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Fast & Furious (2009)
Critic Consensus: While Fast and Furious features the requisite action and stunts, the filmmakers have failed to provide a competent story or compelling characters.
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as Dominic Toretto
as Brian O'Conner
as Letty Marciano
as Antonio Braga
as Mia Toretto
as Agent Sophie Trinh
as Han Lu
as Rico Santos
as Gisele Harabo
as Agent Ben Stasiak
as David Park
as Gas Truck Driver
as BMW Driver
as GPS Voice
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Critic Reviews for Fast & Furious
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Though I admit the title of the film is slightly dumb, I can't really fault much else going on here.
Turn off your mind, though, and there's some fun to be had from some of the better whizz-bang sequences.
This is a movie about street racers... criminals in fact, and there was nothing grimy or dirty about it at all.
Audience Reviews for Fast & Furious
Isn't Han dead? oh no wait this is a sequel to the first film that doesn't ignore the second and third film but just takes place before them. So this is when Han was running with Toretto before he leaves for Japan...aaaah right. It feels pretty desperate for them to go way back and make a sequel to the first film after time has moved on with the second and third films. Did we really need to know what happened right after the first film? did we really need to see Han with Toretto? couldn't they just move ahead with a fourth that takes places after two and three? The whole structure of the franchise just seems so convoluted now. So Walker is now an agent in a suit for the FBI, so he looks even more like Keanu Reeves in 'Point Break', really helping his impression ten fold...totally bra!. Toretto's girlfriend has been killed by a drug dealers henchman, the same drug dealer O'Conner is after, so both end up going after the same cartel. At the same time Toretto is still on the most wanted list which is still causing O'Conner morality issues, anyway to hell with all that! cue the pointless street racing! This film really does feel completely and utterly generic in every way. The plot just seems so pointless and uninspired, Letty is killed for pretty much unknown reasons (we don't find out why for ages), but I assume its mainly because Rodriguez wanted out of the franchise. From that point on its just watching Vin Diesel swagger from one set piece to another beating guys up or generally running away from the law. I mean really, the main bad guy drug kingpin organises a street race through downtown LA just to recruit a driver for his drug smuggling operation. The whole sequence is so pathetic, all the drivers line up like they were top guns of the chav world...bling city, one guy is black, one guy is white, one guy is Latino etc...PC much? Its not even a sensible race, more like a destruction derby and completely unrealistic. I realise this is not a serious action film but come on, lets at least make the racing sensible, it is the films main selling point. Oh...a hyper modded Skyline struggling to beat an US brick (American Muscle), really? I don't think so, import will always win. That Skyline should have been pushing 1000BHP, should have been if properly modded. The tanker hijack sequence at the start of the film is just as dumb as the exact same sequence in the first film. Once again I gotta ask...why not just stop the tanker, take the driver out at gun point and then calmly take the fuel?? surely that's easier? Oh no wait the director wants to have an exciting chase sequence with lots of fast cars and a big explosion at the end, oooooh gotcha. Then there is the quite plainly idiotic chase sequences through these underground tunnels across the US border into Mexico. I can't even begin to express how stupid this whole concept is let alone how awful it looks with terrible CGI. For starters who built these tunnels? how? when? how did the US border patrols not notice this massive undertaking??! How the hell does anyone know exactly where the entrance is to these tunnels when they are disguised as a rock face and you're travelling towards them at about 200+ MPH! The sequences within the tunnels are just dreadful, it looks like a videogame. As the actors sit in the mock cars you can laugh at the hideous CGI rock formations whizzing past in the windows/rear windscreen. Again I know this isn't a serious flick but come on...this takes the piss. And we are to believe they are all zooming down these narrow badly lit mine shafts in super imports and US muscle cars at well over 150MPH?! really? What I love about this franchise/film is the fact Toretto always seems to have a modded muscle car. Doesn't matter where he is or what's happened, he turns up with a newly charged up car...always American muscle. I wish it was this easy in reality. Even at the very end, O'Conner and what's left of Toretto's crew pop up to bust him out...all driving more expensive heavily modded cars! Where do they get them from?? how many Dodge Chargers have they gone through now? how many do they own? do they clone them?? Do any of these guys have insurance? wait silly question. This film did well simply because the original cast came back, but I can't for the life of me understand how that helps. Yes I like Vin Diesel but the rest are terrible, the plot is formulaic and dull, the film is choppy and they have started to slide towards the action genre meaning actual street racing is out. But even the racing sequences are poor here, just ridiculous and show more resemblance to James Bond. Not to be taken seriously of course but this film has lost its originality and simply become a common action mess.
Fast & Furious improves over what the previous two failed upon (losing the cast), but they will never make a fast & furious movie that will top the original! This film has an interesting story, Brian O'Connor is back in the police business as he comes bak into contact with Dominic Toretto, and as he is on pursuit to take down a drug importer, things get messy. They end up working together and become friends once again. Brian once again, places his career on the line, This is definitely not the best in the franchise, but I do think it tops the second and third instalment. Looking forward to the continuation in 2011!
In bringing back the original lead cast - Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez - Fast & Furious is the "official sequel" to The Fast and the Furious, which is a good thing for the franchise. Neither 2 Fast 2 Furious nor Tokyo Drift could find a workable substitute for the chemistry that these actors had with each other. Like most good sequels, Fast & Furious retains some elements that made its predecessor so appealing but also morphs into its own kind of machine. Most of the focus is on its caper/revenge narrative, thereby eliminating most of the street racing elements. Justin Lin stages amazing action scenes. He moves the scenes forward at a break-neck speed but always chooses angles that allows the audience to know where everyone is at all times as well as to clearly show every stunt without too many masking cuts. Of course, almost all the laws of physics and plausibility are completely thrown out the window this time. Some scenes are so void of logic that to complain would just create a bigger headache. Fast & Furious has all the spirit of the original. This is definitely a guilty pleasure that puts the franchise back on track. How can anyone not love a scene where the drug lord is praying in a church and Diesel walks behind him, points a shotgun to his temple and says, "You're not forgiven." Classic, lol.
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