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FAST AND FURIOUS, 2009
Movie Review

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FAST AND FURIOUSFAST AND FURIOUS
Movie Review

Directed by Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

Heading back to the streets where it all began, two men rejoin two women to blast muscle, tuner and exotic cars across Los Angeles and floor through the Mexican desert. When a crime brings them back to L.A., fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto reignites his feud with agent Brian O'Connor. But as they are forced to confront a shared enemy, Dom and Brian must give in to an uncertain new trust if they hope to outmaneuver him. And from convoy heists to precision tunnel crawls across international lines, two men will find the best way to get revenge: push the limits of what's possible behind the wheel.

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REVIEW:

There is an interesting opening scene in Fast and Furious. Besides the terrific action sequences that we received, there is also a social commentary happening. Yes, I do know that this is really just a film made for purely entertainment, but there is also something else going on. Domenic is still doing what he does best in the first film, stealing moving objects that are worth a high value, but he's just doing it in a different country. This time he and his new gang are stealing a whole lot of gasoline in the Domenican Republic. But it's the gas and how they steal it is what was interesting.

If you look back at this film in 2029, this might be a dated scene and movie. Will we still be needing gas for cars? And will cars in general just be a means of transportation that will also be dated? And will the point of this film even matter? The plot of Fast and Furious is silly as it is. It's about a Mexican drug dealer pushing heroin back and forth from the U.S./Mexican border. And for some reason he needs a lot of kick ass drivers to do it. You'd think there wold be a better way!

But I guess that's not the point of Fast and Furious. The point is to have fun while you're watching it and for that core audience to enjoy all the cool cars. Cool cars that are currently being made my companies that are probably at their last ropes.

This is a car film and it has a solid audience, especially in suburbia where there are (yes, still) a lot of people with deposible incomes who love to buy, watch and admire the middle-class toys. And high powered cars are the top of that list. You ever wonder why car shows rack in millions of dollars? That's because people (men usually) love cars.

I was one of those kids growing up that my peers loved to hate because I was born into a GM family as my father was an upper management executive. With that job, he was allowed to drive all of the new cars that were coming out. And that meant I got to drive them too. So here I was a young punk kid driving all of these new cars that all my friends and enemies wanted to drive. And the kicker was that I had no interest in cars. It didn't matter what I drove, as long as I could pick my dates with them. It was kind of like someone having a father who was a major league baseball manager but had no interest in baseball. I would of hated him too.

What you learn in Fast and Furious is that the line between being a criminal and a law enforcement officer is very thin. This is a thematic that's been done to death in movies and television. The birth of this is the Western genre. Who is really bad and who is really good?

The question I have is does it really matter?

Brian is the FBI agent and Domenic is the criminal. Just like the first film. But we are told that Dominic is the better person because he has a code and Brian doesn't. So I guess the point of life is that if you have a code, then you can do whatever you want. In the mainstream world, organized religion is just a code that sets up parimeters for people to abide by and for people to do bad things because they have that code for backup. So is Fast and Furious really just another movie about religion?

Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) is the interesting character in the movie, but they give most of the screen time to Dominic (Vin Diesel) because I guess he's the more sexy character. Sexy meaning that he is the one who is the maverick who makes up his own rules. These are the types of characters that we audiences love.

I didn't really like Diesel in this film. I did a PODCAST a few weeks ago talking about 'What is COOL?'. What makes someone cool? We summarized that being cool is not trying to act cool. You know those people, right? The ones who are trying to be the cool ones in the room. The problem is that they always try too much and become not cool for attempting to be too cool.

That's what I think about Vin Diesel. He's just trying too hard. He's definitely no Dean Martin.

And the reason why this film has been made again is because Walker and Diesel thought they were cooler than they really were. Diesel especially thought he was going to be this big movie star after the first succes of Fast and Furious in 2001. What what he forgot was that the cars were the real star. Just like the monsters and droids were the real stars in Star Wars and not Mark Hamill.

So they're back because their careers didn't turn out like they thought they were going to. And that's why this movie doesn't work. Our main characters are acting the same way that forced them to do this film again. You think they would of learned something.

But if you like cars and terrific action sequences, this is the film for you. Director Justin Lin obviously knows what he's doing. Problem is that he's stuck with a flimsy plot with no depth.

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