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Fast & Furious 6 - Blu-ray Review

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Fast & Furious - Movie Review

4 stars

Start your engines!  The summer blockbuster of 2013 has arrived.  Yes, with Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious 6, our collective need for speed lives on.  Now, I was late to the franchise as a whole but – after an interesting fourth entry – I found myself watching the originals and a funny thing happened; I actually started caring about the characters.  While the franchise has expanded past its underground car racing origins, it has not left its audience or its characters behind.  Lin’s Fast & Furious 6 – full throttled from beginning to end – is proof positive that the franchise knows what it is and what it needs to do.

The point is that Fast & Furious 6 kicks ass.

Written once again by Chris Morgan, Fast & Furious 6 opens with Dwayne Johnson (reprising his role as Luke Hobbs) making a now retired Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) an offer he can’t refuse: the whereabouts of Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) who was last seen in a car explosion way back in Fast & Furious.   All Toretto has to do is get the gang - Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang), Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) – back together to tackle the skills of the notorious Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his gnarly gang of dangerous gearheads and help bring them to justice.  Their pay?  Full pardons all around.

Yes, it’s a mash-up of bone-crunching punches and ‘roided out rages as the old wolves meet the new blood on the streets of London, Moscow, and – ehem – Tokyo (if you stay for the credits).  Fast & Furious 6 works because the writer and director and its stars love this franchise and continue to deliver what their audience wants without straining the formula.  Is it over the top?  Of course, but when you see Diesel restrain a bulking Russian hothead so that The Rock can head butt him into oblivion you simply will not care.

Lin has several outstanding and outlandish action pieces.  Diesel drives a car through the front of an airplane for instance.  Perhaps the car chases in London is the most impressive feat of the film.  We’ve also got some girl-vs-girl fights thanks to the presence of Gina Carano, a former mixed-martial arts superstar.  While she has yet to find the role to make her a certified movie star, she’s certainly on the right track.  Executed beautifully, Lin and cinematographer Stephen F. Windon have assembled a slick film that snarls and crackles like a panther.

None of this is believable but – as this is summer and this is a Fast & Furious film – that’s to be expected.  It is; however, completely entertaining.  It teases and delivers action and comedic beats that land – just like bodies colliding in mid-air – at a very high rate of speed.  And we love it.  Think superheroes with cars and you get the idea of where the franchise is at.

Lin, who as indicated that this is his last picture with the Fast and Furious crew due to Universal’s accelerated schedule for the next installment, has brought us back to the streets, too.  The racing cars are as loaded as the stunts and equally as exciting.  Matching the film’s exotic locations are these sleek vehicles.  And, of course, there are some pumped up American muscle cars, too.  Their engines roar.  They hug the sharp turns and – completely in time with a bass-leveling soundtrack – pound the street as the Fast & Furious crew meets their villainous counterparts in Fast & Furious 6.

You will smell its gasoline.  You will feel the rumble of its engine.  There’s no denying it; Fast and Furious 6 and its post-credit teaser - makes its presence known.  There series isn’t going away anytime soon…not when its engine is this strong and so completely badass.

To the Fast & Furious crew, my hat is off to you.  There isn’t many a franchise that – six films in – can be this entertaining AND still add members to its fanbase.

Fast & Furious - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and mayhem throughout, some sexuality and language.
Runtime:
130 mins.
Director
: Justin Lin
Writer
: Chris Morgan
Cast: Vin Diesel; Dwayne Johnson; Paul Walker; Michelle Rodriguez; Jordana Brewster
Genre: Action
Tagline:
All roads lead to this
Memorable Movie Quote: "This code you live by makes you predictable. In our line of work predictable makes you vulnerable. I can reach out and break you any time I want."
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
http://www.thefastandthefurious.com/
Release Date: May 24, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 10, 2013

Synopsis: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of all-stars as the global blockbuster franchise built on speed races to its next continent in Fast & Furious 6. Reuniting for their most high-stakes adventure yet, fan favorites Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and Elsa Pataky are joined by badass series newcomers Luke Evans and Gina Carano.

Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian's (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin's empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete.

Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again.

Building on the worldwide blockbuster success of Fast Five and taking the action, stunts and narrative to even greater heights, Fast & Furious 6 sees director Justin Lin back behind the camera for the fourth time. He is supported by longtime producers Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel, who welcome producer Clayton Townsend back to the series.

Fast & Furious 6 - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 10, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy (as download); DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free

The technical presentation is just as good this time around as it was last time. Universal provides an expectedly excellent 2.35:1/1080p/AVC-encoded transfer for Fast & Furious 6. Detail is abundant and impressive, and each frame benefits from beautifully realistic texture and stunning clarity. There's plenty of detail in the scenes, even darker ones. The colors pop and the contrast is strong. There are no compression issues or digital artifacts. The 5.1 surround sound audio track uses all speakers well, especially the bass, which is needed every time an engine roars.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The release gets started with an excellent bang in the feature commentary with director Justin Lin who discusses the new energy in the story and the films and dissects how some of the stunts were completed.

Special Features:

The extras included on the release are pretty solid.  On top of the commentary, there are three deleted scenes, a really short behind-the-scenes featurette and a four-part making of featurette. However, calling it a four-part featurette makes it sound more impressive than it is, as its total running time is under 30 minutes.  The Blu-ray has the original version and the extended version. The extended version is two hours and eleven minutes compared to two hours and ten minutes for the theatrical version.

It should be noted that Universal Studios will also be honoring Paul Walker by supporting his non-profit organization Reach Out WorldWide. With the release of the latest film on DVD/Blu-ray, the studio will be giving a percentage of the proceeds to Paul’s non-profit organization.

  • Take Control (19 min)
  • The Making of Fast & Furious 6 (30 min)
  • Planes, Tanks and Automobiles (23 min)
  • It's All About the Cars (15 min)
  • Hand to Hand Fury (10 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (2 min)

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