Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans
Watch Fast & Furious 6 online in the UK: Netflix UK / iTunes / TalkTalk TV / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
If you had to bet on one film from 2001 being turned into a franchise, The Fast and the Furious wasn’t top of the list. But here we are 12 years later and Fast & Furious 6 is pumping its engine full of codswallop and showing no signs of stopping. This is a series where characters say things like “You’ve got serious balls!” “I’ve been told…” with a straight face. Where they live by a code that gives them two options in life: ride or die. Not eat. Not sleep. Not wash their hands. So to call Fast & Furious 6 a bad movie almost seems irrelevant. Good and bad don’t come into it.
The film arrives with high expectations after an entertaining fifth outing. Director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan jump-started the series to life with Fast Five. Their brainwave? Remove the car races and replace them with car chases. What they produced was a dumb, bonkers action flick that turned vehicles into Swiss army knives with wheels.
So Fast & Furious 6 does the only thing a sequel can do: gets even dumber. Unfortunately, it gets too dumb. Or it doesn’t quite get dumb enough.
A big part of what made Fast Five so fun was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson facing off against Toretto (Diesel) and his gang, including partner Brian (Walker) and Mia. But where Fast Five had the spectacle of two hairless guys beating the hell out of each other like a couple of angry baked potatoes, Fast & Furious 6 loses its edge by making them bald BFFs. Luke Evans steps in as our villain, Shaw – not just the bad guy, but the bad guy responsible for half of the previous films’ bad guys. Despite his seniority, though, he’s boring and unmemorable. The result? A long, drawn-out drive with tension running on empty. An unnecessary diversion to a prison halfway through does nothing to make the journey go quicker.
Every now and then, our ensemble manage an amusing insult, but if Fast Five’s trashy dialogue felt knowing, this feels unintentionally naff. “You walk out that door, words like ‘pardon’ and ‘immunity’ go out with you,” snaps Dwayne at one point. “They went out the day we were born,” replies a straight-faced Vin Diesel, his muscles rippling with intensity.
Then, just as it looks like this machine’s out of gas, Lin suddenly remembers why we’re here – and throws it at a plane. Literally. That’s just one part of the outrageous final act, a 30-minute testosterone fest that blows crap up like a crap-blower at a crap-blowing convention following a two-year crap shortage. That’s when the film’s stupidity makes the most sense: when it’s characters aren’t allowed to talk, unless it’s to say “They got a tank!”
The sheer silliness of the brilliantly-edited carnage makes up for the tedium that came before – it’s one of the most thrilling half hours you’ll have in recent film memory. Does that make Fast & Furious 6 bad? Yes. Which also makes it sort of good. After all, words like “good” and “bad” have no place in this world of tanks and serious balls. It’s ride or die. And Fast & Furious 6 chooses ride every time. Whatever that means.
Fast & Furious 6 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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