“This is not what we do.”
So says Tyrese Gibson’s Roman in this sixth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, referring to the James Bond sort of mess our beloved team of street racers find themselves in. Generally I agree with him, but at least Fast & Furious 6 finds itself a decent bad guy: Luke Evans’ Shaw, a criminal mastermind bent on world domination (or something like that).
The leader of his own team, Shaw emphasizes precision and employs sleek, angled race cars that can flip oncoming vehicles through the air. Shaw also has Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), the right-hand woman of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who was presumed to be dead but has actually been suffering from amnesia. And so when the government taps Dom and Brian (Paul Walker) to come out of retirement in order to take out Shaw, they do so for personal reasons.
This lends some emotional weight to the enterprise – there’s a nice moment where Dom tries to jog Letty’s memory by comparing scars – but mostly this is another showcase for superior stunt work, including a highway chase involving a speeding tank. If the finale relies on CGI a bit more than usual, at least Diesel also manages to squeeze in a flying head butt.