I don’t think I’m going to be reading your reviews anymore. I haven’t agreed with any of them in quite some time.

  3. Whenever I read reviews for these flicks I’m always super sold, only to watch them and be perplexed by how idiotic and annoying they are. And I LOVE action films, but there’s no inside joke in there. A movie can oly be tongue-in-cheek if we know it secretly could do a lot more sense, which isn’t the case for F&F. It plays its cards straight, not because the writers and director choose to, but because it’s the only ones they’ve got and what their fanbase demands anyway. And for some reason, many critics have made the series some sort of ironic darling.

    It’s always been ok to like some entertaining action cheeseball, like Van Damme’s Bloodpsort and other 80’s gems, but the fact is, all those movies were shredded by the critics, because at the end of the day they aren’t actually good AT ALL. And that’s the way it’s suppossed to be, they’re fun, but they’re bad. Bad reviews don’t prevent people from enjoying them. That’s why it irks me a bit when critics give F&F rather good grades under the argument that the plot sucks, dialogue sucks, acting sucks and nothing makes sense, but you won’t mind because it’s good old mindless fun. I think when the critic realizes the movie isn’t good by any standard, he should give it a realistically bad rating, although he’s very welcome to recommend it wholeheartedly for those times you fancy mindless fun.

    Otherwise, you get F&F getting much higher scores than Transformers and GI Joe, when they’re all similarly put together, they all have impressive set-pieces and about the same IQ. Alas, F&F is good (though not really) because cars. I’m not saying that’s the case of this review, since I haven’t watched the film and for all I know it could actually be worthwhile, and as I said, the review itself makes sense and almost makes me want to wach to movie. It’s just an overall opinion that I’ve always had.

  4. @David. Wow dude. I haven’t seen F6 yet, but sincerely, Paul’s evisceration of Star Trek 2 was the best review of the film I’ve read.

    I saw it at an advanced screening and had to try and keep my mouth shut around my friends so I wouldn’t be that asshole who ruined the film for them.

    Then they saw it, and actually liked it.

    Now I have to reconsider my friends. Paul’s was the first review that managed to put all my feeling about the film into words.

    @hallamq I see your point, though I don’t really think you’re correct. The reaction to cheesy action from the mainstream press (Roger Ebert-esque “highbrow”) is still negative. There’s just now a plethora of different reviewers who can get published. In the 80’s you actually read a movie poster to see what critics are saying about it, because the NYTimes or the Post weren’t available in your town. You’d see your local review and maybe hear some word of mouth. Nowadays you can access any kind of review for a film, making (in my opinion) review aggregating web services such as rotten tomatoes and metacritic relatively redundant.

  5. Fast & Furious 6 should have ended with the tank sequence as everything we got afterward felt tacked on. That being said, however, I had a real problem with the tank just rolling over cars on the highway and clearly crushing the people inside, yet there was no consequence to the violence. Hell, there weren’t even people shown inside the cars. Just felt very sloppy.

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