Fast & Furious 6

By Christopher Redmond

Mailed on May 27, 2013

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Dear David C.P. Chan
Action Sequence Designer

Dear David,

CRASH! BANG! ZOOM! In a Fast and Furious world, this is the code to live by. And God love it. What more do you need, right?

After being an effects artist on _Fast & Furious _(part 4 - the de facto franchise reboot) you were promoted to the 'drill sergeant of danger' on _Fast 5 - _a film where your incredibly staged action sequences took the series to another level. Now you've done it again, this time turning the characters into full-on death-defying superheroes. But something else has changed. A fourth word has been added to the series manifesto in this sixth film, spoken no less than two dozen times (I lost count). Say it with me: Family. Sorry… FAMILY!

"But why?" you must have asked. "I've got races on mountain cliffs, London streets, freeway bridges and airline tarmacs. And an army tank, dammit!" Yes you do, and frankly, they are used to rather spectacular effect. Locking your action on a narrow plain proves a pure and simple principle: anticipation is just as important as surprise. Think Speed or The French Connection. Unlike the mess of modern action movies, where shaky cameras and frenetic editing try to save sloppy sequencing, Fast & Furious 6 is serviced with silky smooth cinematography so we can actually see what's happening. In return, we appreciate the surprises.

So after six films, I guess you should have seen this coming - it's not just about the cars anymore, it's about FAMILY.

That's right, in a series defined by alternating characters, rotating roles and confusing titles (this film is actually called _Furious 6 _in the opening credits), all the pieces from the past have assembled (Assemble!) for this big reunion - Vin Disel, Paul Walker, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot and Dyawne "The Rock" Johnson - in addition to some new blood. Even the once-dead Michelle Rodriguez is resurrected, without her memory, in that classic comic book way. As for character names, they're forgettable and irrelevant. What matters is that we care about the faces behind the wheel. This time, we're following the band of now multi-millionaire criminals doing a job for the Law, but always for "family" reasons. And by telling us how much they care about each other ad nauseum, the feeling can't help but rub off on us a bit. I might have a hard time telling the films a part, but at least I could appreciate the emotional consequences to your action scenes.

See, unlike almost every other franchise, ever, Fast and Furious is actually getting better with age. In some ways, it's like a customized car that keeps getting louder, faster and more ridiculous looking. But the series is now convincingly revving its engines against the biggest blockbusters out there. It has Mission: Impossible _gadgets, _James Bond babes and demographic crossover appeal. Even with all the muscle heads and lug nuts, this film finds a way to balance every gratuitous bikini ass shot with a kick-ass female action scene (welcoming Mixed Martial Arts queen Gina Carano to the family helps).

Because of you--and by proving that Fast 5 wasn't a fluke--we no longer have to be embarrassed about liking this franchise. And after that closing credits tease, count me as one of the people who thinks the seventh film can't come fast enough.

Joining the family,


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