Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fast and Furious

“Fast and Furious” has everything a growing boy needs, fast cars, hot women and enough fiery crashes to fill out the rest of the movie. The original cast is back with Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor having moved up in the world to the FBI and forced to return to undercover street racing alongside Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto.

Audiences have come to have certain expectations of the “Fast and the Furious” films. Bone rattling races, barely clothed and incredibly beautiful women and a plot that revolves around getting from A to B while being shot at, blown up and launched around corners only the greatest of Hollywood magic cars could ever hope to achieve. The fourth in the franchise, “Fast and Furious” delivers in spades, and it even manages a noble effort at an at least tacitly plausible plot and almost tender moments between the characters. There even manages to be a fair bit of humor mixed in to what is predominantly a massive, high octane thrill ride.

Director Justin Lin thrusts all the flaming nitrous onto the audience with in-your-face camera style that never lets up. The laws of physics are placed on hold for chase scenes that defy all logic and corkscrew across the screen, on the ground and in the air with energy and enough psychosis to give even the most daredevil drives pause. Very much a guy movie with its hordes of beautiful women, “Fast and Furious’ is even more a car movie, with hydraulics, fuel injection systems, supped up engines and some of the most beautiful cars and hippest automotive humor. Even those with a layman’s appreciation of cars will find themselves swept up in talk of wheels and gears and the tightest turns you’d never attempt even in your wildest dreams.

What the franchise is not known for is plot, but even in that area the film is not a bust. Whereas certain of “Fast and Furious’s” predecessors opted to have little if any plot, the film makes a valiant effort even as the audience experiences the rush of crashes that no one could ever survive in real life. With holes to spare certainly, it still manages to follow a logical and plausible series of events across the story. What gaps exist are passable and set against all that is beautiful in “Fast and Furious,” cars, women, scenery, and thus easily forgiven.

The film is everything you expect it to be and nothing you don’t. Fast and beautifully shot, the returning cast makes for a nice piece of nostalgia even as all that is old is blown up and all that is new is blown up right after it. Perhaps not the best of films for female audiences, garden variety males will get their hearts content, their dream garage with their dream muscle car and their dream girl wiping it down with her shirt. Strap yourself in and feel the power under the hood, you don’t have to think about it, you just have to buckle up, keep your eyes on the road and let the road take you wherever it will go, you’ll definitely have plenty of shiny things to look at along the way.

There is nothing wrong with Fast and Furious, despite all that can always go wrong, nothing did this time around. Apparently, Hollywood still has a little nitrous left in it.

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