There’s something to be admired about a movie series that has gone from fun to bloated to having stuck around so long that it actually became fun again, largely thanks to the introduction of Dwayne Johnson in ‘Fast Five’.
Now the ‘Fast & Furiouses’ are being churned out at such an alarming rate, you’ll barely have time to catch your breath before part seven will be with us next spring. But we’ll need to make do in the meantime with this ludicrously enjoyable sixth entry that sees former criminals Dom and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) retired to family life in Spain with a drug kingpins’ fortune.
Their serene existence is interrupted, however, when Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) enlists them to bring down mercenary leader Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) in exchange for full pardons. The proposition becomes personal when it’s also revealed that Dom’s deceased beloved, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), is not only alive, but aiding Shaw as one of his drivers. With so much at stake, Dom reassembles his fellow street racers and heads to London, where Shaw and his team plan to steal a valuable computer chip.
Similar to ‘Die Hard’, the action is amped up with each new installment, a requirement that leaves the writers and director Justin Lin scrambling to figure out the logistics of crashing motorcycles into low flying fighter jets. Lin meets this challenge by tossing plausibility aside and raising his characters to near superhuman status. The limits of belief are tested as the heroes emerge uninjured after being flung onto moving vehicles and above overpasses during the film’s many exhilarating chase sequences. The gravity-defying stunts represent the true nature of the genre, not as a reflection of real life, but as testosterone fueled fantasy.
‘Fast & Furious 6’ is turbo charged cheese at its finest and is opening at the Beacon Theatre this Friday.