Tried and True Formula For “Fast & Furious”

Fast & Furious (2009)This is the 4th entry in the Fast and the Furious movie franchise.  For those of you not familiar with the series I’ll give you a brief recap of pretty much all the movies:

  1. Fast cars
  2. Beautiful women
  3. The “bad guys” are actually the “good guys”
  4. Fast cars
  5. A little plot
  6. Fast cars
  7. More women
  8. Fast cars

That’s pretty much it.  If you’re looking for really deep movies here you’re not going to get them.  If you’re looking for some bad ass action sequences that will put on you the edge of your seat then you’re in the right place.

The cast from the original is back which is a great thing.  Vin Diesel plays Dominic Toretto who’s a mechanic/street racer and is always seeming to be on the wrong side of the law.  Paul Walker plays Brian O’Conner, former police officer turned street racer who’s tapped by the feds to infiltrate the inner circle of a Mexican drug lord.  Jordana Brewster plays Dom’s sister Mia who was the love interest of O’Conner in the first film.  Michelle Rodriguez (of Lost fame) reprises her roll as Letty Ortiz for about 20 minutes until her character is murdered setting up the majority of the plot.  As a side note, not sure why Rodriguez’s characters keep getting killed off (she died in Lost as well).  Maybe she’s a huge pain in the ass to work with… who knows.  I have been seeing stuff on the Internet that there is a huge following of her character in this film and people want her character resurrected for the suspected 5th film in the series… time will tell.

I think the producers finally figured out what makes this franchise work from a casting perspective… you’ve got to have both Vin Diesel & Paul Walker in the film.  Let’s take a look:

  • First film had both: GREAT
  • Second film had only Walker: So So
  • Third film had no Walker and only a cameo of Diesel: Fair at best
  • Fourth film had both: GREAT

Please recognize that “GREAT” is a relative word.  These are great films for what they are… balls to the wall action flicks.  Very little plot, tons of fast moving scenes and a bunch of hot women.  Brewster and Rodriguez (briefly) are smokin and we get introduced to Gal Gadot (a legit Miss Universe contestant) as well.  That doesn’t even take into account all of the random hotties throughout the film.  At one point during the film I leaned over to my buddy and said, “Where in the hell does all this street racing take place and why can’t I find it.”  His response, “I don’t know, but if you find it and don’t take me, I’ll kill you.”

The end of the film sets up a potential sequel very nicely with Dom being transported to prison and the gang comes up on the bus obviously preparing to spring him free.  Definitely a nice touch.  As I’ve said before if you’re looking for Oscar material here you won’t get it, but if you’re looking for a good “dumb action / popcorn movie” then you can’t do much better.

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