My earliest recollection of reveling in car races was a stock car race outside of Pittsburgh. I can still smell that fuel and hear the sounds of the engines revving up. And the sexuality that was in the air. The daredevil drivers swagger in and out of the crowd. Oh, just to touch a driver would have made my day.
The fumes of the petrol mingled with the fast food and I was in Sixth Heaven. Now after seeing “Fast & Furious 6,” I found myself in Seventh Heaven.
Initially I had been a naysayer. Who wants to see a film with a 6 in the title? I certainly didn't. But, boy, am I glad I did! The dialogue is fast and wicked. The cast exudes a heat and a sexuality that burns up the screen. The reasons for seeing this film are: to be entertained and to forget the everyday minutiae that clog our regurgitating brains and to laugh.
Yes, “FF6” is funny. The writers of this ripe-for-pickins' dialogue are Gary Scott Thompson and Chris Morgan, while the talented director is Justin Lin who was born in Taiwan. Perhaps due to his origin, this former student of UCLA’s film school has a fresh look that enables him to breathe life and longevity into an aging franchise. Long live Lin should be Universal's mantra.
“F&F6” begins with the guys and girls in retirement, enjoying their millions from the last heist — minus soul-burning crime fighter Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who is believed to be dead.
But is she? Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) pays a visit to Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel), who is on the barbie in a sunny vacation spot, with a photo that proves she is still alive. So the gang reunites, not only find her but to bring down the man they believe is holding her: villainous special-ops soldier Shaw (Luke Evans), head of a team of lethally skilled mercenary drivers, specializing in vehicular warfare.
And so, across 12 countries, along with Dominic and Luke, the gang of Brian (Paul Walker), Han (Sung Kang), Gisele (Gal Godat), Tyrese Gibson (who handles his lines with skilled comedic talent), Taj (Ludicris) and Elena (Elsa Pataky) drive fast and furiously.
And the payment for helping Luke bring down Shaw?: a pardon for all the team’s crimes.
Who'd think this franchise was based on family values, but there you have it.
Making it a travelogue of sorts, the team drives through London, Liverpool, Spain and ends in Tokyo.
And don't walk out before credits end, as a tag ending will take you to “FF7” – a release I eagerly await.
"You got some serious balls, man," Letty says to Dom.
"I've been told." Dom replies
So does “Fast & Furious 6."