Fast & Furious 6 (12A) 130 mins **
2011’s Rio-set Fast Five – one of the strongest fifth entries in any series, for all that’s worth – pushed a once-idling franchise into something close to top gear. The follow-up dumps soap in the gas tank, alas, prioritising non-characters and awful dialogue over any action. Semi-sentient test dummy Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and ever-boring boy racer Brian (Paul Walker) are reunited after The Rock’s walking FBI zeppelin Hobbs brings news: Toretto’s sweetheart Letty (Michelle Rodriguez, roadkill in Fast Four) is back up and running with a gang wreaking havoc with bulletproof kit-cars on the streets of London.
Contain your excitement: its Londoners are monodimensional toffeenoses or thicknecks, and while it’s good to have the no-nonsense Rodriguez back in play, she’s soon crowded out by the dreary ex-models and wisecracking dipsticks this series has accumulated. Director Justin Lin, at the wheel since Fast Three, delivers okayish fights and chases – the lovers take a high-speed reunion waltz around a traffic-free Piccadilly Circus – but the remaining ninety minutes couldn’t be any more middle-of-the-road if the Rita Ora cameo had gone to Richard Hammond, and we were left to watch Walker paying the congestion charge online.
Fast & Furious 6 is in cinemas nationwide.