Fast & Furious

"Bad"

Fast & Furious Review


Doing its best to further erase whatever pleasant memories (guilty or no) people may still have had from the 2001 original, Fast & Furious reunites The Fast and the Furious cast with much ballyhoo, only to kill one of them off in no time flat and leave viewers fairly unconcerned with what happens to the rest of them. Given that this third sequel is intent on treating the events of the origin film as some sort of holy text, this is probably not the effect that the filmmakers were going for.

For the record, Rob Cohen's The Fast and the Furious -- which took the name from a 1955 Roger Corman racing flick, and updated the master's exploitation bent with well-deployed studio gloss -- was a perfectly enjoyable piece of work. Throwing squadrons of neon-colored muscle cars and a still-trying Vin Diesel into the middle of an overheated potboiler drama about family honor and loyalty turned out to be a genius stroke; the thing left scorch marks. It moved with the skillful speed of well-honed pulp. By contrast, the near-laughable Fast & Furious (directed by Justin Lin, who did the honors on the last installment, Tokyo Drift) tries far too hard and achieves very little.

An early sign of Lin's trend for overkill comes in the opening scenes of Fast & Furious. Here, that lovable lug with a code of honor Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is hauling down a highway in the Dominican Republic, he and a few buddies looking to hijack a fuel tanker whose cargo is worth a few million dollars. The sequence that follows contains decent stuntwork and shows that Toretto's squeeze Letty (Michelle Rodriguez, as bullet-eyed as ever) can hang off the back of a speeding truck like nobody else. Unfortunately, Lin ruins it all by capping the whole thing off not with actual stunt driving but with a load of particularly unconvincing CGI.

The film then starts into a tangled string of plot that makes one long for the clear narrative thrust of a Jerry Bruckheimer production. Chris Morgan's howler of a script has to run through some tortured logical loops before bringing Toretto back to Los Angeles to unhappily reunite with Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker), the former undercover cop (now FBI agent) who betrayed his trust and broke the heart of his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) back in the first film.

Once the gang's all back together, it's time to come up with a reason for it all, and so why not have it be the infiltration of a drug cartel that (fortunately) has been recruiting illegal street racers to run their shipments across the border from Mexico. Never mind that everything about the cartel, from the psychotic gunsels to weasely henchman Campos (played by John Ortiz from Carlito's Way; the guy just can't get away from running drugs) was old hat back when Miami Vice was doing it. This would be all well and good, a movie needs villains after all, but it does continue to distract from the series' M.O., which should really be delivering high-octane car races and fetishized shots of gleaming, ultra-modified racing machines.

Sadly and strangely, Fast & Furious doesn't have nearly enough car chases, and what ones it does contain are fairly anemic. The best one can say for the film is that at least it shows that disasters like XXX haven't completely sapped Vin Diesel's potential, even while busting out of pretty much every shirt the filmmakers put him in. At 40-plus, he's still able to conjure up an impressive dosage of looming cool while dramatic nonentities like Walker and Brewster work overtime around his periphery. Still, it's not enough to make one exactly hope for the fourth sequel that this film's conclusion promises. Enough is enough.

Slow and moderately pissed.



Fast & Furious

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd April 2009

Box Office USA: $155.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $363.2M

Budget: $85M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Dentsu Inc., Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Original Film, One Race Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Fresh: 47 Rotten: 125

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Michael Fottrell, Neal H. Moritz

Starring: as Dominic Toretto, as Brian O'Conner, as Letty, as Mia Toretto, as Campos, as Fenix Rise, as Gisele Harabo, as Penning, as Agent Ben Stasiak, as Agent Sophie Trinh, as Han Lue, as Himself, as Alex, Mousa Kraish as Silvia Driver

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.