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Fast & Furious



Although it's the fourth one in the series, it plays almost like a direct sequel to the first with ex-con and fugitive Dominic Toretto and now-agent Brian O'Connor reluctantly reunited by the death of a friend and a mutual quest to stop a sociopathic drug kingpin from bringing tons of his product into the U.S. To do this, they must infiltrate a group that moves heroin across the border through a series of dangerous and almost impenetrable caves.


For Fast and the Furious fans, this fourth edition is nirvana, bringing all four of the original stars back together led by Vin Diesel as the firebrand Dominic and Paul Walker as the reformed Brian, who has now moved to the other side of the law. Basically required to utter a few phrases and chase bad guys for two hours while letting their stuntmen do the heavy lifting behind the wheel, these two are like watching a couple of old pros back doing what they do best. Let's face it: Neither one of their careers was exactly burning up the movie business, so this move suits them well, and they look great in the parts. Also back is Jordana Brewster as Mia, Dom's sister and Brian's love interest, and Michelle Rodriguez as the tough-as-nails Letty, Dom's girlfriend.


It's the STUNTS, stupid. What else would you go to this speed-fest for? And they are bigger and more elaborate than ever as director Justin Lin (Tokyo Drift) knows fans expect. The almost nonstop demolition derby is so full of vrooooom-and-zoom sounds and visual effects that it's dizzying after a while. But they are undeniably well-executed, turning this edition into an experience that's more like a NASCAR event than a movie.


Sad to say the acting levels haven't really ramped up in the decade this franchise has been percolating, but it won't matter for fans who come strictly for the action. Some of those action set pieces though are awfully contrived and bordering on cartoon-ish.


Easily the sequence where Dom and Brian must penetrate mountainous caves, which have tricky and winding rocky raceways carved throughout. It's ludicrous but lots of fun — like taking a ride on a real Space Mountain. An earlier scene where Brian relies on his GPS device for directions during a high-speed chase also gets the adrenaline going.


"I learned nothing really matters unless you have a code." Or was that a Coke? It's hard to tell with all the sound effects.



Bottom Line rated this film 3 stars.