Fast & Furious 6 ***
Here comes the most fun, wild, frantic and autoparodic film of the whole saga. And, if it's worth, it says so a guy that has never felt the least appreciation for the series, at least in its origins. The first installment, as most of Rob Cohen films, I found it boring. The second had no sense at all. The third was another very boring movie. But from the fourth installment ... Things changed and changed for good. Maybe because they found how to solve the formula exhaustion, by a group of actors returning to the original, and because, from there, things grew, adding new popular faces, joining the team as if it was a Mission Impossible and leaving aside the racings for a little more urban action, with shootings, fights and foot chases that worked. The script still wasn’t good, full of platitudes and impossible situations. But at least there were laughs and they were taking it down the path of healthy messing and visual barbarism. In the best sense of the term. Thus came Fast 5, the best in the series so far, and so it comes Fast 6 which surpasses all, or nearly all, of the above. As an example. During the press screening there was a time when journalists, people often known (me too) to be as expressive as an artichoke, started clapping, laughing at a memorable moment. Entering the game proposed by the film. And all this works great.
It works partly because Justin Lin has already completely caught the hang of the series, after four films in front (this is supposed to be the last for him), and knows all the mechanisms. On the one hand, provide a vehicle for action and visual sprawl without fanfare, but the most spectacular way possible. Two, handle a cast full of stars and popular faces in which the ego could cause havoc, but still they keep coming back film after film (except when a character dies, which also happens… or not). The director has managed, with screenwriter Chris Morgan which also carries its own in this franchise, not to let the series to stagnate in the underground racing and visual style. A style that has been refined over the films, from outdated video clip in the third, to something more elegant every time, with touches that blend the Bourne saga and Mission: Impossible. Because this saga has already become a spy one, but with criminals.
In this sixth installment they travel through Europe, from the beginning in the Canary Islands to London to the return to Spain, without forgotting a walk in Los Angeles. A journey across the world where technologic toys are used more and more, more powerful cars and action scenes growing wild. But with an irreverent sense of humor and autoparody, like that great scene in which Tyrese Gibson starts going over the villains photos and their counterpart among the good ones. Or that other great moment when the great character Ludacris plays, receives a call from Dwayne Johnson's character and we can see his name on the caller ID. Or another sensational outburst such as the visit of these two to the BMW car auction. There is laughter.
The return of the major players and stars that have met along the way, brings us back to Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Elsa Pataky (although she is less in the movie than I would like), Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Sun Kang and Gal Gadot. We have new ones, Luke Evans (the villain) and the amazing Gina Caranor. And of course, Michelle Rodriguez. And, yes, they even take the time to explain why she is still alive. And yes, this time we finally know what the hell happened in Tokyo and how it all fits in the series, something more than one was asking from the previous film. We will also have a big surprise final scene for the next installment of the series. Although, on some websites they already have spoiled who appears ... Bad move.
The film is actually an action scene after another, each more exciting, from London to the tank chase in Spain, to the explosive finale. And knowing well the material that they're up to. If you hire Gina Carano is for her to fight. And if you have The Rock is to fight. If it’s possible with Diesel or against him. All of the aforementioned works on screen greatfully. As a Swiss watch. Obviously it still lacks a strong script, but it’s not necessary. The family issu begins to be somewhat dog-eared, but we go accept it because that's what the fans expect. But it gives the movie a "naive" and Disney sense to the heart of the plot, but as they take almost everything as a joke ... it does not matter. Perhaps the more important script issue realys on the "resurrection" theme, which is... well, in line with the series. We also have a small bump in the rhythm that the previous one had not, but it is forgiven soon. The rest is pure adrenaline.
So the Fast & Furious fans are in luck. Especially if you enjoyed Fast Five. That's the line that the movie follows, taking everything a step further. Bigger, more fun, more wild. Mixing the base elements of the series, with others like the Bourne saga or Mission Impossible or James Bond himself has jumped on that bandwagon, too. You can see it the fighting scenes, the technological gadgets and adventure itself. It may not be the best movie of the summer. But it will certainly be one of the most entertaining. If we don’t go to the movies expecting a Haneke film, of course. Here we know what we we are going into.
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