You would be hard pressed to think of a franchise, any franchise, that by its sixth outing is actually remaining as entertaining and providing the same quality as its previous films. Its arguably getting better the longer it goes on.
This film takes Dom and Brian taking on another crew of equally skilled drivers who are far more ruthless and with less morality. The goal? Doesn’t really matter. There is a McGuffin, there always is. The real goal here is the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz.
You want to know how they did it after the fourth movie? You know me – spoiler free. You will need to see the movie; though I will say I did not roll my eyes at the reveal or reasons. I lay that squarely on the hands of script writer Chris Morgan, who has been writing for the Fast series since Tokyo Drift. He has successfully interwoven all six movies and gives the appropriate callbacks, ties and links the stories in a manner that lesser writers would have been heavy handed with. Instead we get one line deliveries and a minimal amount of exposition, the barest of what’s needed.
Director Justin Lin, also with the franchise since Tokyo Drift has a feel for the stories and characters that make the movie series successful as it is. He knows how to shoot the action just as much as the quiet moments, with limited exceptions. He brings the best out of his cast and their natural chemistry and charisma.
You hear me mention charisma in some of my reviews and in my humble opinion it makes and breaks a “group” movie. This team has charisma, it shines like baby oil off of every single actor and their interactions with each other. Five of six movies together has made this cast the family they claim to be. Am I saying they are great actors? No. What I am saying is they play well off of each other and have a natural comfort and charm that carries through the screen effortlessly.
Despite all this excellence, the director needs to move on. Four movies and he’s starting to lose some of the cinematic vision that made the others so watchable. A Bay-esque rotating cam during a romantic moment was nearly nauseating at times. combined with a series of quick cuts you were wrenched from a moment that was reminiscent of Mel Gibson and Rene Russo’s seduction scene from Lethal Weapon 3. Sadly, and I don’t know if this is the director, the Director of photography or cinematographers fault, but the shaky cam has made its way into the film. Its not as bad as it could have been (I am looking at you Paul “Bourne” Greengrass) but it’s a noticeable and unfortunate change.
Why so bad? So…imagine the awesomeness that is Michelle Rodriguez vs Gina Carrano? This should be the meanest, brutalist street fight we’ve seen in the films. It almost was, for what you could make out from it. Other sequences fell victim to this as they did to the quick cut and angles. This is the one flaw of the film. Ok there is also the minimum of 20 mile long runway….but…its an action sequence in a Fast film. I’ll forgive it.
If you like the franchise, see it.
If you are curious about any element – see it
Ah hell just see the thing. It is a fast and the furious movie so you get out of it only what you should expect. It’s not high cinema, but its 2 hours of raw entertainment and characters we’ve been watching for 12 years now ((seriously..12 ))
I think that youll feel successfully transported into the film.