Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This might be a SPOILER but I almost walked on this one people. Not because ‘Fast & Furious’ was awful, though it certainly wasn’t something that I don’t think that anybody could term ‘good’, but because of the principle of the thing. So this movie opens with this spectacular opening sequence which is simply an extended version of the theatrical trailer they were running this winter and we’re looking my girl Michelle Rodriguez. Now when Michelle drops that hard girl role and chooses to just be a regular ol’ pretty girl, there’s few easier to gaze at and in this opening sequence my girl is looking good. So I sit back in my seat comfortable with the knowledge that no matter how bad this movie might be at least I’ll get to spend the next 100 or so minutes of my life looking at Michelle Rodriguez. Then in like the next scene they kill her off. You gotta be kidding me. Only out of my obsessive loyal obligation to you fine people out there who aren’t reading my run-on sentences did I stay in my seat and suffer through the rest of this movie. Dedication is my middle name.

So after this rather spectacular opening sequence, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) gets a call from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) that his girl Letty has been murdered. After that last heist we witnessed, Dominic left Letty behind because of the heat he’s been bringing on to himself and his crew so for the greater good he has struck out on his own, but now he has to truck back to L.A. to clandestinely attend his girlfriend’s funeral and rain hell on those who have done her in. Across town we see our other protagonist in FBI agent Brian O’Connor in an exciting foot chase trying to get some information from some dude about something or another. Brian is hot on the case of the mysterious drug lord named Braga who is importing massive amounts of drugs into our beloved nation and as Dominic will find out, somehow Letty was involved with these evil-doers which of course places Dom and Brian on a collision course, so to speak.

What both these cats need to do is somehow get into this Braga’s organization, which is run by his second in command Mr. Campos (John Ortiz). This shouldn’t be too hard to do since these people run their drugs using street racers and who is better at street racing than Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Connor? Another fantastic race and crash scene takes place and now the die is set. Dom has determined that Campos right hand man Fenix (Laz Alonzo) was the trigger man in his girl’s death and is obsessed with killing him, and everybody for that matter, while Brian just wants to make the big collar. Eventually circumstance forces Dominic and Brian to put away past differences and work together, against impossible odds, to bring Campos to justice and avenge the death of the lovely Letty, who is sorely missed.

Understand right off the bat the ‘narrative’ in this movie, and I hesitate to even call it a narrative, makes the original ‘The Fast and the Furious’ seem like the second coming of King Lear. It is quite simply pure and utter nonsense. So Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Connor have to infiltrate this billion dollar hi-tech super secure drug ring. Ignoring the fact that one of them is a fairly high profile FBI agent who chases people through crowded city streets in suits brandishing a gun and an FBI badge, and the other is Dominic Toretto. In this particular universe Dominic Toretto is the first and last name of street tuning and street racing which would make him the King, and thus make Letty the Queen. Everybody, from cops to garage hands, knows this cat. You’ve just murdered his Queen and now the King wants to work for you. Guess what… YOU’RE HIRED! Sorry about your girl. No hard feelings right, you incredibly angry dude who all of the sudden wants to deliver heroin. There is so much stupidity in this movie that someone could probably write a book called ‘Stupid stuff about Fast and Furious’. It only got worse on the rare occasions our characters would talk to each other. When they were talking about cars or killing or that fake FBI talk it was all good, but when they stepped out of that comfort zone it was quite painful to listen to. There were times when you secretly wished they would just shut up and have another street race or something. The only person in the movie who has the ability to deliver bad dialog and make it sound halfway decent was killed off in the first twenty minutes.

If it sounds like I didn’t like this movie too much… not so fast my friends. Yes the story is lame, the dialog is weak and the acting is suspect but this film ain’t about none of that. It’s about car racing and car crashes and that part of the movie is simply spectacular. Never has a movie’s title been more descriptive in detailing what a movie is about because the action in this one is fast and furious and unrelenting. It’s car porn. It seems to me that director Justin Lin, aside from showing much love to the long neglected Asian acting community, observed in the editing room that the story he was working with was beyond lame and kept only the bare minimum of stuff that served the purpose of bridging the action sequences together. And my man can shoot a car race and chase and crash with the best of them.

I do want to let my dog Vin Diesel know that if he needs some 2XL shirts that have sleeves, I have a closet full that I’ll send to him on my own dime. This way he can throw away those tiny Mediums they make him wear in this movie. There was also this fight scene between Toretto and O’Connor, or more like Toretto punching O’Connor in the face over and over again with O’Connor’s head bouncing off a concrete floor. One would think that getting punched in the face close to twenty times by Vin Diesel, punches that sound like thunder, might leave a bruise. Paul Walker obviously had a stipulation in his contract that said ‘these blue eyes don’t bruise baby’. Outstanding!

So if you like watching cars go fast, if you like watching stuff blow up, if you like watching Vin Diesel wear tiny shirts, if you like Paul Walker’s bruise free blue eyes, If you like watching Jordana Brewster wear the same damn red polka dot dress through an entire movie, then I suggest you catch this one at a theater with the biggest screen and best sound possible because watching this nonsense on a little television set would probably make this the worst movie of all time. I just hope you weren’t looking forward to seeing much of Michelle Rodriguez. Because of this when ‘Faster and Furiouser’ comes out, I’ll be passing on that one.

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