Nothing new & creative in Fast & Furious
Noise, noise, noise. Crunched metal and shattered glass. More noise. Revving engines. Vin Diesels giant head. Hot chicks in tight miniskirts. Even more noise. The end.Thats pretty much all there is to Fast & Furious, essentially a remake of the 2001 hit The Fast and the Furious with the same cast, except it seems to exist in some parallel universe where the word the no longer exists. It also seems to function outside of logic, cohesive plot structure and the laws of gravity, but hey this being the fourth film in the street-racing series, such niceties have long since been tossed out the widow and run over repeatedly.Justin Lin, who also directed part three, 2006s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, piles on the mind-bogglingly elaborate chase scenes and set pieces. (The opening, in which our rebellious heroes attempt to steal gas from a speeding tanker truck, is admittedly a doozy.) But youve seen a lot of these sorts of stunts in the previous movies and heard the same kind of cheesy dialogue so its strange to witness how seriously Fast & Furious takes itself, like its reinventing the 19-inch wheel or something.Snarling bad guys, women who pout beautifully and, of course, a wide array of brightly hued, wildly souped-up cars but not an ounce of creativity or grace. And the fact that its so repetitive only magnifies how little this latest installment has to offer.Whats the movie about, you ask? Well, not that it matters, but Diesels fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto is back in Los Angeles and out for revenge. He ends up reluctantly re-teaming with former undercover cop Brian OConner (Paul Walker), who infiltrated Doms gang and dated his sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), in part one. This time, their goal is to take down a drug kingpin whos behind a murder. Their strategy leads them into a series of ridiculously illegal races, which make the streets of L.A. more dangerous to drive on than they already are. Theres also an enormously convoluted trip into Mexico, which seems to take place only to set up the films climactic (and claustrophobic) underground tunnel chase.Diesel is the same guy here as always: the gravelly, low-key, beefy action hero. He does get to show off his sensitive side, though, when Dom sits awake at night, watching his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) peacefully sleep. Walker, meanwhile, eerily resembles Alex Rodriguez as he inches into his mid-30s: same eyes, same mouth, same blank expression on his face.If youre into automotive minutiae, youll probably get off on the details here. And if youre into gratuitous shots of women making out with each other, well, you may sporadically enjoy yourself, as well. But if you like you use your brain … dude. Drive on.
Fast & Furious, a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references. Running time: 107 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.
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