Fast & Furious 6 (M)

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Review byMatthew Turner30/05/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 127 mins

The sixth instalment improves on the disappointing previous film by adding better banter, punchier fight scenes and stunts that are even more ludicrous than the last lot, but it's still unforgivably long and hampered by poor action direction and a dull script.

What's it all about?
Directed by Justin Lin (now firmly established as the series director), Fast & Furious 6 sees musclebound Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) tracking down musclebound fast car enthusiast Toretto (Vin Diesel) and enlisting his help in taking down vehicular-based criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), who's currently orchestrating a series of deadly heists involving military equipment. However, there's a hook that Hobbs knows will guarantee Toretto's involvement: his presumed-dead lover Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is part of Shaw's gang.

With Hobbs also promising pardons, Toretto rounds up the rest of the fast car loving crew – O'Connor (Paul Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang), Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) – and they set off for London in hot pursuit of Shaw, aided by Hobbs' new ass-kicking sidekick Riley (Gina Carano).

The Good
There are now so many regulars in this franchise that the opening credits have one of those everyone-walking-towards-the-camera shots that make it look like a TV show. At least the trademarked banter (which is often hilariously homoerotic – keep an eye on Gibson and Walker in particular) between the characters is firing on all cylinders this time, with Gibson getting a lot of comic mileage out of his relatively sidelined role and Johnson on rock-solid form as Hobbs.

The filmmakers have also upped both the frequency and the furiousness of the fight scenes this time round, largely due to the cast additions of both Carano and The Raid star Joe Taslim (as one of Shaw's henchmen), whose London underground-set punch-ups with Rodriguez and Gibson/Kang respectively are definite highlights. And if you're one of those people who comes to these movies for the cars, well, there are plenty of those too.

The Bad
That said, though Lim has an eye for jaw-dropping action moments within scenes (spectacular flying leaps are his speciality), the actual sequences themselves are poorly constructed and lack imagination. Similarly, once again, there are only really two big action sequences and one of those has been playing in cinemas almost in its entirety as a sort of extended trailer, while the much-touted London scenes amount to little more than a geographically inaccurate race past various landmarks.

On top of that, Diesel and Walker's dialogue is often laughably bad and none of the supposedly emotional moments work at all. Similarly, Evans makes a disappointingly dull villain and it's a shame that Carano's acting talents don't match her punch-up skills.

Worth seeing?
Fast and Furious 6 is something of a mixed bag, but the likeable cast and ludicrous action moments ensure that it delivers the requisite amount of fun. Don't miss the glorious mid-credits sting at the end that sets up the next instalment.

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Content updated: 13/11/2019 23:34

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