Monday, October 17, 2011

The Fast and The Furious

To say that The Fast and the Furious is a good movie, wouldn't be a very truthful statement.  Its not my first entry into the F&F franchise, that honor would go to the rather stale Fast & Furious which hit the big screens in 2009 I believe. Aside from not really impressing me or anything, it was an ok way to spend a couple hours. Now, this one, The Fast and the Furious is the first movie in this odd series. And its an okay foundation to what has very recently turned into a promising franchise with the extremely enjoyable Fast Five.

This movie didn't much impress me, cause well... the dialog is terrible, the awkward stabs at character development is half-assed, and we really have no reason whatsoever to give a crap about these characters.  Diesel's iconic character Dom Toretto is supposedly the hero, but why? He doesn't really do anything good. His only redeemable quality is his unflinching loyalty and devotion to his rag tag family, but they're all criminals anyway. So at this point there is a massive disconnect here.

I already care about the characters because of what I've seen in Fast Five, they sort of are like modern day Robin Hoods. So to speak. In that movie, they take down a ruthless drug lord with a death grip on the slums of Rio De Janeiro. Its hard to not root for Dom & his team in that movie. But in this movie all that's at stake is some pretty delicate egos and alot of street cred. I will say though, that by the movie's climax I am invested in these characters, even though, like I said, we're never really given a reason to be. So as the movie progresses, we can really get involved in it, because I suppose that the vague family dynamic that is there is appealing from a certain standpoint, and Dom is like a father figure in a way. Its a nice concept.

   I wish that the movie around these characters could've been much better. Diesel comes very close to having a great performance here, but the movie and the cheap script weigh him down. The movie almost feels like a poor man's Point Break but with less to work with.I actually really enjoyed this movie due to alot of the flashy cars and a nicely staged climax, but I don't expect many others to. Its really devoid of anything really unique. It does have alot of charm and charisma, but thats all it has to offer beyond a few car races and chases. It is also initial foundation to the ever evolving storyline of these characters which is nice to see in a way.

   But considering how many better movies have much better car chases and races, go see one of those instead unless you're a F&F completionist. Which I fear I am becoming. Or perhaps, quite possibly instead I've become a Vin Diesel fanboy.  Which means, 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift won't be earning any mercy points from me.  Vin Diesel has this cool ability to make even a crappy movie like this and make it lots of fun, so I'm not sure how I'll take in the ones without him.

After the insanely awesome Fast Five, its kind of awkward to go back and see its rather weak (but charismatic and oddly enjoyable) origins. They pale in comparison to Fast Five's massive blockbuster power. Seeing as how promising the future of the franchise is looking after this latest one, I am thoroughly excited for sequels. But I definitely need to catch up on the other movies. There isn't much else to do until Justin Lin and crew get The Fast and the Furious 6 underway.
And then after that, The Fast and the Furious 7.

  Overall, its a really guilty pleasure that is really really brainless.
Not everyone's thing, but I don't mind having this one around for rainy afternoons like this.

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