Everyone is talking about The Fast and the Furious, the street car movie that are defying critics and box office analysts alike, raking in a humongous profit as it takes its time through theaters. My expectations were low about the film but I went to see what everyone was raving about, and after coming out of the theater, I am still trying to figure out what everyone is raving about. The Fast and the Furious, amidst some intense racing moments, is cheesy and dumb, and not worth the time of any serious moviegoer.
Now, the best reviews have come from car lovers who admire just how 'realistic' the racing scene is in the movie. I don't know anything about cars, and there is a lot of dialogue about cars in the movie, but I should be able to enjoy a movie without knowing the gritty details. However, I cannot see how even people who do know a lot about cars can like this movie, because the acting is so bad, the characters so shallow, the dialogue so poor, and the plot so crumby.
The Fast and the Furious is about a cop who goes undercover with a bunch of street racers because someone with a few nice cars is stealing merchandise from semi trucks. Now, it really isn't explained how the link between truck robberies and street car racing is made, except for the robbers having nice cars, but that's how it goes. To make things more 'complicated', the cop finds a love interest in the main suspect's sister, which adds conflict to his duties, even though he's only known her for a couple weeks.
If the plot isn't bad enough (see what happens at the end of the movie), the acting is downright dreadful. I'm sort of a laidback fan of Vin Diesel, not for his movies necessarily (Pitch Black) but just for the fact that he brings energy to the screen. He does bring energy to the screen, but whether it is his doing, the script's doing, or the director's doing, we see why he is in the movies that he is in (Saving Private Ryan is an exception). Half his lines, when he is trying to be dramatic, he is shouting, and I have no idea why he is shouting. And he brings up stories about his dad that have nothing to do with anything.
Then there's Paul Walker, the new Keanu Reeves. In fact, both my friend and myself agreed that Walker sounded exactly like Reeves, and he's an even worse actor. I actually like Reeves and have seen a lot of improvement in his performances (The Devil's Advocate), but Walker might have no hope. It doesn't help that his character has no thought processes whatsoever, even though he is the main character, the cop. He repeats the same line twice, once before his $80,000 car is destroyed, and once right after, without even complaining about the loss of the vehicle. What happens in the ending is ten thousand times worse.
I must admit that The Fast and the Furious is modestly entertaining, but definitely something that could have been a lot better. The reason it is so popular is clear; the movie boasts fast cars and hot women, which obviously is all a movie needs these days to make a bundle. I, having some of my brain still active, need a little more than that, like a plot, good acting, good dialogue, or some modest balance of all of those. Furthermore, the car chases, besides being loud and fast, really are not that intricate or exciting.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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