Rashid Irani's review: Fast And Furious 6

India, May 25 -- Fast And Furious 6

Direction: Justin Lin

Actors: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker

Rating: ** 1/2

The sixth entry in the blockbuster franchise which first vroomed across the multiplexes in 2001 focuses squarely on what the gearheads want: tyre-screeching mayhem, death-defying heroics and camera-caressing femmes. In other words, Fast & Furious 6 is back to wheel power. The no-destruction-spared speedathon picks up where the previous installment (Fast Five, 2011) left off. This time around, the daredevil duo (Diesel-Walker) reluctantly teams up with their former adversary (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson).

Their globetrotting mission is to hunt down a team of lethally skilled mercenary drivers led up a criminal mastermind (Luke Evans). The good news is that the speedster gal (Michelle Rodriguez) presumed dead in an accident at the end of the fourthfilm is very much alive. The not-so-good news is that she now works for the bad guys. Unfazed by the turn of events, her one-time cohorts utilize the services of a street-smart new sidekick (Gina Carano, the impressive mixed martial arts fighter from Steven Soderbergh's Haywire).

There are a couple of bruising smackdowns between the two buffed young women. Director Justin Lin, who helmed all but the first two films in the series, once again unleashes a maelstrom of destruction. The threadbare plot is just an excuse for the display of auto-aerobics. Not surprisingly, the emotional quotient is totally subservient to the hot rod stunts. Under the circumstances, the actors are merely chauffeurs for the real stars of the show - the souped-up race cars, armoured trucks and assorted mean machines.

Preposterous multiple endings pile on extending the running time to slightly over two hours. As is the trend nowadays, the closing credits provide a teaser of what's to come. In a Tokyo-set interlude we are introduced to yet another popular action star who will likely join the fast and furious crew for joyride number seven. Keep those seatbelts fastened.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.