Fast And Furious

Director    Justin Lin
Starring    Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz
Release    3 APR (US) 10 APR (UK)    Certificate 12A
3 stars


23rd April 2009

Fast And Furious is, confusingly, the fourth movie in the Fast And The Furious saga; a franchise ripe for sequels, bursting at the seams as it is with plotlines, enduring characters and witty, beautifully-written screenplays. Ahem.

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker both return to their original roles, having popped in and out of the trio of car adverts that were the previous three movies. It says something about the state of Vin 'The Pacifier' Diesel and Paul '...' Walker's careers that they both agreed to be in this inadvertently hilarious film. We can only assume that the undervalued and sidelined Michelle Rodriguez appears in the movie because she lost a bet of some kind.

Fast And Furious is chronologically sandwiched somewhere between 2 Fast 2 Furious and part 3, Tokyo Drift. We know this because of the nano-appearance of Han (Sung Kang) who tells us they're up to some "crazy" shit in Tokyo and promptly buggers off there.

LA-based FBI Agent Brian O'Connor (Walker) and erstwhile friend and car-jacker Dom Toretto (Diesel) team up again, reluctantly at first, bro-lovingly later, to take down a big bad drug-trafficker for their own, not completely separate reasons. Luckily, this drug trafficker picks his mules by staging elaborate mid-town car races. Loud, dangerous, highly illegal races, which alert no police presence whatsoever and are directed through sat-nav. That's right. Like a Top Gear challenge.

Of course, the plot doesn't really matter as F&F is all about T&A. Tongues and Automobiles. The background of this movie is littered with hot teenage girls hesitantly making out. They do it on beaches, in warehouses, at astonishingly uncool and haggard drivers' houses - everywhere. Director Justin Lin clearly needed a device to show how hedonistic the world of car racing is, but forgot he was shooting a 12A so had to jettison the drugs and naked people and settle for the boring hotness of girls kissing with tongues.

And the automobiles; oh the sexy, sexy cars. Chevrolet Chevelle SS, Nissan Skyline GTR and the ugliest car ever to grace the silver screen, the Subara Impreza WRX Sti. These fancy-dancy cars are stunt-driven until their tyres are as bald as Vin. Muscle Marys smack steering wheels in angry disappointment, and squinting, raise their monobrows in confusion, intrigue, constipation - it's hard to tell. Once selected as drug mules, the dynamic duo take part in a race through mining tunnels that defies physics and logic, but then that's the whole point of F&F. If you don't want to see incredibly fast cars being driven incredibly recklessly by an over-inflated Adam Sandler sex doll, then you're watching the wrong movie.

For all that's wrong with it, F&F is undoubtedly entertaining. It's rubbish, but it's brilliant rubbish. The dialogue is atrocious, the acting is abysmal and the plot is negligible. The explosions, stunts and unnecessary revving all make up for it though, and while you won't remember a thing about it two hours later, you'll have the faintly guilty feeling that you kind of enjoyed yourself.

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