Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fast and Furious 4: A Good First Ride

I have a confession. I have never seen a "Fast and Furious" film. Clutch the pearls! Scratch the record! What...! Before you snatch my black card and my avid movie-goer certification let me explain. Movies about fast cars and street racing just never really appealed to me. So why did I see this fourth installment of the popular "Fast and Furious" film series? Cause! I wanted to know what all the hoopla was about.

To say it had a fast start is an understatement. Dom Torreto (Vin Diesel) and his crew of drivers open the film with a heist that gives us a taste of their lives in the fast lane. But with authorities hot on Torreto's tail he leaves his partners, including girlfriend, Letty, behind and relocates to Mexico. When a call informs him of Letty's murder, Dom returns to LA to avenge her death.

Going undercover again to investigate Letty's murder, agent Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) is reunited with Dom and his sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster). A continuation from the last film, their relationship is tense due to Brian's job requirement of deceit. Having a shared enemy, however, forces the two to somewhat work together to find Letty's murderers and bring down Braga, a heroine dealer who uses racers as transporters.

In "Fast and Furious" Brian and Dom infiltrate Braga's operation as drivers. They race through busy city streets, narrow tunnels, and across state lines pushing the limits of street racing to the hilt. Directed again by Justin Lin, these scenes are definitely shot to make you reach for a seat belt. Quick edits, fast action, explosions, and near misses, may be a tad jarring to the eyes, but it definitely adds to the ride in watching this movie.

Leading their first transport mission is a modern Mr. T-esque, sans gold chains, Fenix Rise, portrayed by Laz Alonso ("Miracle at St. Anna", "This Christmas"). This former investment banker turned actor is definitely one to keep your eye on in Hollywood. He's been honing his acting chops for a while and in this blog's opinion, should have at least been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Miracle." In "Fast and Furious" his role is different than what we've seen him in before and he really brings it as a bad boy. Hit him up on Twitter @lazalonso.

So is "Fast and Furious" worth a swift visit to the box office? Honestly, having never seen any of the first three, I say, yes, especially if you like high action and beautiful muscle cars. With so much to hear and see it's perfect for a theater setting, just don't be surprised when you go at the number of teenagers vying for your favorite seat. For more info about the cast and downloads check out the tricked-out film website at


Mike said...

Never seen a Fast and the Furious movie either. After reading your post I kinda wanna check it out.

caffeine head said...

no matter how many Fast and Furious's they make, Vin Diesel will never top Chronicles of Riddick