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FAST AND FURIOUS 6

SYNOPSIS:
Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian's (Paul Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin's empire and left their crew with $100 million, the crew have scattered across the globe. But they regret never being able to return home. Meanwhile, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Luke Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment is full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again.

Review by Louise Keller:
True to its promise, this 6th in the franchise dishes up cars, speed, stunts, muscle and girls - all at 100 decibels. The zooped up cars drive at furious speeds, the stunts are spectacularly oversized, as are the muscles of The Rock, who looms over Vin Diesel like a giant action figure rippling with bulk. Since the original film in 2001, the stunts and action have progressively become grander and more ridiculous with over-the-top mid-air flying sequences eliciting ripples of laughter. But it's all part of the mix and the team is back doing what it does best: improvise. Key is the return of Michelle Rodriguez' Letty, who is the yin to Vin Diesel's yang and whose presence represents the emotional heart of the film.

It all begins with a dizzying cliff edge sequence in which Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) are racing serpentine fashion along the coast road in the Canary Islands. This ensures we are all on the same page - it's about speed and risk. They might have made $100 million in Rio in the last film, but success and money is clearly not all it's cracked up to be - in this scenario at least - and Dom and his crew are ready to take on their new assignment from special agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who decides that 'to catch wolves, you need wolves.'

The wolf in question is an English terrorist named Shaw (Luke Evans) whose code is precision and who is collecting a weapons arsenal to control the world. If you miss some of the plot, no matter; the same goes for some of the dialogue which often gets muffled into the sound effects or the music. Director Justin Lin, who directed the last and two others in the franchise, has gone for broke with gargantuan stunts - carparks explode, bridges crumble, buildings shatter, cars flip like playing cards and a tank crushes oncoming traffic as though it is a convoy of matchbox cars. The climactic sequence involving an oversize aircraft with cars dangling like earrings is quite something.

There's plenty of humour and jibes along the way but never to detract from the action. Johnson delivers the head butt from hell, Walker goes undercover in jail and Vin Diesel makes use of his gravel-voice as he sets about to try to reach Rodriguez, who might have lost her memory, but knows her mind. Rodriguez is the epitome of sultry, with a sullen expression, dishevelled hair and wearing black scoop-necked singlet throughout. She and Vin Diesel are a couple made in Furious Heaven.

If you're wondering if there is more to come in the franchise, the final thrilling racing sequence in Tokyo will reassure you - as a new character is introduced - sucking us in for next time.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Whatever Sly Stallone and his Expendables team can destroy on screen, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team can do it bigger, louder, faster ... and younger. This franchise will probably grow out of its title in 30 years to be renamed Slow & Grumpy, but until then, the street racing ethos of 'drive or die' will sustain it and its comic size characters for at least another generation.

The story is simple enough, much like many other action thrillers; the good guys have to track down and stop the bad guys getting away with a gizmo that would hurt the world. Built into this scenario, though, is the branding of fast cars and slow speaking macho men like Dom, whose guttural, growl of a voice is perfectly suited to a man who speaks softly and carries a big stick (make that gun). The screenplay is carefully constructed to balance the carnage with the humour, from the quips and banter to the hilariously improbable stunts. It also has a strongly beating heart in the love drama between Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), which is nicely woven into the central plot.

That doesn't mean it is entirely logical or free of holes, but the damn thing moves so fast you don't really have time to care.

A film like this needs a badass of the first order, and Luke Evans comes up trumps as the precision-driven Shaw, masterminding the massive hits against military and other law enforcement units.

Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner is now a dad, which adds a perfectly matched texture to the team whose mantra is 'family'. But there isn't too much time spent changing nappies or cooing at the baby with a car in each hand. It's all action, from the momentous chases and mahemic stunts to the hand to hand fights in a variety of locations, all choreographed for maximum testosterone output.

Would you believe a tank roaring out of a roadtrain; would you believe a massive air transport plane in a battle with cars; would you believe highway massacre and impossibly fast street chases in impossibly overpowered cars.... Well, you will if you get your bum into a seat to watch this movie. If it's escapist entertainment you want with video game speed and sensibilities, Furious 6 is for you.

By the way, stay till the credits roll for a teaser of what's to come.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (M)
(US, 2013)

CAST: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez, Elsa Pataky, Jordana Brewster, Gina Carano, Gal Gadot, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham

PRODUCER: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Clayton Townsend

DIRECTOR: Justin Lin

SCRIPT: Chris Morgan

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon

EDITOR: Greg D'Auria, Kelley Matsumoto, Christian Wagner

MUSIC: Lucas Vidal

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jan Roelfs

RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 6, 2013







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