I’m not sure if this already came out in print, and if it hasn’t, I’m preempting the print version.
Review by Vives Anunciacion Inquirer Libre
Fast & Furious Directed by Justin Lin
I race cars, but only the ones that come in small boxes and run on plastic tracks. Does that count? Eight years since the first movie that made street racing a worldwide interest, the original cast is back together doing the same things that made them famous in the first place.
Vin Diesel again plays driver exemplar Dominic Toretto, now leader of a small-time criminal gang hiding in the Dominican Republic. The movie begins with his group hijacking and stealing several tankers of fuel gasoline. In the group are girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Dom’s close friend Han (Sung Kang from Tokyo Drift).
A tragic event forces Dom to return to the States to seek revenge against a large-scale underground drug kingpin. Meanwhile in Miami (ever since 2 Fast 2 Furious), FBI agent Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) is working on a case to bring down the same drug lord. In search of this common enemy, Dom’s and Brian’s paths cross once again where they must infiltrate the drug lord’s trafficking network that operates from the streets of Los Angeles, through tunnels under the desert border and all the way into Mexico. Success depends on their speed and driving expertise, so long as Dom and Brian haven’t killed each other considering all the issues between them. Jordana Brewster also returns as Mia –Dom’s sister and Brian’s ex.
In the first three installments, the car modifications and the car stunts where the main focus of the franchise. This installment attempts at balancing story and action scenes, in completing the story arches between Dom, the original bad guy behind the wheel, and Brian, the boy scout who wants to be the bad guy behind the wheel.
I would say it’s action-packed, but it’s not Terminator or Bourne. Let’s be honest, this is an adrenaline-oriented movie about fast cars, booty shot close-ups and pumpin’ music. It doesn’t aspire for acting awards or social commentary and it’s like a genre all its own, impervious to criticism. One thing I really like with this series is that all four variants of F&F have multi-ethnic cast of actors, which show a culturally diverse world that’s not often seen in other Hollywood flicks.
The car races entertain, especially the one in the tunnels. Brian is still convinced he can out-drive Dom, which can be funny sometimes. The movie provides an artificial adrenaline rush for a particularly boring weekend, but nobody said the movie is art. It’s a one-dimensional, muscled-up National Lampooner whose sole purpose is to pimp racing cars, girls and music. To that it delivers satisfactorily. Maybe (hopefully?) Fast & Furious is the franchise’s closure, Dom and Brian’s destinies coming full circle. As they say, don’t fix it if the parts ain’t broken.