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Movie Review - 'Fast & Furious'

Fast & Furious

Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez
Directed by Justin Lin
Rated PG-13

fastfuriousposter.jpg Has there ever been a movie principally about driving cars really fast that has been improved by its storyline? From Grand Prix to Days of Thunder to Speed Racer to Fast & Furious, racing movies have only been hamstrung when they take the foot off the pedal, literally and figuratively.

In this case, Fast & Furious is working with a deck stacked against it. Being the fourth movie in a rather weak franchise will only get you so far, especially with the seemingly last ditch reappearance of the original stars, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez.

But like two of the three previous movies, it's actually just fine when there's absolutely no story and we're treated to watching impeccable stunt driving. Fast & Furious only has four such scenes, one at the beginning, one at the end, and two in between. Three of those scenes are a lot of fun when you remove the context. Beyond those three scenes, there isn't much else here, even though there's a lot of stuff supposedly happening.

The plot concerns drugs coming across the border, murder, revenge, and the FBI. But nobody cares. That's a combination of not having the actors or the strength of storyline to keep us on the hook when the key is out of the ignition and the fact that people only want to see this for the fast cars doing unbelievable things.

Are we interested in whether Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster can reconcile their broken relationship or if Vin Diesel can continue to stay one step ahead of the law? Not really. And if we were, these actors aren't convincing enough in those capacities.

In short: Less talk, more rock.

There are some highlights. Walker is an undercover FBI agent, like he was in the first film, and he has a great chase on foot through the streets of Los Angeles, tracking a perp over rooftops and through windows. It's exhilarating, truly. And John Ortiz is terrific as the middleman for a unseen Mexican crime lord. He's the kind of villain that belongs in better movies.

We hear there will be a fifth Fast & Furious movie, and since this one co-opted the name of the original, I wonder if that will be part two again. Gauging all four they've delivered so far, this is the best of the bunch. There's not a tremendous amount of competition in the franchise, but the opening sequence is a good start, and there's maybe 20 minutes of action to lose yourself in outside of that. But if you really feel the need for speed, this might not go fast enough.

Watch the Fast & Furious trailer

Reader Comments (8)

The dialogue was so damn cringeful and cliche. The story had every intention in moving, it was just too lazy. Such a boy's movie in every way. What other current PG-13 movie has street racing, shooting, bright headlights and asian women making out with each other? Now I just hate the fact that there's gonna be a whole new generation of wannabe street racers and drug locos getting themselves hurt in the midst of such idiotic dangers.

Friday, April 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulian Francis

Fast and Furious 4 is everything an action flick ought to be

Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercoffee maker

This movie was great and it was made great by Vin

Monday, April 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStef

I really doubt there are going to be a bunch of "drug locos" killing themselves.

As far as this movie being one with "street racing, shooting, bright headlights." Its fucking Fast & Furious, its a movie about street racing and "tuner" cars. And, tard, you can find bright headlights in every single movie you watch that has a car.

The only thing I can agree with you on is that there will be a new generation of wanna be ravers, but other then that, youre an idiot and this review is stupid. No wonder no one ever listens to critics.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterYourAnAss

I totally agree with the last comment, first of all.... its a MOVIE and second of all, street racing and illegal drugs are VERY big problems in the U.S. Today, but its O.K. State ur opinion and keep looking like an ass!! IT'S A MOVIE!!.... ACTION movie at that!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterItza

J. Francis, your assumption that the dialoge was weak and clichéd has very little substance as the reason for the dialge being proposed in such a way is to link it to the other films, this is actually the prequel to Tokyo Drift, and they had to link it somehow with a film that had already been released which was accomplished perfectly i would say, i won't give way to a new generation of anything, there are always going to be people who drive fast, who want to race and who will total cars just because they think they can drive. It is unjust blame a film for a state of mentality that has been around long before this film was produced. i think your an ass, and your the reason that people single out films or songs for the behaviour of people today, well look long hard enough you will see its been around forever. It is also true to say then that motorsport is the cause for people trying to replicae what they see during races on teh streets?

Cant wait for the next Fast & Furious and Mia (Jordana) Marry me!!?

this movie is AMAZING and everybody who disagres with me is a S***T head

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhappyman

i agree

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterF&F

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