Movie Reviews

‘Fast & Furious 6’: Muscle car glory

By Wong KerMovies - 23 May 2013 4:30 PM | Updated 4:44 PM

‘Fast & Furious 6’: Muscle car glory

Rating: 1 star out of 5

When you go see a movie with a ‘6’ in the title, you should probably be quite familiar with the ‘Fast & Furious’ series, or rather, fast food chain.

I struggle to come up with something other than “Cars! Explosions! Babes! Bad-guy-wants-to-take-over-the-world-with-some-kind-of-dubious-electronic-device-and-you-need-some-serious-car-chases-to-stop-him!” 

One wonders why director Justin Lin did not go all the way and make ‘Fast & Furious 6’ in 3D. It is like ordering a ‘Man vs. Food’ sized quadruple-patty burger with the works, and skipping the mayonnaise, because oh, mayo is fattening.

Lin reassembles his crack team in this sixth instalment, with most of the actors reprising their roles from ‘Fast 5’. While there was some kind of gravitas in the previous film, manifested by the team fighting for survival, ‘Fast & Furious 6’ basically runs on under-inflated tyres. It certainly is not lacking in sheer nonsensical entertainment value, with its insane car chases and ridiculous stunts, but its premise is so feeble that it makes most porn flicks qualify in the art house category.

Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) is the antagonist, a one-dimensional SAS colonel turned villain, who seems hell-bent on stealing some kind of “component” to disable military equipment for 24 hours, for whatever end.

Former MMA fighter Gina Carano (thankfully not required to act) stars as Luke Hobbs’ (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) Security Service partner, who simply exists just to showcase some tough-girl action with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez).

I may have unwittingly given something away; Letty is back after supposedly being killed in ‘Fast & Furious’, not to be confused with ‘The Fast and the Furious’ (the first movie in the series). Spoiler alert. Look away if you don’t want the intense and complex plot of ‘Fast & Furious 6’ ruined. 

Also see: A 'Fast & Furious Recap

The sole premise of FF6 seems to rest on what Hobbs quips at the beginning: you need wolves to catch wolves. Hence he dangles a carrot, two in fact, in front of Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) – full pardons for their heists and getting his beloved Letty back – to get his team together to stop Shaw.

I was expecting more than a bit of deliberation for the squad to come together for yet another potentially deadly mission, especially with his buddy Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) just becoming a father and settling into blissful family life, but what follows is a cringe-worthy “we are family” and “this is what we do”, for Brian to agree to risking his life once more for Dom to get his girlfriend back.

Such a touching moment of camaraderie.

The theme of family was so constantly and banally mentioned in dialogue, especially with Dom mumbling pseudo-sermons in his sexy deep voice, that our government may be inspired to let us race fast and furiously on the streets to tackle our dismal birth rate.

The cars in the film, honestly the real reason for watching the entire ‘Fast & Furious’ series, exhibit more expression and character development than most of the actors. If you enjoy watching vehicles die in ornate, choreographed and downright gratuitous fashion, remember to bring a box of tissues.

An entire fleet of 507bhp V10-engined BMW M5s, 12 to be exact, is destroyed during a high-speed chase on the streets of London, which are interestingly deserted. And that’s only the appetiser. If you know your (muscle) cars, try spotting the Dodge Daytona, 1970 Barracuda, Lucra LC470, 1970 Ford Mustang and Ford Escort. One car you don’t see very often is Letty’s Jenson Interceptor (they are in London after all).

Then there are the cars: the Nissan GTR, Lamborghini Murciélago, Aston Martin DB9 and the holy grail, the Eagle Speedster E-Type Jaguar. Many of these end up meeting their violent mechanical doom.  

This is actually the first time I feel I would definitely enjoy the behind-the-scenes and the making of ‘Fast & Furious 6’ a lot more than the actual movie.

Movies featuring explosions, car chases, beefcakes pulverising one another and scantily clad women will always appeal to a specific audience. Perhaps no amount of slamming this cheese and grease-laden product of cinematography will put the loyal fan boy off seeing it.

But just like the obligatory health warning that should accompany junk food, try not to drive or operate heavy machinery after watching ‘Fast & Furious 6’.

‘Fast & Furious 6’ opens in theatres 23 May 2013