This weekend, the sixth (!) installment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise tears into theaters nationwide. In this entry, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) are brought out of retirement by Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) to help stop a terrorist (Luke Evans) who utilizes fast cars in his heists. If you thought that "Fast Five" was crazy awesome, just wait until you see this movie -- the already loose approximation of physics is pushed even further. It's insane, and so enjoyable.

But, if you're unsure about jumping into "Fast and Furious 6" without reading the instruction manual first, then here's a guide to 10 things to know about the film. Buckle up. It's going to be a wild ride.

1. It Might Be a Good Idea to Brush Up on Your 'Fast and Furious' History "Fast and Furious 6" represents a culmination, not just of the mini-trilogy, which started with the fourth film and ends here, but of the entire franchise (it even weaves in events from the largely standalone "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"). As such, it might be a good idea to brush up on your "Fast and Furious" lore. There were characters and callbacks to earlier films that I didn't even pick up on, and I consider myself a devout member of the Church of Dominic Toretto. In a weird way it makes you appreciate the "mythological" underpinnings of a series that started as a muscle car variation on "Point Break."

2. The Gang's All Here! Part of what makes "Fast and Furious 6" so much fun to watch is that the cast of the entire series -- not just Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, but characters from a number of the sequels, including Michelle Rodriguez -- reunite for this entry. What's more -- director Justin Lin has added some additional firepower to the mix, including Gina Carano, last seen kicking ass in Steven Soderbergh's unfairly marginalized "Haywire," and at least one cast member from the delirious Indonesian martial arts movie "The Raid."

3. The Rock Continues His Year of Never-Ending Ass-Kicking Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has had a truly unstoppable year with great turns in both "GI Joe: Retaliation" and the sorely underrated "Pain and Gain." He returns in "Fast and Furious 6" as Hobbs, a secret agent type who enlists the help of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker to stop a bad guy who uses fast cars to steal really dangerous stuff. The Rock is now about as big as a house and watching "Fast 6" you wonder if he has to custom order T-shirts that can fit over his massive biceps. Well, it doesn't matter. He's still great and he can genuinely out-growl Vin Diesel, which is really saying something.

4. It's Not Really About Underground Street Racing Around "Fast Five," the series turned from being exclusively about cops and criminals set in the underground world of street racing, to something more -- a genuine caper movie that just happened to feature dudes who could drive cars really, really well. This new movie is sort of like a spy-versus-spy scenario, with the villains just as adept at using cars to heist stuff as the heroes. It's an ingenious movie, and while the time devoted to the culture of underground street racing is probably at an all time low (which could infuriate longtime fans), as far as the franchise maturing and evolving, it's a welcome change of pace.

5. There Are at Least Two Action Sequences That Will Floor You The less you know about "Fast and Furious 6," the better, especially when it comes to two key action sequences in the movie's third act, which are absolute jaw-droppers. We won't say what happens specifically, but you'll know them when you see them: one involves an out-of-control tank, the other a plane.

6. Stick Around Through the Credits Trust us. There's a little bonus scene not unlike the Marvel movies (except way, way cooler).

7. Luke Evans Is Kind of a Weak Bad Guy Compared to The Rock and Vin Diesel, both hulking brutes, Luke Evans is kind of a weak bad guy. The stuff he does is cool but he doesn't exactly instill fear in your heart. honestly, if you want to see a British dude who is still really scary, you can always walk over to "Star Trek Into Darkness." In that movie Benedict Cumberbatch's austerity never gets in the way of his scariness.

8. See It in the Biggest, Loudest Theater You Can "Fast and Furious 6" is a giant movie full of roaring muscle cars and roaring muscle men, so if you can, see it in the biggest, loudest theater you can find. You'll be thankful later.

9. The Music Could Have Been Better One of the great things about the "Fast and Furious" franchise has always been its choice of songs. This reached its apex with "The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift," which featured tunes by Teriyaki Boyz, an amazing Japanese hip-hop outfit. Most of "Fast and Furious 6" is set in London, and yet the soundtrack doesn't give us a blast of British grime (I was hoping and praying for at least one Dizzee Rascal tune on the soundtrack), it's just kind of anonymous electro noise.

10. Yes, There Will Be A 'Fast and Furious 7' Again: stick around during the credits. It sets up the next movie, and it looks like it will be positively turbo-charged.
CATEGORIES Movies