Is this a new trend? In Hollywood's golden age, stars would sometimes reprise a popular role several times. Some series were five or six films long. Usually, they were B-movies and loved but not memorable.
The Fast & Furious series is now at six. Five sequels. Wow. It certainly is a modern-day record. Even better, a couple of the six -- including Fast & Furious 6 -- have been pretty good movies. At the very least, they have been guilty pleasures.
Fast & Furious 6 opens fast and furiously and brings back Michelle Rodriguez, whose character Letty Ortiz supposedly died in the fourth film. She's spotted in a crime where the mastermind uses super-fast, modified cars to outrun and outgun police.
He's after a computer chip that will allow someone to take over the world.
Former nemesis from Fast Five Luke Hobbs seeks out the group to help him catch the thugs who did the heist. The theory is only fast cars can catch fast cars. The group, however, does it because they're "family" and want to find out how Letty survived and bring her back into the fold.
And if they're successful, they get full pardons.
Reprising their roles are Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the rest of the cast. Dwayne Johnson is back as Hobbs. Justin Lin, who has done the last two films, is back in the director's chair. And Chris Morgan returns. He penned sequels four and five.
Morgan is a terrible writer. The dialogue is as flat as Diesel's -- who has never been a very good actor -- monotone delivery. Lines are two-dimensional. The plot's predictable. Like the rest of the films, it's an excuse for fast driving and well-choreographed action sequences. And the 10-minute climax involving an airplane landing and taking off on a runway that Morgan and Lin create is one of the dumbest in movie history. Seriously. To get all that done, the runway had to be at least 15 miles long.
I could not stop laughing.
Laughs yes, but I loved it. All of it. This is Fast & Furious 6, and like most of the others in the series, it is fast and furious fun. Do stay for the outtake. There will be a movie seven.
Fast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence and some language. It is playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.