Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Fast & Furious (2009)


“I'm a boy who appreciates a good body, regardless of the make.”

Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez and Sung Kang
Writer: Chris Morgan

And so ends my journey with the Fast and the Furious franchise. Those after my Fast Five review just need to go through my archives as I reviewed it a bit back. So the end, no more Vin Diesel and Paul Walker bromance, no more car love, no more cheese. Thankfully we are in the capable hands of Justin Lin who’s made these movies his own, lets see how he does with the movie that reunites the original cast members.

Well first off in regards to the actor’s everyone is pretty much doing what they do best. Rodriguez, Brewster, Diesel, they all have a good grasp on their characters and if you liked them in the previous movies you shouldn’t be disappointed. The biggest improvement comes from Paul Walker, who seems a lot less wooden, and his dialogue has the bro speak turned down. Mr Walker is never going to be an actor remembered for his acting, but this script and director do seem to be getting the most out of him. Sung Kang also rocks up as Han from the third movie, while not the biggest of parts it’s nice to see the tie in with the previous effort and actually does a lot to flesh out the world of the franchise. John Ortiz as the films villain Campos is fine, but there is more attention paid to Dominic and Brian’s relationship which does lesson the threat somewhat. I just want a little more focus on Campos to really understand the inner workings of his head, and the whole Braga legend that he uses.

The story is still hamstrung by the need to make it based around cars, so you’ve got our two heroes’s hired by the bad guy to do a smuggling run in cars. Brian wants to infiltrate so he can bring the bad guy in to justice, while Dominic is infiltrating in a quest for revenge. Thankfully with Lin at the helm there just seems more focus than the first two movies which have tread similar ground. Also in regards to the tension between Dominic and Brian, it may also seem like the first movie, but in my opinion it’s done a lot better, and it’s nice that Lin was given the chance to recreate this relationship and make it stronger.

Visually I will admit the movie seems to have taken a back step from the third movie. There was just something about the setting of Tokyo that made the movie pop, but with it all heading back to America/Mexico it’s just very bland. The stunts are as always pretty cool, but the special effects are rather noticeable, but still plenty of car crashes for all. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing as it may be different for the individual audience member, but there has been a toning of the car culture in this movie. You still get to see the parties, girls, and tricked out cars, but the movie is more concerned with the plot, than revelling in the culture this time.

For all its flaws I still like the series, and do hold on to the position that the last three in the franchise are the best. This is probably the worst out of those three, but I think Lin had his hands full trying to incorporate the original components into his vision. Also this movie marks the lessoning of car culture in the movies, and this could turn away some fans, but it seems to be a genuine effort to turn these movies into pure action movies. Funnily this is a great jumping on point for people not familiar with the series.

2 comments:

  1. I watched the first two about a week ago and all I really have to say about the experience was that the second was better than the first. All the way through "The Fast and the Furious", I was waiting for Vin Diesel and Paul Walker to kiss.

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  2. The Bromance between those two is rather apparent. While I wasn't waiting for it, I will admit it wouldn't of surprised me if those two locked lips.

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