Review: Fast and Furious

Having just seen "The Fast and the Furious" the other night, I can’t speak to the validity of the franchise as a whole. The fourth film is actually the third in the timeline of the Fast and Furious series, following 2 Fast 2 Furious, but is also a prequel to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (which also just happened to have the same director). The film is full of cars, violence, and girls, as I had expected. However, despite all the ingredients for an action film, the movie leaves me quite, indifferent.

Hiding away from US officials in South America, Dom (Vin Diesel) pulls one last job with his team and girlfriend (Michelle Rodriguez) before going into a self-imposed exile from even more cops. But when his girlfriend, Letty, is murdered, Dominic Toretto returns to the States to find her killer. It just so happens that both Dom and agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) are after the same guy and they team up to take down an LA heroin kingpin who has eluded the FBI for years. But can the duo put aside their differences to capture the criminal, or will their murky past prevent them from working together? The script isn’t the strongest, but what else would you expect from this franchise. However, it doesn’t even measure up to its predecessor. The film lacks surprise or much suspense of any sort. It moves quickly, which cuts the tension, because once the mystery is presented, it is easily solved. Fast and Furious also lacks many laughs or celebratory moments. I can only recall two times that that the patrons in my theater were cheering on the good guys. The lack of laughs comes from the lack of character development. Everyone is one-dimensional and there are no fools to please the court. It isn’t really the actors or their acting that is at fault, but how the characters are written. Most are placed in unrealistic situations with unbelievable consequences or lack thereof. And although it's nice to see Vin Diesel back in the fold, he fits so well into the Fast and Furious world, Paul Walker couldn’t have saved his character, who is the least realistic out of them all. As for the girls (Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez), they shine in what little screen time they are given. Despite the negatives of the script, the writers (Chris Morgan) did take advantage of current political worries such as gas prices and border patrol difficulties. But you don’t go see a Fast and the Furious film for the plot; you see it for the cars. Fast and Furious starts off strong but after two epic car-action-packed sequences, there just isn’t much to write home about until the end. Each of these action sequences are shot well, with the action being clear to follow thanks to the bright colors and editing (done by Fred Raskin and Christian Wagner). The music fits the film and scenes, but the original film and trailer had a much more memorable soundtrack. Overall, the battery just died on this car. Though it had great momentum from an impressive trailer and the return of Vin Diesel, it just wasn’t able to turn over the engine for an exciting thrill ride. With plans for a fifth Fast and Furious already in talks at the studio, one can only hope that they will ignore the big box office numbers and pay more attention to the script next time around.

Ratings for Fast and Furious
Rating (out of 10 )
4.9
Overall Score
Below Average

 

Lyz Reblin's picture
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Azy's picture

I just recently watched this movie and as a fan of the series, im a little disappointed. When it came out in trailer form, i was kind of turned off by the fact that the cars got a complete 180 when compared to the last three movies. The only JDM car in the movie's spot-light was Paul Walker's Nissan R34 Skyline and his Subaru. There are others that get blinked at, one of the racers had a S14 and talks of a S13 from a perp that Paul's character was looking for. Other than that, it was american muscle which isnt a bad thing.. but when after 3 films of color, the AM cars felt a bit plain.

Also, i wasnt really in the mood to see reletively older folk driving and racing tricked out cars. I think thats why i LOVED Tokyo Drift because it was based on characters in my age group, 18-24, in believable settings. There was also, as stated, lack of character development. I believe this came from the fact that the characters are all well known to us that there was no need for a build up. This brings up one very major flaw in the movie that i cannot rack my brain on; The timeline.

Its clear that this is before 2fast 2furious and Tokyo Drift, however one line in the movie threw everything off. "Its been 5 years". If anyone watched the DVD special off 2f2f, there was a mini movie made to show what happened to Paul from the end of TFATF to the beginning of 2f2f. Paul was on the run from the law after letting Vin's character go. This means that either 2 Fast 2 Furious isnt canon, or, Fast and Furious isnt canon. If its not, what does that do for Tokyo Drift? Honestly, this just got to me and i blame the writer for this hiccup.

All in all, i think the direction of a preq was good... but not a sequ-preq. The movie didnt suck, i did enjoy watching it but i wish there was more to it. Something solid, more story, more build-up and definitly more racing.

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