In the last couple years, the biggest movies on top of both the box office and the general world of major studio films involve cosmic cubes, super soldiers, robotic armies, British mouth breathers, elves, child warriors, and vampire-werewolf super babies. Yet in this ocean of action and explosions, The Fast & Furious franchise stands alone as the carrier of the torch for good ol' fashioned mortal human action. And while the characters may appear to be super-human (The Rock is gigantic, Paul Walker doesn't age, and Diesel is um, named Vin Diesel) they are actually just many in a long line of tough guys making tough stuff look cool on the movie screen.
The plot of the newest film involves the crew teaming up with their former nemesis Ellis Hobbs (The Rock) to take down British super-villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Shaw has a crew of his own and they are the opposite of our heroic crew who loves newborn infants, saying grace, and drinking coronas. So naturally the two posses don't get along and because of that they frequently battle each other with guns, fists, headbutts, spear-guns, body slams, and as one character puts it "vehicular warfare!" One of the most enjoyable things about the new movie is how it returns to the franchise's roots with a huge amount of actual car chases, not just the heists of Fast Five. Director Justin Lin is a master of knowing where to put the camera to make every chase make spacial sense and has evolved into a mastermind of combining practical stunt driving with fist pumping visual effects spectacle. They say that with Superman you'll believe a man can fly...well in Fast & Furious 6 you'll believe a F-1 race car can flip cars like a spatula and make them ross through posh office buildings.
Yes the action is fantastic, but at that point that is to be expected. What really makes the franchise and this film work so well are the...wait for it...emotions that run through the story. Emotions? TPG you are crazy man, I thought this was about vehicular warfare? It is, it is but hear me out. While other movies layer their emotions like some type of exotic French dessert, the Fast & Furious franchise puts them right out there. I LOVE YOU AND WANT TO SETTLE DOWN WITH YOU! MY FAMILY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. I AM GOING TO DESTROY YOU! Yes, it's very very easy to digest, but there is something immensely delicious about characters existing in black and whites. Good guys vs Bad Guys. Fast Car vs Not Fast Car. If only life could be that way, right?
So yeah...incredible super-hero free action, heavy handed emotions, expert direction, what else is there to say? Oh, one last thing, the movie gives you EXACTLY what you want. Not many times in movies/life do you get exactly what you want, but in this movie it's all there. Oh I hope that that huge german dude ends up fighting the Rock, happens. Oh I hope that Tank our boys are fighting goes out spectacularly ..yupp (still thinking about it actually). Oh I hope that that grappling hook gun is put to good use, happens in every way you can imagine. Oh Ludacris & Tyrese are funny, they get the best zingers. Fast & Furious 6 knows what you want and gives it to you which is extremely commendable. And just when the movie is over it leaves you with a massive cliffhanger that instantly clicks in your cinematic soul and feels you with a sense of..."Oh...I didn't know that I needed THAT in this franchise...but know that you have given me what I actually wanted....I'll have an another order please*.
*Fast 7 comes out July 11th 2014