I’ll be the first to admit that the “Fast & Furious” franchise is no cinematic masterpiece. However, it’s a franchise that I’ve been sweet on since high school. Dom (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Mia (Jordana Brewster), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of the family drove in to my life when I was just starting to drive myself. Although the franchise hasn’t always been spectacular, I don’t give up on “family”. With “Fast & Furious 6” it seems the franchise has remembered what originally made it good, keeping the momentum going from "Fast Five", and that’s good enough for this fan.
The key to understanding this franchise is understanding that each film not only builds on the previous, but in some cases pulls from obscure story lines from prior films. “Fast Five” brought Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson”) into the franchise as a formidable agent. This time Hobbs calls on the crew to come out of retirement to take down a rogue Special Ops Agent named Shaw (Luke Evans) who apparently has been the master puppeteer pulling strings since “Fast Four”. Everyone has retired and gone their separate ways to lead a life either on the run or in a country with no extradition. The only thing that could bring them out is the promise of a clean record, and the discovery of Letty (who “died” in the fourth installment) being apart of Shaw’s crew.
The franchise has been built on family, honor, and loyalty since the first film. So it’s no surprise that everyone responds to the call and joins Hobbs in order to capture Shaw and free Letty. I don’t need to tell you how the rest of the story goes. Although when I was taking notes during the film I wrote “I could have written this”, and two minutes later a twist came that I didn’t see coming. So, I think this is a franchise that knows what it is, but Universal had the right idea in injecting heart (heist film reminiscent) into it rather than making it a strictly “car” movie with “Fast Five”.
You don’t watch “Fast & Furious” movies for oscar worthy performances (although each cast member is really getting better in their roles). You watch it for the adrenaline rush, heart stopping, guilty pleasure, this would never happen in real life action sequences that it is. “Fast Five” took the action to all new heights when the crew dragged a vault by the tail of their cars through Brazilian streets. Yet in this film they out did themselves. Whether jumping from or into cars to save each other, or the climactic “20 mile” airplane runway sequence...the action is there. It’s the talk to the screen and say “No Way!” (as the audience I saw it with did) in a good way- type of action that “Fast & Furious” is good for, and they delivered on.
Again, I’ve enjoyed this franchise since it’s inception. I admit, I haven’t been to the theater to see it since the more disappointing second one. The fifth brought it out of “wait til Netflix” territory, and the 6th has made me a “see it in theaters” fan again. This is definitely a good popcorn eating, summer blockbuster, joyride that’s worth seeing on the big screen! Be sure to stay after the credits to find out the obvious storyline of “Fast 7”.