DIRECTOR: Justin Lin
The best way to describe Fast & Furious would be as a guilty pleasure. There’s nothing to lend weight to this film as a great work, an Oscar contender or a movie worthy of critical acclaim, but there something about this, as there was with the first, The Fast And The Furious, back in 2001.
Rob Cohen has never been known for subtlety and his 2001 film was far from it, but even even though he had nothing to do with this, his stamp is well and truly on it. Fast & Furious is the fourth in this surprising successful franchise, and besides the fact that I liked the original in spite of the fact that I’m NOT a motor-head, I’ve avoided the intervening sequels, 2 fast, 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift, for one simple reason, besides the fact that just didn’t fancy them.
No Vin Diesel. I’m not suggesting that Vin is the greatest actor in the Hollywood, nor should be treading the boards of the Royal Shakespeare Company anytime soon, but his blockhead with a heart of gold persona works for me. He’s likable and suits this role down to a tee, as does his dimwitted surfer dude sidekick, Paul Walker.
Walker offers nothing significant to the film except for his relationship with Diesel. The pairing is enjoyable but little more, but isn’t that the point of adrenalin films like this? This is about cars, women, cops and robbers, and great fun to boot. The tone of this movie is on par with Cohen’s original and though I can’t justifiably compare this to the sequels which I have never seen, I don’t want too either. This is the sequel that 2 Fast should have been and I only hope that now they’re back on track, that Fast & Furious 5 could be another romp worthy of a watch.
It’s nice to see a franchise go off track and find its feet again after so many years and it is a testament to the original cast who, though only have a limited range, have clearly breathed life back into the franchise.