Fast and Furious Review

by Ed Lau on April 10, 2009

Fast and Furious, The Fast and the Furious 4

I was one of few people that was actually excited to see this movie. Well, one of few that doesn’t wear a doo-rag, carry a Prada murse or wear track pants outside of the gym. Honestly, The Fast and the Furious is a special movie to me and many of my friends. Not because it was good, oh no. In fact, it is possibly one of the worst movies ever made but it is one that is so bad, that it’s actually good. Although I’ve only seen it a few times, it had so many memorable one-liners that we spew on a daily basis. “Had me?! You never had me! You never had your car!” It also had Ja Rule in such a terrible performance that he makes 50 Cent look like Marlon Brando. I bet that girl that played “MONNNNNIIICCAAAA!!!!” has been in more movies than that guy.

Either way, it isn’t because the movie is good. Oh, no. No one likes the tuna there…but at least The Fast and the Furious was a fun movie and I guarantee you that if you flip to it while channel surfing, you’ll at least watch part of it. In fact, as bad as they are, all the F&F movies are watchable. Even that terrible Tokyo Drift movie had some fun stuff in it despite having both the most realistic and most unbelievable (at the same time!) storyline of the first three…figure that one with your mind grapes. However, neither the sequel or the…threequel were even close to the level of memorability as the original so you could imagine why I was excited the see Fast and Furious after I saw the original cast members were returning.

Fast and Furious, The Fast and the Furious 4, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dom, Toretto

The movie opens with Toretto doing what he does best…stealing things while driving quickly and this time, in the Dominican Republic where I’m guessing he’s running from all those charges he’s still facing in the United States after Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) lets him go at the end of the first movie. The opening action sequence is absurd (you have to drive UNDER the trailer, stupid!) but it is entertaining for all the right reasons. Those who saw the third movie will recognize Han, a telling sign that this movie happens before the events of the third. Soon, Toretto receives word that the cops are hot on the tail of his crew (which includes Michelle Rodriguez’ Letty) so they decide to disperse before the heat catches up to them. Not wanting Letty to get caught with him, he disappears.

Years later, we find Dom working on cars somewhere (I’m sure they say but I can’t remember) when he receives a call from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) that Letty was killed. Out for revenge, Dom returns to the United States. Of course, it seems that the drug lords that are responsible for Letty’s murder are also the ones that Brian O’Conner, now a FBI agent for some reason, has been after for months. Oh look, coincidence brings the old friends back together.

Fast and Furious, The Fast and the Furious 4, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Toretto, O'Connor, Brian

I’m not going to say anything more about the storyline since it is incredibly convoluted and full of holes. I honestly think that in the editing room, they had to decide between explosions and exposition and instead of making the movie make a smidgen of sense, they went for the explosions. It seems Justin Lin has gone to the Michael Bay School of Filmmaking as Fast and Furious seems too short despite being 107 minutes long, mostly because things happen out of nowhere and without precedent. For example, Brian and Mia are at each other’s throats one minute and making up (and out, I guess) several scenes later with no real reason as to why. Oh right…because they went out six years ago and have barely spoken since then. My mistake.

Although no one but morons will contend that the original was Oscar-worthy, at least it was a fun ride. There’s car porn, there’s scantily clad women and guys talking about how bad tuna sandwiches are. There’s none of that in this movie. All the excitement generated by the pre-title scene is immediately killed with a funeral scene and the tone of the film is dreary throughout. Everyone is depressed and angry the entire time, which infects the audience. There are no memorable lines to crack jokes about and there aren’t even any cars worth noting other than Toretto’s Dodge Charger because the latest Subaru Impreza looks like the Rosie O’Donnell of cars. There only race in the entire movie happens near the beginning of the film as Dom and Brian race undercover to get a job in the drug cartel…and for the majority of it, they aren’t even racing each other! The rest of the car chase scenes happen in a tunnel (yawnnnn…) and in a semi-rally course in Mexico (double yawn…)

Fast and Furious, The Fast and the Furious 4, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Toretto, O'Connor, Brian, Skyline, Nissan

The one saving grace that I had with this movie is that they didn’t make O’Conner and Toretto into action superheroes and there’s no ridiculous shootout. There’s a scene in Mexico where they roll into a church with guns drawn and I remember thinking “If they’re going to take on the drug cartel in a shootout…I’m walking out of here.” Fortunately, they remembered what movie they’re in and stick to settling conflicts with NOS (or NAAAAAAAAAAWWWWSSSS!!!) and 10 seconds at a time.

There’s no fun to be had in this movie which is unfortunate, really. They moved away from the street racing roots and tried to turn it into some sort of buddy cop drama…with fast cars. This isn’t a great idea since you have two of the worst actors working today in the main roles and the freakin’ movie is supposed to be about racing. Sure, turn it into a drama if you want but if you’re going to try to be serious here, take it further because it with this thin of a plot just makes for a horrible movie. Sure, the original The Fast and the Furious was a joke of a movie but at least they were in on the joke.

Sorry, Fast and Furious…this time we’re not even laughing at you.

Verdict: 2.0 out of 10

in Cars,Entertainment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lesley April 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Umm… only seen it a few times? I seem to recall a whole summer of fast and furious blue ray love at your former place of ‘work’.

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Stephen April 12, 2009 at 2:24 am

I’m so glad I didn’t pay to see this in the theatre. I’d be very furious quite fast :lol:

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