Fast & Furious

Rated NR 2009

With the molded-rubber face of Savalas, the basso profundo of Stallone, and the name of an underdog gas alternative, Vin Diesel’s already-dubious ripped-tough-guy star has dimmed enough to warrant a return to the car-chase series that made him—and money. In the latest, notably slack Fast & Furious (number four), Diesel reprises the role of larcenist/muscle-car-enthusiast Dom Toretto opposite Paul Walker’s import-fancying undercover agent Brian O’Conner. The untimely death of Dom’s partner-in-crime sends the rivals converging on thoroughly unremarkable drug-runner Campos (John Ortiz); they infiltrate his surefire business model of smuggling heroin across the border via inconspicuous hot rods. For a sense of the movie’s road sequences, note that the press-kit blurb for Diesel climaxes with his video-game production shingle. Pointing out Xbox aesthetics has become as familiar a move as bemoaning the disappearance of the frame in mainstream cinema, but sequences in Fast & Furious are as up-front about imminent adaptation to video game as some directors used to be about accounting for future TV broadcast. A movie whose second spoken line of dialogue is, candidly, “Let’s make some money” at least ends with a satisfyingly ludicrous desert pile-on. But whether you blame the Part Four blues or Diesel’s gaming distractions, Fast & Furious reconfirms that car-chase movies—good, bad, or mediocre—all assume the future employment of the quaint old fast-forward button.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Justin Lin

Writer: Chris Morgan and Gary Scott Thompson

Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel and Michael Fottrell

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz and Laz Alonso


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