- Fast & Furious 6
- Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez
- Directed by Justin Lin
- Rated PG-13, opens Friday
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- Beyond the Weekly
- Official Movie Site
- IMDb: Fast & Furious 6
- Rotten Tomatoes: Fast & Furious 6
Who would have thought a series that began as a B-level thriller about underground street racing would end up with denser continuity than a comic-book franchise? There are so many recurring characters and callbacks in Fast & Furious 6 that you practically need a flowchart to understand the various interpersonal dynamics. The series has become such a convoluted soap opera that this installment involves a character coming back from (apparent) death afflicted with amnesia, and that’s only about the third or fourth most ridiculous thing that happens.
If you haven’t been diligently perusing the Wikipedia entries for the Fast & Furious series recently, however, you can still get some enjoyment out of the increasingly outlandish action, once again staged impressively by director Justin Lin, returning for his fourth series outing. While the set pieces that involve the crew of car-racing outlaws taking down the likes of tanks, cargo jets and experimental attack vehicles are marvels of stunt work and special effects, they’re also completely divorced from reality, and the main characters (played, as usual, by Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and a large supporting cast) might as well be superheroes for how invulnerable they’ve become.
Sadly, that invulnerability doesn’t extend to emotions, and the movie gets bogged down in bonding moments between its cardboard characters. It’s also way, way too long, and it ends with a cliffhanger setting up the villain for the next movie. That this scene takes place in the margins of a character’s death from the third movie tells you pretty much all you need to know about how this franchise now operates.