The fourth movie in The Fast & The Furious franchise reunites all of the stars of the first movie, though Michelle Rodriguez ends up only sharing screen time with Vin Diesel and it’s a welcome return to form after Tokyo Drift.
Fast & Furious opens with an on the road heist in the Dominican Republic that has more interesting action than anything in Tokyo Drift. Dominic has a new crew, including Han from Tokyo Drift, but since he’s dead, this must actually take place before the third movie. Han even mentions something about going to Tokyo soon.
Paul Walker’s character has somehow made the career journey from LAPD to wanted felon cooperating with the feds in Miami to FBI Agent in back Los Angeles. He’s trying to take down a crew of drug smugglers who happen to use fast cars for their smuggling.
The smugglers are using a gigantic underground tunnel the likes of which hasn’t been seen on film since Temple of Doom. Given that they have this elaborate tunnel, I’m not certain why speed really matters, but if this franchise has taught me one thing, it’s that you shouldn’t ask ‘why’ when watching a Fast & Furious movie.
Fast & Furious is a marked improvement over Tokyo Drift. The action set pieces are fun to watch. But it’s still a check-your-brain-at-the-door action movie for people who thought The Bourne Identity was too brainy.
If you want no major spoilers, don’t read any more of this review.
Still here? Okay. These movies aren’t much for character, but one of the few things they did with Dom back in the first movie is talk about how important his Dodge Charger is to him. He wrecks it in the first movie and his sister Mia has restored it this movie, but it gets destroyed during the big tunnel chase. However, that’s okay because for some reason it’s inexplicably fine for the final scene where they’re breaking Dom out of the prison bus. I suppose in the months between his being arrested, being put on trial, and sentenced, Mia could have restored it again.
There’s a lot in Fast & Furious that requires you to have a lot of stock in these characters in order for you to care. The problem is that the franchise never did much character work to make you care. Yes, we’ve seen these guys in multiple movies, but so what. I get that it’s a brainless action movie, but if they’d spent some time doing character work, the entire franchise would be better for it.
Fast and Furious is available to purchase at this link15.