Fast and Furious Retrospective: Part 4
Still here, still watching this marathon. Just recap…
The Fast and the Furious: A cheap knock-off from Point Break. 3/10 stars.
2 Fast 2 Furious: Live action Whacky Races but less fun. 2/10 stars.
The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift: Definitely more interesting but held back by the bland replacement cast. 4/10 stars.
We’re still waiting for the point where this becomes a franchise worth eight films and billions of box office revenue. At least we’re not sticking with Blandy McBlandface from Tokyo Drift.
Fast and Furious
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriquez, Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Sung Kang
Plot: Toretto and his crew are still carrying out hijacks, but with the police looking for him he disbands his crew and goes into hiding. He returns when Letty is murdered to find her killer and crosses paths with O’Conner who is after the same drug lord.
Review: Wait, I must’ve gotten mixed up. I’ve already reviewed the first one. No…this appears to be a different film with essentially the same name. Why would you do that? It just means everyone has to put the year of release on the title. Stick a ‘4’ or a subtitle or something on it, you dummies.
So this, Fast and Furious, is actually the fourth movie in the series. It’s also the one that brings the whole cast back together. Toretto (Diesel), O’Conner (Walker), Letty (Rodriquez), Mia (Brewster)…
…HAN?! Wait a moment, I swear Han (Kang) got all blowed up in the last film. What’s be doing here and not explosioned?
Have I got these in the correct order? Hang on…
Ok, I checked Wikipedia. This is the fourth film, but it’s an ‘interquel’, which they seem to think is a thing, putting it between the second and third movies. It’s not clear why they thought this was essential as he plays a very, very small role and mostly makes ‘wink, wink’ comments about going to Tokyo.
I also need to talk about O’Conner’s resume, because his career in law enforcement is insane. It goes like this:
- Be a street racer.
- Join the police.
- Go undercover and decide to let the dangerous criminal go, betraying the police force.
- Become a fugitive on the run from the law.
- Join the police.
- Betray the police again to steal a bunch of money.
- Join the FBI.
Was the FBI really hard up for help? Do they not run background checks? HOW did he join?! To cap it all off he winds up staging a mass prison break-out. I’m not going to be surprised if his next career move is joining the CIA.
So the movie is bonkers, that’s a given at this point. The whole undercover cop thing is pretty much ignored anyway. The plot involves Toretto having done some Sherlock mind palace stuff to find Letty’s killer and infiltrating his gang while O’Conner does the same to bust him for running heroin from Mexico. Naturally this culminates in a race.
This is a step up from the previous films and manages to set up some pretty exciting action sequences. Racing down a straight and closed off street is replaced with an intense race through busy traffic, and there’s a tanker hijack that features some awesome stunt work.
We have the more charismatic cast members back but they’re as hard as ever to get invested in. The death of Letty is treated like something we should be terribly upset by but she’s only had about 15 minutes screen time across the four movies. Plus, if I remember right, Rodriquez was written out because she’d had her real life license revoked for DUI infringements.
While the franchise is well and truly moving in the right direction there’s not enough to keep things exciting over the course of the full running time. After four tries the series has managed to achieve the level of ‘average’.
Rating: FIVE out of TEN