‘Fast & Furious’ With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker is Loud, Boring, Useless Drivel

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Average: 4.1 (15 votes)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It took eight years to reunite the cast of the original “The Fast and the Furious” - Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez. What’s changed in that time? The franchise lost two articles and gained an ampersand. Maybe the next film will simply be called “F F”. I can think of one word that starts with ‘F’ that certainly applies to the latest film - failure.

With dialogue that wouldn’t pass an eighth-grade English class, two lethargic lead performances by a pair of actors who might as well be wearing signs that say “for the paycheck,” and only two real racing sequences, “Fast & Furious” is likely to let down even the most forgiving and hardcore fans of one of the more successful franchises of the ’00s.

(L to R) Paul Walker and Vin Diesel reteam as agent Brian OConner and fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto for the ultimate chapter of the franchise built on speed.
(L to R) Paul Walker and Vin Diesel reteam as agent Brian OConner and fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto for the ultimate chapter of the franchise built on speed.
Photo credit: Jaimie Trueblood and Universal

“Fast & Furious” opens with an exceedingly goofy and illogical sequence in which Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his girl Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) attempt to hijack gas tankers while speeding down a hill. Why they don’t just hijack them when the driver is taking a leak at a rest stop isn’t clear. Prepare to not just suspend your disbelief but destroy it if you want to make it through “Fast & Furious”.

After a tanker goes boom in a CGI effect that looks awkward now and will look ridiculous in just a few years, Dom’s gang decides that things have gotten a bit too dangerous and they need to split up for a while or risk attracting the attention of the feds. Dom and Letty split until he receives a phone call from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) that she’s been murdered and he’s forced back to the States to avenge her death.

At the same time, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) has become a tough, on-the-edge FBI agent. Perhaps no one has sold “tough and on-the-edge” less convincingly than Paul Walker. Brian’s investigating a drug-trafficking ring led by a mysterious crime lord and it turns out that his case and Lety’s death are linked. When Brian and Dom realize they’re trying to bring down the same guy, they’re forced to work together again.

From there, “Fast & Furious” accelerates quickly into utter nonsense. Why did the team behind this franchise think we’d want to watch Dom and Brian infiltrate a boring drug ring? All fans really want to see is racing, sexy girls, and maybe a little witty banter, but “Fast & Furious” doesn’t even provide a lot of that.

Daredevil Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) prepare for the fuel heist.
Daredevil Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) prepare for the fuel heist.
Photo credit: Jaimie Trueblood and Universal

This far into the movie, fans get their first real racing scene. Get this - to pick drivers to transport drugs across the border, the crime ring stages elaborate drag races through crowded streets. Yeah, because the best way to plan your illegal operation is to draw attention to yourself.

To be fair, the sequence where Dom and Brian race to get into the gang is easily the best in the film. It’s the only time that director Justin Lin comes alive, bouncing cars off each other and screeching around corners with frenetic glee. If there was more over-the-top driving, “Fast & Furious” might work as escapism. But this sequence and one other late in the film are the only true racing moments in a film that features more talking about driving than actual pedal to the metal.

With another half-asleep performance by Diesel, a disappointing turn by Walker even by his scale, nearly cameo roles by Brewster and Rodriguez, a boring villain, and hardly any action at all, it’s hard to understand what the team behind “Fast & Furious” were thinking. I know. It’s just an action movie and I shouldn’t be so critical, but it has hardly any action and the rest barely qualifies as a movie.

‘Fast & Furious’ stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez. It was written by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin. It opens on April 3rd, 2009. It is rated PG-13.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Robb's picture

Waste of $$ and time

There is no waaaay I am going to waste my time to see this P.O.S. movie. These car movies have gone downhill ever since Gone in 60 Seconds…

Anonymous's picture

I expected a review, not a

I expected a review, not a complete spoiler of the entire movie. Bravo!

Joeblow's picture

YOUR REVIEW....IS a waste of time.

Your movie review is terrible. People who bash movies they know will be popular just to make a name for themselves is bad, so bad I should ask you, how did you like the PG-13 rating? Oops- want more sex & violence, try R ratings next time I’m sure you’ll find them. lol, fast car movies are about breaking laws in a car, as many as you can, the stuff you can’t actually do without going to prison 1000 times over. You missed that.

Steve's picture

Not looking for Oscars, just a good time

This isn’t the kinda of movie you expect to win any awards. It’s one of those films you just want to go see eat some popcorn and have a good time. I really enjoyed it. There were some good one liners, lots of great chase scenes, and I actually didn’t think the story was bad at all considering the genre of the movie. If you want to see a good action movie, I think you should check it out.

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