Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Written by Chris Morgan
Directed by Justin Lin
Dom and Brian arrive at the hospital just in time for Mia’s birth. Life is going well for the Toretto clan in the wake of the Rio job. Dom is living with Elena and starting over. Everything is flipped upside down when Hobbs shows up with a photo of Letty taken days prior. Letty is in the employ of international terrorist Owen Shaw and is the hook Hobbs needs to get Toretto’s crew to help him out. The team travels to London where they begin to uncover a large scale plan to construct a device that could cripple an entire nation’s defense network. The clock is ticking as Dom attempts to get Letty back and stop Shaw’s plans in their tracks.
Getting through the Fast & Furious films is beginning to feel like a slog now, but I am soldiering on to make to the eighth. This isn’t a terrible movie, but it is terribly forgettable, except for two action set pieces. Changing the story to one about taking down a terrorist is an interesting twist. It puts the characters in a new locale, though this setting comes across very bland. The favelas were a much more interesting place to see on screen. The Rock is always good because he seems to bring an earnestness to the role of Hobbs. This is the most superheroic character he’s ever played as evidence in the utterly superhuman battle on the airplane.
Getting crazier with some of the plot elements is a good thing. They used a ridiculous way to bring Letty back, amnesia just like in a soap opera, but we know it will all be resolved in the third act. The end credits scene that completes the timeline Justin Lin began with Tokyo Drift was a nice touch. The insane fact that Hobbs pulled a gun on a NATO general to let a known terrorist loose to keep Mia safe.
The airplane set piece was the kind of insanity that makes the film have even an iota of enjoyment. It was so ridiculous and over the top. The fight on the plane and inside the plane is ludicrous and silly. If the rest of the series has more of these moments, then they will be tolerable.Justin Lin is a decent director and having seen Star Trek Beyond I know the problems with the Fast & Furious do not rest in his hands.
The big problem with this franchise is solely Chris Morgan’s, the writer. Having seeing Lin’s other work, I know he can do characters well if he is given the right material. To look at Morgan’s IMDB page is to view a list of the mediocre. The thing that fails to draw me in with all of these movies is that barely any characters have an arc and the ones that do show zero character growth. Han’s only arc moment is the death of Gisele, and that is merely to get him to Tokyo. Roman and Tej have no arcs. Mia has no arc and continues to be a living prop. Brian has no arc. It is increasingly difficult to care about these characters when there is no work done to develop them. Elena, Dom’s lover at the start of the film, is much more interesting than most of these characters. And if you think Dom has an arc, what would it be? He learns how important family is? Something he says every film. I am getting as annoyed with Dom’s family schtick as I did with the Spider-Man great power/great responsibility theme being hammered over and over. Also, Mia should have died instead of Gisele who was an infinitely more interesting character.
So the argument might be that the film is not so serious, but tell the movie that. Dom is a humorless uncooked dough ball of acting who mumbles through his dialogue and never feels like he is exuding a genuine emotion. Brian is second when it comes to annoying dumb, uninteresting protagonists. Neither of them does anything interesting or funny. Roman and Tej’s wisecracks cannot make up for the lead actors inhuman performances. These two are the best part of the film, but they need the lead roles to make the overall film enjoyable. At this point, I’m just happy there are only two of these left to get through.
My predictions for the next movie:
They get the crew back together and fight Jason Statham apparently, or some shit. No one grows, changes, or learns anything, and I manage to only really remember the final action set piece.