Any movie that is a sixquel cannot be good. Can it?
The fifth installment of the F&F saga was the best one to date and the one to beat as far as crashed cars, fresh narrative, unexpected twists and massive set pieces. After having torn to pieces Rio de Janeiro and fled with a considerable amount of money, our gang of heroes is now on a hiatus chilling and enjoying life. Only problem is that another group of criminal doppelgangers is threatening the world peace by trying to build some macguffin that could destroy yadayadayada. Fast5 newcomer federal agent Hobbs (The Rock) and bad-ass female sidekick Riley (Gina Carano) go on a hunt to find Toretto & Co. and convince them to locate and cripple the new kids on the block’s plans together.
This sixth episode sees the anticipated return of Toretto’s ex-flame Letty, only as an (half) amnesiac, but still able to flawlessly drive and remember how to call her ex by his nickname Dom, and also the rest of the gang that we met in the fifth and previous chapters.
The plot becomes immediately secondary, obscured to oblivion by the magnificence and the imperiousness of the action sequences, and the banter of Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and The Rock is just an interlude between fights, car chases, crashes, shootings, explosions, gearstick changing and pedal-to-the-metal quick shots.
Vin Diesel does not make any effort to act, mumbling and uttering lines with confidence and a slight arrogance, whereas Paul Walker lets his blue eyes do the talking. New entry Gina Carano is tough enough to compete with all that testosterone and her underground fight with Letty is one of the best one-on-one face offs of the movie. Luke Evans is also a super cool villain living to excess and beguiling Toretto’s gang and everybody else into doing whatever he wants, and it’s too bad his character does not get more screen time and a deeper analysis. Dwayne Johnson earned his second outing after FF5 thanks to his sturdy charisma, and it’s his relationship with Toretto that fuel these last two movies, going from mutual hatred to begrudging approval – and he gets to show off some wrestling moves too.
Unfortunately the trailer gives away some of the best bits, leaving just a handful of twists that don’t surprise much after all, like when somebody randomly says that they want to retire and go away to settle down and grow old together, but history of cinema already taught us what happens after that. Fast and Furious Six is everything everybody expected and even more, pushing the envelope and going further and further as far as incredible stunts and drives, and when Toretto ends the tank scene without a scratch I thought that what I saw was a figment of my imagination. Street races and car-related moments don’t have much space in a plot that’s mostly about saving the world, fights and one-liners, but hopes are for the next chapter, predictably anticipated in the moments right before the end credits.
Like Vin Diesel said, the key word for FF6 is trust, but the word for FF7 will be forgiveness.
Ready. Steady. GO.
Ride or die.
By Matteo Pilo’