Fast & Furious is the fourth entry in The Fast and the Furious movie franchise, a series notorious for its ridiculous car-action and over-the-top crime drama. The previous movie, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, replaced the characters from the first two films with a brand new cast.
This movie brings back those classic characters, finally bringing the storytelling back to the main plot. The film promises a fierce adventure of car stunts with your favorite Fast and the Furious characters, packed to the brim with speed and excitement. Does Fast & Furious deliver on those promises and inject some new life into this middling franchise? Let’s see if the fourth time is the charm.
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The Film Review
The plot in Fast & Furious fills us in on Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) whereabouts after the events of the first movie, when he was chased out of the country by Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), an undercover cop turned FBI agent. In order to avenge the murder of a close friend, Dom travels back to Los Angeles and begins searching for clues to find the person responsible.
In the same city, Brian and the rest of the FBI are in the midst of hunting down a shadowy drug kingpin known as Bragas. Eventually, Brian and Dom’s paths converge, resulting in an uneasy alliance as mutual interests prevail.
As with all of the Fast and the Furious flicks, Fast & Furious has plenty of flashy cars, high-speed scenes, and exciting action. However, a lot of the focus on cars and street-racing culture takes the proverbial backseat to the plot surrounding the murder and drug dealer investigation.
It’s an obvious attempt by the film’s writers to steer the story in a more marketable direction, putting the emphasis on flashy action over car-lingo and lengthy discussions about engines. This is both a positive and a negative, as action scenes now include more guns and lethal consequences, but it slightly betrays the content that the franchise was based on.
While it’s nice to see the original characters back in action, the majority of the story comes off as slightly repetitive and rehashed. The plot feels like a slightly altered version of 2 Fast 2 Furious, replacing the main antagonist with the drug-dealer Braga. Many scenes attempt to pay homage to the original movie as well, but they end up feeling cheap and silly. It doesn’t help that the script is poorly written as well, with some unbelievable dialogue and rushed character development.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Fast & Furious is an uneven film that doesn’t know exactly what it’s trying to do. It successfully weaves together the previous three movies and fills in important story gaps, but fails to tell a compelling story on its own. Apart from a few memorable action sequences, the movie fails to rise about mediocrity.
By removing the focus on street-racing culture, the movie lacks personality and feels underwhelming when compared to other big-budget action movies. While fans of The Fast and the Furious franchise might have a good time, most viewers might feel a bit burned out after watching.
If you're looking for a fun and mindless action flick and you're willing to suspend your disbelief, Fast Five is a great pick.
- Brings back the original characters
- Fills in story gaps from first three movies
- A few interesting action scenes
- Lacks personality
- New characters are forgettable
- Plot feels rehashed and uninspired