Saturday, April 4, 2009
Fast & Furious’ is the fourth in a line of loosly associated, testosterone-fueled action movies featuring fast cars and eye-candy women.
Full disclosure: I’ve only seen the first iteration, “The Fast and the Furious.” It was high school, and all of the girls in the group talked through the movie while the guys drooled and cringed when a pretty car got smushed.
So, I knew what to expect, but I was a little bit concerned that I might have trouble following the plot.
They didn't have the "Fast & Furious" franchise or muscle cars around when Protagoras said, "Man is the measure of all things." But he could have used both to buttress his pre-Socratic argument.
"Fast & Furious," which re-teams Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for the first time since 2001's "The Fast and the Furious," watches everything through a guy-calibrated telephoto lens. A simple world where everything falls into an easy hierarchy is essential, so that the audience can concentrate on what's important: street racing and cheating death in slow motion.
The latest movie, which brings back Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster as the main-squeeze contingent, is fun and frantic -- like the original on double nitro. The new flick brings us back to the Los Angeles street-racing subculture that started everything. But gone is the young-boy innocence of the first, in which guys (and some driving gals) flirted with the Grim Reaper at high velocity like towheaded surfers.
Now it's about grim, grown-up consequences. Dom (Diesel) is wanted by the feds. Brian (Walker) is a fed. And the story roils with revenge, as both men reunite to take down a Mexican crime lord. There's a high-speed race to the border. There are FBI agents, SWAT teams and helicopters. It's all so serious now.