Fast and Furious 6. It’s fast. And furious. And loud. And dumb. And fun.

fast-furious6-tyrese-car-leap-610x343Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them. – Pauline Kael

In the spirit of the above quote, I present to you Fast and Furious 6. I’ve always likes the Fast and Furious movies, but I’ve loved them since they brought in Dwayne Johnson and supersized them by bringing all of the characters from the various incarnations of the series together.

Furious 6 is unabashed big time stupid summer fun. The spirit of the movie, perhaps the entire series, can be explained in one sequence: the climactic chase on the runway as cars chase a giant cargo plane taxiing down a runway and try to keep it from taking off. This sequence must last at least fifteen minutes, and it’s thrilling! Cars are driving into the plane’s cargo compartment while other cars attach themselves to the wings with fight scenes happening inside and outside of each of the cars involved. Director Justin Lin deserves credit for keeping everything from dissolving into a nonsensical, chaotic mess. And a HUGE round of applause to the movie’s stunt coordinator, Spiro Razatos. If there were any justice, not only would his name and credit be on the poster, his name would be listed above Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson; Razatos is the real star of this movie.

But back to the final chase…. As exciting as the sequence is, and as that plane just taxis ON and ON and ON, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Just how long IS this runway?” Maybe runways in Europe are eighty miles long. Or maybe the filmmakers said, “So what? Screw common sense. This is gonna be awesome!”

And that’s why I really like this movie. It has a Roger Corman, B-Movie vibe to it; all it wants to do is give you a good time. And the movie is sincere. When the music swells and Vin Diesel pontificates about family and honor and never leaving those you love behind, there’s nothing self-conscious or ironic about it. And the fact that this extended family is made up of outsiders from all over the world who just want to drive really fast and look really good while doing it, well, who among us can’t relate to that on some level?

Even the post-credit stinger (which I won’t give away) fits its B-Movie mold. When you find out who the villain is for the next installment, it’s someone you’ll recognize, but he’s not such a HUGE star that his presence will somehow throw off the balance of the movie. He’s not like Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman who, even though I loved the movie, so overwhelms every scene he’s in. No, the baddie in Fast and Furious 7 will fit in quite nicely with this B-Movie series that has somehow become an A-Movie juggernaut without sacrificing its cheesy, adrenaline-fueled heart.


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