WARNING: This entry contains a few major spoilers for Fast & Furious 6.
I want to start off by saying the Fast and Furious franchise is a guilty pleasure of mine, right beside The Transporter movies. On the whole, I acknowledge that the acting in the Fast and Furious movies is pretty terrible, the stunts are a far cry from realistic, and the story itself is generally forgettable. At the same time, there are some aspects to the franchise that I think are worth appreciating.
Right about the fourth movie, I started viewing the Fast story as one of those never ending soap operas (i.e. General Hospital, Passions, The Guiding Light, etc.), except condensed into movie form. We have characters that “die” and come back to life, really cheesy acting, and of course the overarching story only moving about a few inches each movie.
As ridiculous as half the film is though, I think what keeps bringing me back to this series (aside from the beautiful fast cars) would probably have to be the way all the movies just kind of fit together like little puzzle pieces. This is a set of movies where it’s not based off of a book, so there is no sure way to tell which way the story is going to go (though not to say it’s entirely unpredictable), and it’s also somewhat surprising how long it’s lasted.
My favorite character in the Fast series probably has to be Han, and yes, I admit it’s in part because he’s an Asian actor, but more so than that, it’s because he’s an Asian actor in a predominantly English-speaking movie that doesn’t make me cringe (the part underlined being the key thing here).
I didn’t do any research on the movie beforehand, but I can say that whether Fast & Furious 6 meant to or not, it sort of fleshes out Han’s back story and pulls Tokyo Drift in and makes it part of the canon. By the end of the movie, I was left with the question of whether or not we’d see characters from Tokyo Drift again next film, and whether or not Han will be confirmed as dead or will there be another eyebrow-raising resurrection like Letty. I don’t think Giselle will be coming back in any case, because if she lives then there’s no way Owen Shaw could have died since he basically took the same type of fall from that outrageous airplane scene at the end. A shame though, because I really did like her with Han, not to mention I thought it was pretty awesome the way her character bowed out.
Probably the funniest thing for me about this movie was that prior to seeing it, for the first time I thought to myself, you know what would be pretty cool? If Jason Statham were in this movie, and if he played a villain for once. Since I hadn’t heard of the rumors that this could be the case beforehand, I was totally boosted when I saw at the end of Fast and Furious 6 that Jason Statham would indeed be a villain, and that according to IMDb, he has been cast as Owen Shaw’s older brother, Ian Shaw. So next movie is going to be all about revenge for both sides—Shaw for his bro, and the Fast team for Han. All I can say about that is I’m very glad the seventh installment is slated for next year, and I can’t wait!
While I was proud that I called the Jason Statham bit out, the one part that I wasn’t able to call out (but I probably should have, in hindsight) was finding the mole in the Fast team. I blame the fact that all the action scenes successfully distracted me from focusing on figuring out who Shaw’s informant might be.
Supposedly this is supposed to turn into a 9-movie franchise, which is crazy in my opinion—I mean, after the 7th movie, I wonder what else there would really be left to cover. Then again, maybe that’s just talk and 7 will really be the last one. If they do decide to go on with two more films, then this franchise will be up there with some of the longest running movie franchises ever, like Halloween, the Star Trek films, and the Jame Bond movies. If you add the short films to the count, then this series is already up there.
Anyway, by the end of this movie, it had me wanting to marathon all the Fast movies as well as re-watch Jason Statham’s Transporter movies. At some point, I think I will do just that.
For those who are interested in the order of the Fast films by timeline, here it is:
The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Turbo-Charged Prelude (2003, short film on special edition of the 1st film)
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Los Bandoleros (2009, short film on special edition of Fast & Furious, 4th film)
Fast & Furious (2009)
Fast Five (2011)
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Fast & Furious 7 (slated for July 2014)
As I’ve mentioned before, by themselves, the films are pretty terrible and only really good as that movie adrenaline shot for when you’re just in the mood to watch something that doesn’t take too much thought and is visually appealing. Collectively, I personally have been finding it kind of entertaining to see everything pan out.
FINAL VERDICT: C
I think the movie is enjoyable enough to watch at least once in theaters, but it is by no means anything extraordinary. The first film will always be my favorite, but I think this comes at a close second when it comes to this series, with Tokyo Drift pulling in third only really because of Han.
I’m a little skeptical of how good the next movie will be since the director is changing, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. I’ll still be looking forward to it. Hope to see a trailer for it soon.