Making the Grades
The future of the Fast & Furious franchise hangs in the balance after the death of Paul Walker, who ironically was killed in a high-speed car crash on November 30, 2013. Before this tragedy, the movies have enjoyed huge profits (Fast and Furious for instance, raked in over $350 million world wide in 2009).
Sticking with a tried-and-true formula of fast cars and scantily clad women, this sixth adventure fudges the series’ time frame in order to bring back characters already killed off in previous films.
In the meantime, this script rounds out this cast of fast-driving, law-breakers to make them even more appealing to audiences. A healthy dose of humor, plenty of buddy moments and a new baby all do their part to take the edge off these characters who are living in exotic locations around the globe while enjoying the fruits of their last million dollar heist. The only hitch is they have to stay in countries without extradition laws that would send them back to the US to face charges.
However their life on the lam promises to come to an end when Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) gets an unexpected visit from Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Hobbs is closing in on Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a ruthless thief who specializes in vehicular warfare. He plans to steal a military computer chip that will sell for bazillions of dollars on the black market. As is often the case in movies, the only people Hobbs can rely on to get Shaw in cuffs is Dom and his team of fellow felons (Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot and Ludacris).
While there is less street racing merely for the pleasure of putting pedestrians and property at risk of death or destruction, the film still includes a plethora of car chases, explosive crashes, bullets and bikinis—and that’s just in the opening credits. Weapons, savage fistfights, extensive property damage and a military tank driven over droves of innocent commuters rev up the violence levels as well. The brutal hand-to-hand combat gives Dwayne Johnson plenty of opportunity to reenact his days in the WWE where he took to the ring with other brawny, thick-necked competitors.
But while the morals in this script are all wrong, the film unfortunately does a brilliant job of selling irresponsibility and high-octane action. Although the dialogue often lacks any substance, the movie’s pacing and spectacular stunts will keep audiences engaged—even if the laws of physics and common sense are completely ignored for the sake of the story.
In the end these criminals name their price for their part in preserving the American dream, which in this case seems to be the right to recklessly drive fast cars, steal exorbitant amounts of money and hold the law-abiding public hostage with their demands. And they do it all in the name of family. Any parent, with or without street smarts, will want to steer their children clear of these delinquent drivers.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Fast & Furious 6.
Dom and his friend Brian believe that their right to return to their home in the US has been taken away from them. How does this statement negate any responsibility on their part for the criminal choices they have made? How are law-breakers glorified in this movie? How are they made to be more appealing to the audience? How do law officers bend or break the rules to accommodate these criminals? Are they justified in doing so?
What “codes” do the characters in this movie abide by? How are the concepts of family, prayer and teamwork promoted among these “good” criminals? How does the portrayal of military personnel compare to the law-breakers?
What dangerous stunts or actions in this film could be easily mimicked by children, teens or young adults? Do filmmakers have any responsibility for events that may follow the portrayal of these actions? How is male machismo depicted in this film? What may make this film particularly appealing to young male viewers?