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Film review: ‘Fast & Furious’ fan favorites are back

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Film review

'Fast & Furious 6'
What: Most previous “Fast & Furious” films characters return for more high-speed action.
Where playing: Auburn-Garrett Drive-In (Friday-Monday), Carmike-Dupont Road, Carmike-Jefferson Pointe, Coldwater, Huntington 7
Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and mayhem throughout, some sexuality and language.

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 12:01 am

Ever wonder what it would feel like to suddenly wake up in another universe?

You could find out by watching “Fast & Furious 6” without having seen the first five movies.

Should you decide to undertake this anthropological experiment, you'd immediately discover there are things everyone except you already knows. For example: Jokes about baby oil and big foreheads are very funny in this universe. Cars are the most important thing, and, of course, there are no speed limits.

Weapons come next on the list, and the bigger the better — but in one-on-one physical combat, bald heads are surprisingly effective. Speaking of those fights: They're brutal, yet somehow, no organs get damaged and even bruises are minimal.

Most importantly, in this universe, there is no such thing as “less is more.” More is always more, and so, “Fast & Furious 6” will delight fans of the franchise, because there is more of everything here. Director Justin Lin gives us not only great cars doing ridiculous things at ridiculous speeds, but also a huge army tank and a great stunt involving a giant cargo plane.

Newcomers will be a confused as to who everyone is, since there is little explanation at this point, but fans will be glad to know their favorites are back, starting with Vin Diesel's Dom, the hotshot driver with the clean-shaven head and a strong sense of family.

When we first see him, he's careening down a winding cliff road in the Canary Islands with cohort/former cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker). Turns out they're heading to the hospital, where O'Conner's wife (and Dom's sister), Mia (Jordana Brewster, in a small role this time) is giving birth

Dom, on the lam from the U.S. and hugely wealthy from his last venture, is shacked up in a sunny love nest with a gorgeous Brazilian cop (Elsa Pataky). Who needs to work? That's what he tells Hobbs, the insanely buff federal agent played by Dwayne Johnson, when he comes calling, a nemesis from the last film who's now promising immunity in exchange for Dom's help.

He wants Dom to nab a villain named Shaw (Luke Evans) — he's the snarly guy with the tank and the plane and a huge military arsenal, which is one component short of wreaking havoc.

A reluctant Dom gets on board when he learns that Letty, his former love (Michelle Rodriguez), is working for Shaw. But wait, wasn't she dead? Well, she's alive, but she has amnesia.

Happily, amid all the noise, the races — there's a terrific one through the streets of London — the crashes and the outlandish stunts, there is some humor, and it's very welcome.