Review: Fast and Furious is Solidly Entertaining

"A solid guy film that avoids the completely silly often enough to earn a nod of approval."


I simply can't imagine the following scenario:

1. Person buys tickets for Fast and Furious.

2. Person exits theater, angry that things weren't fast or furious enough.

That won't happen. The film is exactly what you think it's going to be. It has fast cars, women in halter tops, and Vin Diesel grunting and scowling at Paul Walker, a fella always attempting to explain why he's not the enemy ... but is a cop. So while the plot is inconsequential and the crazy house parties where women make out with each other are certainly misogynistic, the overall result is an entertaining treat. And let's face it, many of our brethren head to the theater for a nice 100-minute distraction. This is definitely that.

Fast and Furious is the fourth film in the series, following on the heels of The Fast and the Furious (2001), the hilariously named 2 Fast, 2 Furious (2003), and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). However, Fast and Furious is most closely related to the first film, as it's sans Tyrese (2 Fast) and Lucas Black (Tokyo Drift). The film picks up with Vin Diesel robbing folks (via vehicle, naturally) in the Dominican Republic. He's still with Michelle Rodriguez, but the fuzz is closing in. We're then presented with Paul Walker -- he's trying to break a big drug case wide open. The drug kingpin in question is named Braga, but since his identity is the linchpin of the film we're not going to get into it. Just know that Diesel and Walker both end up targeting the mysterious Braga, for very different reasons, and the result is the need to drive cars extremely fast. And furiously.

There's a bit of CGI work in place here, but it doesn't take away from the overall fun of the flick. There's plenty of real stunt work to go around, too. Plus the "car porn" aspect is in full effect. Long leering looks at huge shiny engines -- with the women giving the men the same long leering looks. Now that I think about it, there may be too many long leering looks. But no matter, it's better than the terrible dialogue that most action films trot out. So that's a point for Fast and Furious. It keeps your attention throughout, either through car racing or the occasional zippy one-liner.

My advice: Go see Fast and Furious. If you care enough about the film to have made it this far in the review then you're the target demo. The movie doesn't have downtime, you don't have too follow along too closely, and you'll come out of the theater wanting to modify your Honda Civic with NOS. It's a solid "guy" film that avoids the completely silly often enough to earn the nod of approval. Though I admit the title of the film is slightly dumb, I can't really fault much else going on here.

So why not? Get on board in a most furious manner. Fast!

Grade: B