Fast and Furious 6
Directed by Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and mayhem throughout, some sexuality and language
2 hr. 10 min.

The Fast and Furious gang are back from an extended vacation, spending the big bucks they made from their last caper, but not too distracted to return and blow some smoke out their tail pipes.


But bone up on your Fast and Furious history because you’ll need to do a little backtracking to follow this maze of a plot. Remember Dom’s old girlfriend, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez)? The one we all thought had died a couple of sequels back? And the notorious Mexican drug dealer Braga (John Ortiz)? No? Well then, you may be spending a little screen time playing catch up.

Those of us who’ve followed the series understand this much: Fast and Furious is about three things:  racing cars, blowing things up and cracking jokes. So even though I’m going to describe the story, in the end, the story doesn’t really matter. As long as those three elements are present, we all go home happy.

This time around, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and crew are confronted with a world-class bastard named Shaw (Luke Evans), who, as best I can tell, is gathering equipment from international police and military sites to pull off a large heist that the police will be powerless to stop. Seriously. That’s the best I can do here, given that the movie doesn’t work very hard to explain itself.

And since Shaw and company are not only thieving masterminds, but world-class drivers, naturally Hobbs turns to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and company to help him put a stop to this nonsense.

Now, since they’re all having so much fun in retirement, why would they be interested in working again? Because Hobbs has learned that Dom’s former girlfriend, Letty, is Shaw’s second in command. Yes, she’s really alive and has stepped over to the dark side. Or has she? Keep that question front and center.

And the price for their participation? Girlfriend or not, these guys don’t work for free. Hobbs offers them all full pardons. Girlfriend in trouble? A chance at freedom? Deal. Throttle up, boys and girls. We’re back!

If all this sounds like just one more excuse to make another Fast and Furious movie, you’re right. But remember what I said earlier about those three key elements? Bingo.

You’d think after six of these muscle car movies, the franchise would be getting a little low on oil. But give the producers credit. They may be making vehicle hokum, but they still have their pride.

First, they’ve returned with Justin Lin as director. When it comes to racing, stunts and fiery crashes, Lin is a genius. There are some scenes in this film that will make your jaw drop. Plus, he seems to have a knack for knowing when to race and when to slow down. If Lin were driving in NASCAR, he’d be Jimmy Johnson.

Second, this movie never loses its sense of humor. From beginning to end, even when it stretches the limits of belief, it seems to snap back and survive on a perfectly timed joke.

And last but not least, Vin Diesel is the god of all muscle men, and whatever he brings to the screen is worth its weight in gold. The voice. The eyes. The T-shirt. I would pay big bucks just to wear that shirt. Not to mention, the man is chiseled dynamite.

Fast and Furious 6 will not surprise you, but it will amaze. Stunts, jokes, a little female mano a mano, and the biggest piece of steroid beefcake (Kim Kold) I’ve ever seen. It all adds up to a tank full of fun, fire and laughs. Like Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, Fast and Furious remains ageless and at the top of its game. Can’t wait for number 7.