PURCHASE INSTANT VIDEO
I came to the FAST & THE FURIOUS franchise late. I had seen the original when it hit DVD and wasn’t that impressed. But then a funny thing happened. I was doing a triple feature at the theater and decided to check out FAST FIVE (2011) just to kill some time between films. I had heard it was good and more so than that, different from the others.
I was legitimately surprised at how much I enjoyed it and still feel that it’s a truly great action/heist film and certainly the best of the series.
Because of my renewed interest in the series, I decided to get caught up on the others and watched them all from the start. I have mixed feelings on the first four. Some are better than others but they all had entertainment value.
I even re-watched FAST FIVE in anticipation of seeing FAST & FURIOUS 6 in the theaters. I recently bought Part 6 on Blu-Ray (I’ll freely admit that I own the entire series on Blu-Ray) and gave it another look.
Picking up where Part 5 left off, we find Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of the “family” living the life having stolen a LOT of money in the previous film. But all the money in the world can’t buy the one thing they want and that’s their home in the U.S. where they are wanted by the police for five movies worth of crime.
That’s when Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) re-enters the picture. He’s trying to take down an international criminal named Shaw (Luke Evans) and Dom and the team would be valuable assets on the field. If they succeed, it’s full pardons for everyone.
Complicating matters is that one of Shaw’s mercenaries is none other than Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), thought dead in Part 4. She has amnesia and doesn’t remember that Dom (et al) are actually her real friends and not their enemy.
FAST & FURIOUS 6 follows the same formula as Part 5 which transformed the franchise from an action crime film to more of a Mission: Impossible vibe with each member a vital part of the team. This new direction suits the movies well and is smartly utilized here, but unfortunately not as successfully as it’s immediate predecessor.
Still one of the best and most daring that the franchise has to offer, unlike Part 5 it’s a little unfocused and strains against it’s over 2 hour running time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the thrill ride aspect of it, but it feels weighted down by so many characters that all need to be serviced that it bogs down the plot.
FAST & FURIOUS 6 is still a recommend in my book, but if you’re diving into the series or just want a taste of it, I highly recommend starting with FAST FIVE.
On a personal note, I am saddened by the death of Paul Walker. I never worked with or met him, but I’ve heard he was a really stand-up guy and it’s a shame he died so young, especially given that he was in the prime of his career. I hope Part 7 (his final performance in a film) sends him out on a high note.