4. Fast and Furious 6
Fast and Furious 6 had the unenviable task of trying to one-up Fast Five, and while it unsurprisingly failed to top that film’s gonzo climax, it’s nothing if not a strong swing for Justin Lin.
This is the film where the melodramatic creep of the series’ back-half originated, with Letty’s hilariously convoluted – or, let’s be honest, lazy – resurrection story being the most absurd thing the franchise had asked fans to buy into up to this point.
Throw in some amnesia and a laughable subplot where Brian is temporarily sent back to prison and you’ve got a soap opera stew cooking. Though the script takes the Letty aspect of the story dead-seriously, the filmmakers just barely manage to counter-balance the movie’s tone by also delivering the funniest film in the entire series. This is absolutely the comedic sweet spot.
The sixth film also begins the series’ true transition into superhero territory during its electrifying Spanish convoy assault sequence, where Dom catapults himself through the air to catch Letty, the pair landing on another car at high-speed and sustaining not even a cracked rib between them.
Yet Lin has only grown in confidence behind the camera since Fast Five, capturing the beefed-up “vehicular warfare” through gorgeously slick chase car footage, and again achieving a winning synthesis of the practical and the digital.
The finale may not outdo the previous film, but the desperate dash across the world’s longest runway is nevertheless a ton of we-dare-you-to-question-this fun. The slightly offputting shootouts from Fast Five are also largely replaced with a greater emphasis on hand-to-hand combat, which provide necessary succor during a few slightly overlong gaps between car chases.
The cast is king here once again, ripping through the one-liner-riddled dialogue with enthusiastic glee, while Luke Evans’ villain Owen Shaw proves one of the series’ more underappreciated, especially as he’s only scarcely re-appeared in the series since. But it’s the mid-credits introduction of Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw as Han’s killer which truly brings the house down, setting the stage for the impossibly high-octane sequel.
While not quite reaching the frenetic highs of its direct predecessor, Fast and Furious 6 is a worthy follow-up, packed to the gills with riotous one-liners and superlative vehicular carnage.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Click below to continue on to the next page…