BUCKLE UP: Dodge and SRT help rev up the action in ‘Fast & Furious 6’

Whether you like cars or not, “Fast & Furious 6” is one wild thrill ride – and Dodge and SRT (Street Racing Technology) are fueling a lot of the action in and behind the scenes in this latest installment of the blockbuster franchise.

From digital campaigns promoting the movie, to some of the flicks most action-packed scenes (and there are lot of them), Dodge and SRT are featured in practically every facet of “Fast & Furious 6,” which just opened in theaters.    

It’s part of a comprehensive partnership that the carmaker and its high-performance brand have with Universal’s latest Fast & Furious installment franchise, which in addition to starring roles in the film include co-branded national, local and multicultural advertising campaigns – events, gaming, social media and merchandising. 

The sixth installment of the blockbuster franchise is on par if not better than the last one.

SRT supplied a 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 as the hero vehicle driven by the film’s hero, Dominic (Dom) Toretto (played by Vin Diesel), in a number of high-octane scenes in the movie.

Dom, known for his love for American muscle in the movie, also drives a 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 and a vintage 1969 Dodge Daytona.

The Fast & Furious production team used 10 Charger SRT8 vehicles powered by stock 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engines, two are featured in a closing scene that rivals the action in just about any film car chase to date.

Even better, the “Fast & Furious 6” story is pretty solid aside from a couple rough lines and a few gaps in the plot that you find yourself kind of apologizing for afterwards because you had such a blast watching the movie.

Having a chance to view the film before it opens in the U.S., I found myself even enjoying some of those death-defying stunts that typically should be reserved for superhero films. The return of Letty (played by Michelle Rodriguez) didn’t even seem farfetched — despite most thinking she’d been killed off in the franchise’s fourth installment, which is a core component of the new film’s plotline.

Directed by Justin Lin,“Fast & Furious 6” is as good as car movies get. Better yet, it’s as good as a lot of today’s action movies get.  And this is coming from someone who despite my passion for automobiles, I haven’t necessarily been a huge fan of Fast & Furious because I never found the stories that compelling. That said, the latest installment is a fun ride.

Buckle Up fast and furious six screenshot 2

This franchise is all about high-powered action, which is why Dodge and SRT became involved in the film.     

“Dodge has been at the heart of the Fast & Furious franchise since the beginning and we are proud to be part of ‘Fast & Furious 6,’” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO – Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Like ‘Fast & Furious 6,’ Dodge fuels the passions of the automotive enthusiast. Our innovative vehicles stand apart in performance and style, providing our customers with a way to express who they are and what they can do in the world.” 

Stephanie Sperber, President, Universal Partnerships and Licensing, said the partnership with Dodge and SRT has been mutually beneficial.

“Dodge continues to be as much a part of the Fast & Furious franchise as our all-star cast who have the opportunity to sit behind the wheels of the Dodge Charger, Challenger and Daytona,” said Serber. “We’re thrilled to showcase this partnership on screen, especially with the action-packed sequences involving Dodge vehicles, in what has become one of the most successful franchises in Universal’s history.” 

Dodge also created three new television commercials to promote “Fast & Furious 6,” including national, dealer and multicultural spots. All ads feature clips from the movie with new vehicle footage.

In addition, the partnership includes an interactive mobile campaign with Shazam where participants can enter their name for a chance to win a new 2013 Dodge Dart.

An accompany website, Dodge.com/Fast-Six, allows fans to check out the muscle behind the movie and find out more about the cars featured in the film.  

“Fast & Furious 6” also features a few other American muscle cars including a 1969 Mustang, 1970 Ford Escort RS2000, Jensen Interceptor, a British sports car, Camaro SS as well imports like the Nissan GT-R. The film’s lead villain, Shaw (played by Luke Evans), the kind of character who you love to hate, drives a high-powered custom vehicle that looks like something pulled straight out of superhero flick, but a bit more believable.

Buckle Up Nissan GTR Dodge Challenger

Wait until you get a load of all the tricks his custom ride pulls off.  

Still, it’s the Dodge and SRT vehicles that steal the show from the movie’s opening to closing scene.

Here’s hoping that the new Viper gets a role in “Fast & Furious 7,” which is already in the works and likely could even be better than this one if it lives up to the tease at the end of “Fast & Furious 6.”

Don’t worry, no spoilers here. The sixth installment of the blockbuster franchise is on par if not better than the last one.

Even the acting in the latest installment of the franchise, which was never intended and never will be Academy Award winning, is better than expected — although I’d hardly consider myself a bona fide movie critic.  I’ll leave that to Digital Trend’s Adam Rosenberg in his full review of the movie.

I will, however, say this: save your breath if you’re one of those who were hoping to see Paul Walker (Brian), Dwayne Johnson (Agent Hobbs), Tyrese Gibson (Roman) or Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (Tej) pull off an Oscar-worthy performance in a “Fast & Furious” installment. It’s never going to happen and nobody’s expecting it but you.

So relax, grab a box of popcorn and a beverage and just enjoy the ride.

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