Natalie Stendall film review: Fast & Furious 6

Billion dollar franchise Fast & Furious returns for more nitrous fuelled action with a sixth offering, this time from director Justin Lin (The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious).

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st May 2013, 6:33 pm

When evidence surfaces that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) - supposedly killed off in Fast 4 - is still alive, brawny Interpol officer Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turns to Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) street race crew to bring down the bad-guys she’s hanging with.

Vehicular warfare ensues as the team takes on ex-Special Ops soldier Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his military powered entourage.

Enter tanks, planes and outrageous explosions. London gets the glamourous Fast & Furious treatment as this gang of English rivals make a glossy race track of Canary Wharf by night.

Playing in to the popularity of evil English foes - The Avengers, Star Trek Into Darkness - and classy British locations celebrated in last years 007 treasure Skyfall, Fast 6 makes spectacular use of its new location. British constraints such as illegal handguns are neatly molded into crucial plot points but dodgy accents and English caricatures abound in this absurd but entertaining flick.

The return of Michelle Rodriguez gives Fast 6 a clear direction and the plot hangs together well with a good variety of racing action.

The script from long time Fast & Furious writer, Chris Morgan, borders on schmaltzy as Letty and Toretto meet as if for the first time but a nice spattering of gags from Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris) keep Fast 6 grounded in its carefree style.

The car chase set pieces that punctuate this sixth instalment are glossy and slick as ever, but the Fast & Furious formula is increasingly focussed on hand to hand combat. A street race between Letty and Toretto harks back to earlier offerings while spectacular but illogical driving showdowns take the car chases to ludicrous extremes.

There’s plenty for petrol heads in this latest Fast & Furious outing but its brawling action focus is likely to leave die hard fans longing for a bolder return to the franchise’s street racing niche.

With some of the boldest driving yet, Fast 6 delivers high octane entertainment, even if it can’t quite top the safe dragging thrills of Fast 5. And, with the preposterous, military-powered final showdown leaving audiences with the overwhelming question, ‘how long was that runway?!’ we can only wonder where Fast 7 will take us next.

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 130 minutes

Verdict: 3/5