The fifth installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise was a nearly perfect wrap-up for the series; deeply satisfying, thoroughly enjoyable, visually stunning. Your humble author gave it the equivalent of two thumbs up and recommended it without reservation. Most importantly, I noted that the central themes — fatherhood, family, young men searching for role models — were enduring enough to carry all the twenty-ton-safe gingerbread. These themes, which have underpinned three of the five movies we’ve seen so far, differentiate the series from, say, Redline. They’re important.
There was no way Fast and Furious 6 was going to measure up to its predecessor. Not only would that violate the odd-numbered-movies-rock-even-numbered-movies-suck pattern established up to this point, the way Fast Five had ended didn’t leave much room in the plot for those enduring themes mentioned above. It’s a relief to see, therefore, that instead of trying to be a better movie, it settles for being different. And in the course of being different, the franchise sets a strong course for what it was always going to become, if it could stay alive long enough: fantasy.
Spoilers, both contextual and carbon fiber, ahead.