Monday, 23 September 2013

Fast & Furious (2009)





















Isn't Han dead? oh no wait this is a sequel to the first film that doesn't ignore the second and third film but just takes place before them. So this is when Han was running with Toretto before he leaves for Japan...aaaah right. It feels pretty desperate for them to go way back and make a sequel to the first film after time has moved on with the second and third films. Did we really need to know what happened right after the first film? did we really need to see Han with Toretto? couldn't they just move ahead with a fourth that takes places after two and three? The whole structure of the franchise just seems so convoluted now.

So Walker is now an agent in a suit for the FBI, so he looks even more like Keanu Reeves in 'Point Break', really helping his impression ten fold...totally bra! Toretto's girlfriend has been killed by a drug dealers henchman, the same drug dealer O'Conner is after, so both end up going after the same cartel. At the same time Toretto is still on the most wanted list which is still causing O'Conner morality issues, anyway to hell with all that! cue the pointless street racing!

This film really does feel completely and utterly generic in every way. The plot just seems so pointless and uninspired, Letty is killed for pretty much unknown reasons (we don't find out why for ages), but I assume its mainly because Rodriguez wanted out of the franchise. From that point on its just watching Vin Diesel swagger from one set piece to another beating guys up or generally running away from the law.

I mean really, the main bad guy drug kingpin organises a street race through downtown LA just to recruit a driver for his drug smuggling operation. The whole sequence is so pathetic, all the drivers line up like they were top guns of the chav world...bling city, one guy is black, one guy is white, one guy is Latino etc...PC much? Its not even a sensible race, more like a destruction derby and completely unrealistic. I realise this is not a serious action film but come on, lets at least make the racing sensible, it is the films main selling point.

Oh...A hyper modded Skyline struggling to beat an US brick (American Muscle), really? I don't think so, import will always win. That Skyline should have been pushing 1000BHP, should have been if properly modded.

The tanker hijack sequence at the start of the film is just as dumb as the exact same sequence in the first film. Once again I gotta ask...why not just stop the tanker, take the driver out at gun point and then calmly take the fuel?? surely that's easier? Oh no wait the director wants to have an exciting chase sequence with lots of fast cars and a big explosion at the end, oooooh gotcha.

Then there is the quite plainly idiotic chase sequences through these underground tunnels across the US border into Mexico. I can't even begin to express how stupid this whole concept is let alone how awful it looks with terrible CGI. For starters who built these tunnels? how? when? how did the US border patrols not notice this massive undertaking??! How the hell does anyone know exactly where the entrance is to these tunnels when they are disguised as a rock face and you're travelling towards them at about 200+ MPH!

The sequences within the tunnels are just dreadful, it looks like a videogame. As the actors sit in the mock cars you can laugh at the hideous CGI rock formations whizzing past in the windows/rear windscreen. Again I know this isn't a serious flick but come on...this takes the piss. And we are to believe they are all zooming down these narrow badly lit mine shafts in super imports and US muscle cars at well over 150MPH?! really?

What I love about this franchise/film is the fact Toretto always seems to have a modded muscle car. Doesn't matter where he is or what's happened, he turns up with a newly charged up car...always American muscle. I wish it was this easy in reality haha. Even at the very end, O'Conner and what's left of Toretto's crew pop up to bust him out...all driving more expensive heavily modded cars! Where do they get them from?? how many Dodge Chargers have they gone through now? how many do they own? do they clone them?? Do any of these guys have insurance? wait silly question.

This film did well simply because the original cast came back, but I can't for the life of me understand how that helps. Yes I like Vin Diesel but the rest are terrible, the plot is formulaic and dull, the film is choppy and they have started to slide towards the action genre meaning actual street racing is out. But even the racing sequences are poor here, just ridiculous and show more resemblance to James Bond. Not to be taken seriously of course but this film has lost its originality and simply become a common action mess.

4.5/10