From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fast and Furious - C

Rated PG-13 for for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references, 107 minutes

"Fast & Furious": familiar ride, mindless entertainment

You've been down this road before. Three times as a matter of fact. The makers of "Fast & Furious" don't want you to call it "The Fast and the Furious" or "Fast & Furious 4" - just "Fast & Furious." I call "Fast & Furious" big, mindless, dumb entertainment that will make carloads of cash for its producers. It's filled with impressive car chases, stunts, sleek cars and handsome actors reading bad lines and trying to look good doing it. In other words, get ready for one of the biggest hits of the year.

"Fast & Furious" reunites the stars of the original movie, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. When a brutal crime brings down someone close to them, they head back to L.A., fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) reignites his old feud with agent Brian O'Connor (Walker). But as they are forced to confront a shared enemy, Dom and Brian must give in to an uncertain new trust and work together if they hope to outmaneuver him. And from convoy heists to precision tunnel crawls across international lines to the Mexican desert, the two men will find the best way to get revenge: push the limits of what's possible behind the wheel.

If you've seen the other movies in this series, you've seen this one too - absolutely no surprises at all. As a pure action-adventure film, "Fast & Furious" works good, but as anything else, not so much. The film's opening scene, a stunningly-filmed heist involving some cars and a petroleum tanker (and some of which has been seen in trailers for the film the last few months) is by far the best scene in the "Fast & Furious." Director Justin Lin (who directed the third "Fast & Furious" installment) has staged these enjoyably and impressively well, keeping the film's pacing up well that will keep audiences engaged away from the predictable story and especially the lame acting.

Paul Walker has to be the blandest, most boring action film hero in recent memory; his rote reading of the script makes even Vin Diesel's acting - grunting and huffing and puffing - look good (and physically too, Walker looks altogether puny next to the buff Diesel). "Fast & Furious" also reunites a couple of the ladies from previous films - Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez ("Lost"), but don't expect much from them (after all, this is really a movie by and for guys), especially Rodriguez, seen just a few minutes in a tiny, tiny role. All the scripts twists and turns can be seen well before the next mile marker, if you pay attention to where the film is going.

I enjoyed the pure adrenaline rush of "Fast & Furious" though it's utterly forgettable otherwise. It's a great escape and mindless entertainment away from some of the heavier films of the season. "Fast & Furious" arrives at its destination quick enough and just in time to leave it open for more of these. And guys in their big, fast cars will be eagerly awaiting to go down that road once more.

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