Fast & Furious (2009)

I want to live in the world that Justin Lin has created in the fourth film of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. In it people can smash through windows like they’re cutting through paper, bullets don’t necessarily harm them, racers can speed through city streets without being pulled over or tracked by traffic cops, and they’re able to fly in stealth mode evading authorities in the loudest most conspicuous cars imaginable. That’s the world I want to be in. Probably the biggest turd of the series, “Fast and Furious” presents us with four actors with no other option than to sleepwalk through a hundred minutes of explosions, car chases and the prerequisite bad acting. Particularly from Rodriguez and Diesel whose chemistry is still there and seems to amplify their horrible acting abilities.

In the first fifteen minutes Lin overplays his hand by giving the two their own big romantic scene that sets up the twist. While watching I wasn’t sure if I should have been laughing because they’re irredeemably bad.And then, once the plot really gets moving, they get worse. This time Justin Lin really takes the last remaining sense this series ever had and really just keeps the brainlessness on high levels of pure idiocy. I mean they’re able to know that Dom (Diesel) is in the country after spending years in Dominican Republic, they know that he crossed the border, they tracked his movement in his neighborhood and yet they don’t know enough to keep an eye out for the street races he’s infamous for that would lead to an arrest? No, a movie like this can’t be that dumb, but surely enough it is.

And because of that type of dialed down common sense we suffer through what is mainly a series of high powered races set to the tune of a paper thin plot involving Dom who returns from Dominican Republic after six years to track down a criminal known as David Parks. The two have a score to settle and Dom is willing to do whatever it takes, including racing for the benefit of… well let’s just say himself, shall we? More so all of the charming energy and charisma of the first film is nowhere to be found as most of the cast sleepwalk their way through the film including Diesel who never really looks like he’s enjoying what he’s doing here reprising a fairly popular character. And even with a revenge sub-plot that starts off strong, it predictably falls to the wayside in exchange for more racing!

No, as guessed, “Fast & Furious” is a case of four movie stars eating their own tails by falling back on a really terrible movie sequel that was about as necessary as the last two sequels. Fact is if you’ve seen the first then there’s really no need to see this one, because in the end they’re all basically the same race and stumble acting we’ve seen a thousand times in many other racing flicks of the new millennium. Humorless, charmless, and clunky all around, Justin Lin’s second in the franchise isn’t worth even the most forgiving action fan’s time. It’s a movie that inadvertently asks the viewers to take a second look at the franchise and decide once and for all if they’re willing to stick around and see what develops.