After the horror show that was The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, it was a huge surprise that Universal commissioned a new film in the franchise, never mind bringing director Justin Lin back on board. But as often is the case in the movie industry, money speaks. Tokyo Drift made almost $160m at the box office worldwide, so you can see why they wanted to keep the dying series another bolt of life.
This time around the original cast return. After he turned down the sequel because he wasn’t offered enough money, Vin Diesel and his flailing career must have screaming with delight when Fast & Furious dropped on his door. Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster complete the line-up, all of which, appear to have dropped right out of the original.
Diesel’s Dominic is still a street racer, making money from highway robberies alongside girlfriend Letty (Rodriguez) but after a near fatal mission, and the police’s ever closer clutch, he runs away from his life, Letty and all, to try and protect those he loves from the eventual repercussions of his way of life. Forging a new live, Dominic finds out Letty has been murdered and in a typically vigilante fashion, vows to avenge her death.
Brian (Walker), after his undercover work in the original film, now finds himself working for the F.B.I., and is trying to track down one of LA’s biggest drug lords. The pair soon cross paths, and realising they are after the same foe, join forces to bring down cartel leader Braga for good.
If the plot sounds deep and involving, then I’ve already overplayed it. After the breathtaking opening scene as Dom and co. steal the petrol containers off the back of a haulage truck in their super-charged motors, the narration and plot is throwaway, and while the writer try to force audience involvement with cutting scripting, you couldn’t care less for the characters.
Some of the chemistry carries over from the original film, but it doesn’t help Fast & Furious from being a very one dimensional experience. As mentioned, the car chases are very choreographed, though for a car film, you should hope so, and the often ridiculous and unbelievable driving can add some fun, however, Fast & Furious is one step too far in the franchise.
Here’s hoping this is the last, but after the huge amount of money it has taken already in the States, don’t be surprised to see a 5th.