Just like old times.
While most prolonged movie franchises become exhausted with every succeeding sequel, the Fast and Furious franchise remains the unyielding exception that continues to progress with each new, successful addition. What initially set off as a nitrous-fuelled street racing film series later developed into a big action heist thriller and though Fast Five was an unexpected shift, it was instantly welcomed with an impressive box-office return and newfound critical acclaim. Now, six films into the franchise and things are accelerated again with incredibly satisfying and immensely entertaining results.
Ever since the franchise began, all of twelve years ago, the Fast and Furious films have always catered to their fans, but there is one reason why so many audiences flock to see a new release and that’s director Justin Lin. After making his mark on the franchise with the unfortunate and best forgotten Tokyo Drift, Lin has since developed into an experienced action filmmaker with a keen eye for action. By encouraging the old cast members to return, introducing the freakishly muscled and always entertaining Dwayne Johnson and filling his sequels with increasingly outlandish, but consistently entertaining action Lin has successfully injected new life into the franchise.
Unsurprisingly, narrative takes a back seat for Fast 6 and is only employed as a vehicle to carry the ever explosive and ridiculous action set pieces. From its physics-defying stunts to an impossibly long runway, the film hits the limiter for what the audience will tolerate and comprehend, but each inventive action sequence is superbly choreographed and exceptionally shot. These jaw dropping, eye opening moments offer some of the most enjoyable cinema around.
But what makes Fast 6 the best of the franchise so far is that it includes a level of self-reference; a very popular trend within Hollywood at the moment. Not only does the film show self-awareness in poking fun at itself and the previous outings, but Lin also deliberately pays homage to the high octane street races that encapsulated fans twelve years ago.
Lin’s courageous, yet fantastically preposterous Fast and Furious 6 offers a level of escapism that so many films set out for, but so few achieve. And in doing so Fast 6 becomes the most fun you’ll have in a cinema this year.