Fast and Furious (2009)

one spoiler ahead.

Oh it was fast. Oh it was furious.

The fourth installment of the series that became a cult hit was long awaited by its fans worldwide. Many, including myself, did not know what to expect. The racing aspect was covered in the first and third movies, while the second and this latest one involved more crime-busting action than racing. No worries, though, because high speed car chases still made for excellent scenes in this movie.

When The Fast and The Furious first came out, many instantly took note of this gutsy young movie with its forays into a car’s innards that made for stimulating visuals, hot young and new cast members who were tailor-made for the story, and a script that expertly explored an underground culture, making the dangers seem so fabulously cool.

Fast and Furious, I believe, retained that gutsiness introduced in the first movie and which lost steam in the next few. Who would’ve expected a death so early in the movie? Shocking, yes, and this, I believe, is what made people love or hate the rest of the movie.

My theory is that after finding out about the death, people’s reactions can go “What the f@#&?! What a load of crap!” or just plain “Whoa. What’s gonna happen next?” Those who reacted negatively were most likely to hate the movie while the opposite is possible for the ones who reacted more curiously.

But enough about my theory. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

It is extremely difficult to ask people to come watch a sequel with no expectations. After all, after a hit movie, one is bound to expect the second one to at least match its predecessor in terms of quality acting or plot. In the case of Fast and Furious, it faced a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to the hype that the series created. Was it as good as the first one? No, but it was definitely still a good movie.

In this first real sequel of the The Fast and the Furious, we see the same characters doing pretty much the same things they did in the first movie but in different environments. Brain O’Connor (Paul Walker) is out of his casual clothes and into a Fed suit busting crime. He still had that boyish charm mixed with a dash of street toughness that was admittedly a surprise and a delight to see when he bashed in an annoying colleagues nose on the wall (kids, don’t try this at home… or anywhere for that matter lol). Dominic Toretto and tough chick girlfriend Letty Ortiz were off in Mexico doing what they loved doing most: riding fast cars and stealing goods on the Mexican roads. Mia, Dom’s little sister, lay low in their house after Dom escaped the cops.

The death of one of these characters is the catalyst that drives the story forward. Yes, that death was such a WTF?! moment, but really, without it, how else will the story begin? It was the rage, hurt, and all these other emotions that moved these characters to do what they did. You cannot expect a sequel to be a quasi-carbon copy of its predecessor, otherwise it’ll be boring and frustrating. The elements that made the first movie such a success–the smooth cinematography, cool effects, hot cast members, an impressive in-your-face attitude and, of course, a kickass story–were more or less present in this one with some changes. Whether these changes are welcome or not depends on the audience.

What I liked about this movie is the inner conflict that each character had in the story and that which showed a more vulnerable side to the characters as they struggled. Dom and Letty were displaced, but the problem of being caught still hung in the air, and it was something neither of them could ignore for any longer. Brian had his own problems inter and intrapersonally, while Mia is left worrying about the people she loved.

With such a view into these characters’ vulnerabilities, one would understandably be worried about the decrease in action. There was a noticeable lack of car chases in this movie, although the car scenes that were present delivered just as much edge-of-your seat excitement as the other movies.

Downside? Minor, really, but I couldn’t keep track of the black bad guys. You know, the one that killed that character, and the one that pissed Dom off (and vice versa) at the “tryout.” Also, if you haven’t seen the first installment, you probably wouldn’t get any of the jokes uttered in the movie (like my friend who watched with me lol).

Ah well. I give this 3.5 stars for the action and “humor.”

 

—- delayed review, sorry. got writer’s block. and i rushed the ending. too lazy.

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