Fast & Furious delivers cheap thrills

The gang is all here as the original cast from the 2001 hit movie The Fast and the Furious reunites eight years later to deliver fast action and fast cars in Fast & Furious.
Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious series, takes place after the events of 2 Fast 2 Furious and before The Fast and the Furious-Tokyo Drift. Now that we got that out of the way, Fast & Furious opens with an amazing sequence that involves heists, big explosions and oil tankers. It will make moviegoers breathless with so many close calls. The man responsible for the heist is Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who is still on the run from the FBI with his girlfriend, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). A tragedy in Dom’s life leads him to return to the United States, where he reunites and teams up with friend/enemy Brian O’ Connor (Paul Walker) to bring down a heroin importer by infiltrating his operation as drivers.
We can admit as moviegoers that we do not go watch a new Fast and the Furious film for the acting. We watch these films to entertain ourselves and escape reality for an hour and a half or more. This is what Fast & Furious manages to do. We are greeted with images of slick cars and beautiful women that seem to fall under the category of “Look But Don’t Touch.”
Aside from the opening sequence, the film has many car races, including an interesting race that pits Dom and Brian against each other through the streets of L.A. where a global positioning system device in their cars tracks their movements. There are many close calls and many crashing cars as the racers drift in and out of the crowded streets.
Director Justin Lin took the helm following the footsteps of Rob Cohen and John Singleton. Lin took on the franchise three years ago with The Fast and the Furious-Tokyo Drift. He does a better job with Fast & Furious as he manages not only to showcase car chases and races, but also balance it out with other action sequences such as foot chases on the roofs and streets of L.A. Trying to follow the action with the camera bouncing up and down may be a little nauseating for people who have motion sickness.
Fast & Furious brings back the whole team that made the first movie popular, instead of just bringing one (Walker in 2 Fast 2 Furious) or the other (Diesel’s cameo role in The Fast and the Furious-Tokyo Drift). While it is fun to see the cast reunite again, the performances are what you would expect from a Fast and the Furious film. There is no Oscar-caliber acting in this movie and Vin Diesel and the gang try to get by with their acting capabilities and a bad script. Vin Diesel’s dialogue in this film can inspire a book called “How to Say Cheesy Lines without Looking and Sounding Like A Dork.”
While the dialogue is bad, the script also has some problems when it comes to the story. The mood of this movie is much darker than the previous installments. The movie takes itself too seriously, becoming one of its weaknesses.
Though this film has a weak script and insubstantial performances, Fast & Furious reunites the cast to bring a decent action-packed film that provides tons of eye candy and the feeling that summer is around the corner.
FAST & FURIOUS: 3 stars out of 5
The Cinematic is a weekly column that dives into film and filmmaking.

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