Fast and Furious pretty much says it all
Movie fans who have a need for speed (you know who you are) will likely flock to “Fast & Furious,” the fourth installment in the successful franchise. Even loyal fans of the series have likely dialed down their expectations, and for those who aren’t expecting Oscar-caliber acting or screenwriting, star Vin Diesel’s return to a suitably high octane popcorn movie should be satisfied by the pervasive action and some excellent stunt work.
Just as there’s no point in being overly critical of, say, the energy drink “Full Throttle”-the title “Fast & Furious” says it all for the predisposed.
Illegal street racing still takes center stage as ex-con fugitive Dominic (Diesel) and undercover cop Brian (Paul Walker) wind up teaming together to catch a Mexican drug lord by posing as drivers for his cartel.
Dominic’s primary motive is to revenge his friend Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) murder, while Brian just wants to bust up the ring. After an opening oil tanker hijack sequence that gets points for being well-shot and influenced by Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” the film’s primary action involves races on the streets in and around L.A., and through effectively claustrophobic tunnels along the Mexican border.
The only things more prominent than Diesel’s permanently furled brow are the modified cars, ranging from souped-up muscle cars like a ’70 Charger, ’73 Camaro and my personal favorite ’73 Chevelle, to nearly unidentifiable imports like the ’98 Nissan Skyline, and ’09 Subaru WRX STI.
The film gets props for not being totally mindless or misanthropic, with a simple, engaging plot and a few pensive moments amidst the revved-up revelry.
It definitely could have used more humor and, according to the alpha males in my viewing party, more sex appeal-and we’re not talking about injectors and camshafts.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language, and drug references.