Fast & Furious 6 picks up from the immensely popular previous installment, Fast 5, with a bloated disappointment that decided to take everything good from Fast 5 and blow it out of proportion or of any value.
Fast 5 worked well not only as an over-the-top car racing movie but as a high octane action movie that was fun from start to finish. Furious 6 takes the mold that was made from that movie and taints every part that made it great. The action is in low supply and when it does finally appear it is crazy, the characters are bland and not likeable, and the plot and villain lack any real conviction or necessity to be resoluted.
The action is crazy in these movies, I understand that. The over-the-top chases, whether car or on foot, always promised to have hearts racing. Director Justin Lin has shown in the past that he has a knack for giving us fantastic action but in this movie he decided that the stars of these action scenes from previous movies, i.e. Vin Diesel or The Rock, were going to be left out until the end. Think about it, The Rock really was not fighting anyone until the final battle. Why would you leave him on the sidelines?? That’s like benching Miguel Cabrera. You don’t leave him on the bench, you let him lead the team. Instead we are left getting to watch Tyrese Gibson and Sung Kang getting their butts handed to them while Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano had a cat-fight (granted that was kind of entertaining).
While I have never really looked at these movie for good characters, they at least have characters that should hold your attention and make you want to watch six movies with them. Diesel impressed me in Fast 5 and while not amazing was pretty darn entertaining. Instead in this flick, he turns into a sad little puppy that can’t get over Rodriguez’s Letty being alive. While that subplot was a decent addition, it should not of been so focused on. Much like the baby storyline that showed up in Fast 5, it should of been introduced, referenced to a few times in between, and resolved in the end rather than taking over the whole plot and poisoning it.
As I have already stated, The Rock was underused and would of jump-started this movie immediately with at least 20 more minutes of screen time. The rest of the gang was bloated from the previous movie and were more a bunch of one-liners or jokes rather than actual members or contributors. Gibson and Ludacris just showed up to this movie to hang out for a few hours. Also, Paul Walker is probably one of the worst actors out there. Just dreadful.
Finally the plot. The heist concept was cool. Having Dom (Diesel) and his gang tracking down a master, car driving criminal was a solid idea. Too bad they decided to rely heavily on the Letty and Dom relationship and rush the criminal’s demise so that in the end, the payoff was more of a massive explosion (literally) rather than anything as gratifying as Fast 5. Shaw (Luke Evans) was absolutely boring and bland and while he doesn’t have to blow us away with his villainy, he could at least back out of the spotlight long enough to not annoy us for 2 hours. It was a typical exercise of a villain who was clearly better than our protagonist and had to be taken down for the purpose of the movie ending with a somewhat positive end rather than actually having the protagonist work at trying to outsmart him. Shaw was taken down way too easily and it did not make sense why he went out the way he did and how easy it was for Dom to do it.
Furious 6 was a massive letdown for me after how much fun I had with Fast 5. It did not have to be a carbon copy of its predecessor but it at least had to be way more engaging than the painful result that this movie was. Especially with the post credit scene, I have little to no hope for future Fast & Furious movies and would rather see a franchise built around The Rock’s Hobbes character. That would be worth seeing.