Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fast & Furious 6

Is there a better action franchise at the moment than the Fast and the Furious? I don't think so. The original cracked my top-ten list in 2001 with its heart-racing street racing and Crayola box of souped-up hot rods, and the series just keeps on rolling. Director Justin Lin has helmed the last four installments, including the new "Fast & Furious 6" that provides phenomenal value for your moviegoing dollar. It's two hours of pulse-pounding excitement, gravity-defying stunts, and globetrotting fun, made with real wit and humor, in a spirit of easygoing camaraderie that extends to the audience.

The members of the main cast seem to have resigned themselves to their fate in Hollywood and realized what a happy one it is. None has much of a career outside of these silly pictures, or needs one. This has the liberating effect of allowing them to settle into their familiar characters, take humorous potshots at one another, and enjoy the ride. One thing I've always liked about the series is that the women are every bit as smart, strong and tough as the men, often more so. There's an unforced quality to the films' inclusiveness and polyglot internationalism that makes them deserving smash hits abroad and at home.

The plot of this latest episode will not win any writing awards for Chris Morgan. The team (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, with Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Sung Kang, and Michelle Rodriguez, still sporting that sneer the size of the San Andreas Fault) reunite to keep a bad guy named Shaw (Luke Evans) from acquiring the chip that can shut down entire nations' computer networks and make him jillions. But each turn in the story suffices to lay the foundation for the giddy action that ensues. Tyrese Gibson and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges get a lot of laughs out of their interplay. And the whole thing is just so dang much fun. Pay your money to see it on the big screen, preferably in ETX, snag a seat up close, sit back and enjoy. I predict you'll have a smile on your face the whole time.

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