Fast and Furious (2009)

I'm not even in this movie!

I’m not even in this movie!

After the lackluster Tokyo Drift, the Fast and Furious franchise rebooted with Fast and Furious (aka Fast 4).

Fast and Furious continues the story of Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (the late Paul Walker) as both men are hot on the tail of drug runner Braga. O’Conner, now an FBI agent, aims to get this guy behind bars, while Toretto wants blood as Braga was responsible for the death of Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez).

In general, I think the Fast and Furious movies started going the right direction starting with this movie, and I think it might have to do with the older movies’ target audience having gotten older. The first two movies were basically the fantasies of high school freshmen with illegal street racing and scantily clad women. Now we have…illegal street racing and scantily clad women. However, now we get to see exotic locales across Latin America.

What I think the movie did right was to start really going over the top (which culminates in the world’s longest runway in Fast 6). It opened with a thrilling truck robbery and ended with a chase across the deserts of Mexico. Justin Lin took over as director in Tokyo Drift and helmed every movie since, and I think there is a reason he stuck around for far longer than either of the previous directors. The driving scenes are far better choreographed, and we don’t see the awful CG that was in the first movie.

That said, as you can probably imagine, Fast 4 isn’t a particularly deep movie. There were some attempts to give the character depth, like Brian’s random reemergence into the lives of Dom and Mia (Jordana Brewster) and how they reacted to it. The whole interaction felt forced with rather predictable dialogue. Am I the only one wondering what ever happened to Eva Mendes’ character from 2 Fast 2 Furious?

With that in mind, Fast and Furious succeeded in providing me some mindless entertainment for the bus ride back to school.

Score: 2.5/4