Reel Shorts | Fast & Furious

2 04 2009

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. Well judging by the fourth installment of the déjà vu street racing franchise, “Fast & Furious” the filmmakers take their contempt out on the audience.

After eight years and two failed sequels (who remembers the disastrously bad, “Tokyo Drift?”), the original gang is back for one more high-speed adventure. The festivities get off to a rousing start with a jaw-dropping high-energy heist sequence with Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew jacking a moving gas truck on a long winding road. Other than the museum shootout in “The International,” the sequence is one of the best of the year.

Unfortunately, the high-profile heist puts Toretto back on the radar of the authorities and he breaks up the crew. But just as he thought he was out, tragedy drags him back in as he loses someone very close to him and seeks vengeance. Meanwhile, now Detective Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) is building a case against a Mexican drug kingpin, Braga (John Ortiz) who may have a role in the tragedy that Toretto suffered. The two former adversaries once again reunite to take down a common enemy.

For people who saw the first film, “The Fast and the Furious,” this latest film doesn’t veer far from the original’s formula. Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) are back together again as is O’Conner and the lovely Mia (Jordana Brewster). There are loads of exotic fast cars at incredibly high speeds and plenty of eye candy for the fellas.

Even the villains are remotely familiar. Instead of an Asian group of criminals in episode one, this time the kingpin is Mexican with a sadistic henchmen, Fenix (Laz Alonso). Directed by Justin Lin, he gives the fans exactly what they expect when they buy a ticket – plenty of thrills and spills.

For an action star with a several profitable franchises, Diesel spends far too much time scowling to enjoy the action. As is custom with many sexy action stars,  women throw themselves at them only to be rebuffed.

While the years have been kind to him, teaming him up once again with Walker is a mismatch on multiple levels. In one hilarious fight scene, Diesel’s character pounds Walker’s and you could almost feel him begging for the director to yell CUT to get the burly Diesel up off of him!

But at it’s core, “Fast and Furious” is the pretty good popcorn film that will not disappoint those looking for a good time. If you like the original, chances are this latest version will work for you. Far from a great film, “Fast & Furious” is the cinematic equivalent of eating huge bowl of ice cream. Sure it looks and taste good initially, but too much of it will make you sick . . . and give you an awful stomach ache!

Grade: C

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10 responses

2 04 2009
Conversations with . . . Laz Alonso « FilmGordon

[…] April 2, 2009 by filmgordon Actor Laz Alonso has been one of the steadiest actors still under the radar. With three films out this year, the DC native sits down with Kam Williams to talk about his role in the high-octane action adventure, “Fast & Furious.” […]

3 04 2009
Tanya Washington

Fast and Furious— I simply loved the film!!! For action, I would give it a grade A. There was so much believable action, that I had a headache when I left the theater. I must agree that Vin Diesel pushing her off was unexpected, but I was elated to see that it just didn’t play into what most of us would have expected. Instead they got the message across of the level of love he had for his Lady and that rough exterior is just a facade.

3 04 2009
Frances Douglas

Fast and Furious – I loved it! If you like action movies, then this is the film for you. It was action-packed from beginning to end. Understanding also comes into play if you saw “The Fast and the Furious” first. Out of the four fast and furious series of movies, this one was the best.

3 04 2009

“In fact, many parts of Fast & Furious made me laugh. Like when the actors attempted to act. Or when the screenplay attempted to tell a story. And who can forget when the director attempted to compensate!”

From our blogger’s review:

5 04 2009
Doug Wertz

What happened to the gas truck heist? I didn’t see that in theaters.

5 04 2009
caffeine head

Fast and Furious 1-4 is ideal for sitting back and letting oneself be entertained with minimal brain effort

8 04 2009

Doug, The gas truck heist is the opening sequence.

10 04 2009

Can I just say tokyo drift was actually not bad. It could of done without the half assed attempts at friendship between lil bow wow (lol) and han, but it wasnt that bad. Better than 2 fast 2 furious if you ask me. And its refreshing to see something like fast and furious in which we dont have to hear about Obama, climate change or the recesion. I think its great that FandF is about fast cars and as much sex appeal as a pg13/12a can get away with. And its a damn lot better than the awful watchmen which got plenty of positive attention for some reason. I hope there are a million more movies like FandF for the normal red blooded hetro sexual male and the normal females too that love to see paul walker and Vin. You can shove any pretentious message movie up your ass.

10 04 2009
Johnny Dunbar

This is definitely the worst movie out of the 4. The first 2 were great, the 3rd was good but this one is just pitiful.

The time line didn’t make any sense at all, the plot was just stupid. The cars weren’t that great at all and the characters didn’t offer anything new to the movie.

In the truck heist scene I was thinking, why would they steal a truck full of gas in Central America? Just dumb.

Don’t waste your $10 on this movie. Rent it when it comes out if you must see it.

14 04 2009
Craig "Watch Fast & Furious 4 The Movie"

I will forward this post to my friends. Can I? Thanks

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