Between watching the enthralling fifth entry of this fender-bending franchise and entering the theatre to view the sixth, most viewers will have asked the same question: has this series reached its zenith? Suffice to say, the answer to any such query is a resounding no!
Fast & Furious 6, unabashedly and unreservedly, is the best iteration of the series yet. Like its predecessor, the film follows soon after the events that took place in Rio de Janeiro. The crew are all displaced in their safe havens, however, after hunting the team for the duration of Fast Five, DSS Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) enlists their help t0 apprehend a skilled group of mercenaries, led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). There’s more than just a pardon at stake for Dom, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has resurfaced and is now aiding and abetting Shaw.
Helming his fourth consecutive entry of the series, director Justin Lin has gone from strength to strength. Lin has improved as a filmmaker since he joined the franchise with Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Fast 6 is grander in both scope and scale compared to its predecessors. Simply put, Lin has crafted a machine running at optimal efficiency.
Moreover, Lin has at his disposal an impressive ensemble, each given their moment to shine. Vin Diesel portrays Dom with ease, while Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce is also prominent, providing a welcome comedic element to proceedings. The level of camaraderie and banter shared by the characters adds to the fun. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, now a bona fide action star, impresses yet again with his charismatic screen presence. While Fast 6 is essentially another testosterone fueled caper, the fairer sex plays a huge role in the action, whether it includes a physical confrontation or getting behind the wheel, you couldn’t say this is a male only affair.
Furthermore, Lin employs creativity and variety in a number of breathtaking action sequences. The flamboyant exhibition of mayhem includes cars, tanks and even an aircraft. The sixth episode in the series also contains exquisite cinematography. Similar to his fascination with the landscape of Rio in part five, Lin captures London with great vibrancy. Fast & Furious 6 benefits from a cohesive screenplay, enabling Lin to delve straight into the action, since establishing characters is unwarranted. In addition, the editing is top notch.
Last but not least, Fast 6 also ties up loose ends in the franchise, revealing a key link with the anachronistic Tokyo Drift, which may have been perceived as a spin off until now. The significance of family is an underlying theme throughout the film and Lin manages to create an emotional bond with the characters as well. Fast Five may have raised the bar, setting high expectations for the future of the franchise, but Fast & Furious 6 is able to exceed those expectations emphatically.
The aforementioned cast and crew ensure there are no signs of franchise fatigue. While sequels predominantly experience a decline in quality, Fast 6 proves to be an exception, perhaps similar to the Harry Potter series in its progression. All in all, Fast & Furious 6 proves that the series is operating at full throttle in the fast lane, with plenty of gas still left in the tank.