Arts and Entertainment

Fast & Furious takes off

By Artie Augustyn
Published: April 2009

Writing a review for a car-junkie action flick like Fast & Furious almost seems pointless: if the next 750 words were to describe a film that would burn out your eyes, deafen your ears, and condemn all of your family and relatives to eternal damnation in hell you’d probably still check it out. However, fear not! Your family is safe, and your body parts will be fine.

Fast & Furious is a typical, but enjoyable thrill ride. Although it never exalts over the title of “summer action flick, you feel like it should have to.

Fast & Furious is the fourth film in the series, but chronologically it takes place in between 2Fast 2Furious and Tokyo Drift.

This film is noteworthy in comparison to the others since it reunites Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. The story follows both characters as they pursue separate but intertwined personal vendettas against the same force. Luckily, all the conflicts are set up within this film, so you do not need to have seen the previous three films to understand what’s going on.

The plotline provides some interesting twists and turns throughout and ends on an unexpected, but satisfying close.

The narrative keeps the pace going, so you’ll never get bored from long scenes of blatant exposition or too tense from continuous action.

Speaking of action, there is a good deal of it in Fast & Furious. The film opens up with an explosive introduction sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film; expect a lot of explosions, car wrecks, and guys’ faces being smashed into concrete walls.

There is nothing super amazing or memorable about any particular sequence. It’s worth mentioning though that Fast & Furious decides to focus the cameras on the action, as opposed to the popular technique of quick cuts that make the audience feel like they are watching the adventure of a camera falling down a flight of stairs. You won’t need to worry about having difficulty following what’s going on in each scene or getting a headache from all the shaking.

However, in my experience, I found the film’s sound design to be a tad uneven. Dialogue is clearly spoken and interaction scenes are normal, but it sounds as if all the cars in the movie are running off of harrier jet engines.

The sound is so intense and vicious, it’s like you were in the front row of a Metallica concert. Never in my life have I experienced shellshock while watching a film.

In terms of characters and symmetry Fast & Furious does a pretty good job at creating humorous moments between its cast. The most reoccurring face-offs spawn from Paul Walker and Vin Diesel’s “bromantic relationship. The two have an obvious mutual respect for each other, but are willing to sacrifice that respect for a funny joke whenever possible.

Their childish bickering comes out in an endearing way, creating two very likable main characters.
On whole Fast & Furious is an entertaining action flick that’s aware of its audience and what people are expecting from it. You will not find any complex metaphors or narrations on society, only funny laughs and amusing explosions.

This installment is an improvement over the past two films so if you found any aspect of those movies salvageable, you will find something to enjoy here.
That being said, if you do not like car movies this one won’t change your mind. There are worse ways to spend your money: you could’ve seen Knowing.

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