Theatrical Review: Fast & Furious

Outlaw-with-a-code Dominic Toretto finds himself teamed up again with FBI Agent Brian O’Connor after someone close to both is struck down in a dangerous deal.

That’s it. Basically all you need to know going in to see Fast & Furious. But I figure those going to see this are probably those that are familiar with The Fast & The Furious franchise in the first place. This is the first movie since the first in the series to re-team stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in their respective parts, though both have appeared separately in the other movies (the second one teaming Walker with Tyrese Gibson and the third featuring Diesel in a cameo part at the movie’s end).

Let’s face it, this series is a B-movie series featuring A-list stunts and state of the art effects. I’ve said it before about the series, it doesn’t try to be high art by any means, but more high state-of-the-art. Director Justin Lin knows this, and did it very well with the third in the series, Tokyo Drift and now he gets to demonstrate that again with the original stars of the franchise.

This won’t “wow” anyone with it’s less-than-pithy dialogue or it’s somewhat simplistic characters, and that’s not really the point, it’s more to deliver some high-octane thrills, but to it’s credit, there are things that get you involved with it’s characters, and further, this movie does have continuity with the others, including Tokyo Drift with a stunning opening scene that sets up the relationship that was alluded to at the end of that movie, and almost indicating that this film could very well be taking place concurrently with that one.

If you enjoy the series, and I have a ball with it, then I truly think this is a good addition to it. As a fan of video games like the Need For Speed series and Rockstar’s excellent Midnight Club series (Midnight Club: Los Angeles is just about the closest thing out there to having a Fast & Furious game- despite there being a real Fast & Furious game), this series is made for that crowd, and for the car crowd and just for those that enjoy some pretty high testosterone fun. The only actual race in the movie, was especially fun for me being a fan of these games.

Anyway, it’s really well made, stars Diesel and Walker deliver the goods as far as this milieu is concerned and it’s just a lot of fun. It won’t change anyone’s world and it won’t go down as one of the best movies of the year, but it’s a great diversion for those that love this stuff, and I do and I can certainly recommend this to fans of the series.

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

05. April 2009 by Darren Goodhart
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