We hold the following truths about “The Fast and the Furious” franchise to be self-evident:
That these movies, including the latest, straight-forwardly titled installment, “Fast & Furious 6,” will always be about hot cars that get into epic accidents; action sequences that defy the laws of physics as well as rational thought; and precariously assembled plotlines that aren’t really that important anyway because — oh my Lord, did you just see Tyrese leap onto the roof of that speeding Ford Escort RS 2000 in order to avoid being crushed by a military tank also traveling on a public thoroughfare at an exceptionally high velocity? (The plot of this movie is not relevant.)
That most “Fast” characters will miraculously survive numerous collisions, leaps from bridges and bullet barrages even though they all clearly should have been killed at least 17 times. Per film.
That even if a character dies — spoiler alert! — he or she may miraculously resurrect in subsequent movies, as Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz does in “Fast & Furious 6.”
(For those who actually care a little about the plot: Letty, supposedly murdered in the fourth chapter of this never-ending smashy-crashy story, is actually alive and apparently working for a nefarious former SAS officer/terrorism enabler named Shaw. FBI agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, concludes that the only way to stop Shaw is by recruiting the now-wealthy-and-off-the-grid crew led by the love of Letty’s life, Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto. Because, you know, everyone else in the FBI is kind of busy, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is way better at tracking intel using high-tech equipment.)
That the “Fast” movies are no longer about street racing, but still commit to delivering some dizzying examples of vehicular ballet, as well as infinite shots of Diesel and Paul Walker displaying the facial expression best described as “Stick-Shift Face.”
That Vin Diesel’s voice will continue to sink into a deeper register with every “Fast” release. In “Fast & Furious 6,” he sounds like he swallowed a pint of gravel, Leonard Cohen and a subwoofer. By the time we get to “Fast 10,” Vin Diesel’s dialogue will no longer be uttered, it will simply be communicated via vibrations that the audience feels deep in its sternum.
That there is no such thing as an action sequence that is too over-the-top. Like, if someone suggests that in “Fast & Furious 6,” there should be a shoot-out on an ascending airplane that also has cars speeding beside it as well as people dangling from said airplane’s wings, the only correct response to that idea is: “Yes. Let’s do that.”
That “The Fast and the Furious” movies will maintain their commitment to casting ethnically diverse actors and, in the case of the sixth one, treat women as true equals by allowing Rodriguez and mixed-martial-actress Gina Carano to beat the snot out of each other twice.
That “Fast & Furious 6,” like its predecessors, doesn’t need CGI, 3-D glasses or even praise from film critics. It just needs to please its audience with amped-up, old-school thrills that make its target demo whoop and holler with every zoom, smash and ka-BOOM. Consider this review a declaration that it does just that.