(A-kon is this weekend - so I prepped early :P)
Fast and Furious 6
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Ludacris, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Gina Carano, Clara Paget, Kim Kold, Johannes Taslim, and more.
Directed by: Justin Lin Screenplay by: Chris Morgan Based on the Characters Created by: Gary Scott Thompson Cinematography by: Stephen F Windon Original Music by: Lucas Vidal
Premise: As each member of Dominic Toretto's crew move on with their lives and try to settle down after their last job, the group gets called back together when Agent Hobbs informs Dom that Letty, Dom's old sweetheart who they'd believed had been killed after going undercover for Brian O'Conner, is not actually dead. but though she's alive, it seems she's tangled up with an international that's crew willing to kill to steal parts for a device capable of dampening electricity for 24 hours on a huge scale, something which would cause untold chaos and death if applied in a large city and which would go for a very high price in the open market. So Dom and his crew will need to work with Hobbs to bring Shaw down and try to get Letty back before things go too far. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: I love Michelle Rodriguez and she really outdid herself in "FF6". The first time she and Dom meet face to face, it's obvious from her expression she's never seen him before. She did an awesome job separating things she'd lived through in the other movies and acting like she'd never done them. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson are just too fun to watch as they pick at each other. Tyrese Gibson as Roman will make you roll your eyes one moment and laugh at another. Sung Kang and Gal Gadot are a blast to watch together. Luke Evans was deliciously bad. Great job all around.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The special effects were slick and awesome. Shaw's escape sequence close to the beginning of the film will make your jaw drop. Cool electronic gadgets added some nice extra dimensions to several of the physical stunts. Great stuff.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: While the ending is never in doubt, the script still managed to have a lot of surprises. (And there's a big one at the end of the film!) Moves created counter moves which made for more moves - two smart groups going at each other trying to anticipate, diffuse, counter, and get the upper hand.
I was even more excited that while Mia had a kid, they didn't do the usual with her that Hollywood has done with other action female characters who've given birth and set her to the side as if she had nothing to contribute anymore. Though it took a bit to get her involved, when her time comes, Mia proves once again she is as capable as any of the guys.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The trademark of the "Fast and Furious" franchise is the awesome car stunts. "FF6" is no different and totally delivers. If anything, they 'raise the bar' even further with the amazing 'gags' in the film.
The hand to hand combat was also fantastic. The subway section fights were great! I also loved that the women fought as hard and with as much skill as the guys, if not more. On a strange reversal, that only enhanced things, two of the guys fought one of the bad guys, and got totally trounced, the skill level difference incredibly obvious. And it was a great move! Made the good guys seem human. Especially as they agree not to let anyone know about the manner of their defeat.
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Several international locations as well as a few old familiar places grace the screen during the film, which gave it a great variety in the look and feel of the shots. The cinematography was great as well, giving all sorts of angles on the fast driving as well as overhead shots of major events. It definitely added the 'wow' factor to the at least the Shaw escape scene.
Conclusion: "Fast and Furious 6" is a great, wild ride! "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with wheels. Lots of action, great stunts and fight choreography. The film will definitely get the adrenaline pumping. If you've seen some of the other offerings for the franchise, you will not be disappointed.
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)