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Fast & Furious 6 (AF)


Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Gina Carano, John Ortiz

Director: Justin Lin

Hollywood loves (and desperately needs) franchises that come off film after film. That’s certainly true of this well-crafted ‘switch-off-your-brain-and-sit- back-to-enjoy-the-thrills’ of this intellectually empty action movie whose characters make cardboard resemble thick slabs of giant redwood and whose plot (crafted, if that’s the word, by Chris Morgan) is designed to raise viewers’ adrenaline levels without ever impacting on their intellects.

There’s a plot, not that director Justin Lin lets it get in the way of the movie’s prime directive of thrilling the audience. Mega-muscular Dwayne Johnson – as imperturbably rock-like as ever – turns up in the Canary Islands and recruits retired criminals Vin Diesel (whose single expression, dare I say it, is becoming just a tad tedious), and Paul Walker to sort out international man of mystery Luke Evans (happy to sport basically one snarling expression) who intends to destroy civilization as we know it. And in no time at all, Johnson has a team of familiar ‘Fast and Furious’ faces blazing into action against Evans,

Lin makes vivid use of special effects to bring off a series of startling stunts, culminating in a stirring climax where the ‘Fast and Furious’ mob behave fast and furiously as they set out prevent a giant Russian cargo plane from taking off.

Shredding suspense, action and thrills are the hallmarks of the film: acting is irrelevant in the circumstance and not really attempted by anyone in the cast: in fact, the greatest contribution comes from the unsung stuntmen who disregard life, limb and gravity to deliver the terrific set piece. Drivel? Probably? And exciting? Definitely.

And more is promised in a short but stirring post-credits sequence featuring Jason Statham. Like ‘Friday the 13th’ before it, ‘Fast and Furious’ seems destined to rack up the numbers, both at the box-office and in the number of sequels the franchise will spawn.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour.
130 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 May 2013