Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fast and Furious Enough for You?

How do I describe Fast and Furious? I mean how do I describe which movie I mean? It's not the first one, Corman's 1951 The Fast and the Furious. It isn't Vin Diesel's 2001 The Fast and the Furious - which has nothing in common with the original but the name. It isn't either of the sequels to this like 2 Fast 2 Furious or The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, neither of which had anything to do with the previous. This is the 2009 version, with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker et al. Claro? Claro que si.

Now that we've gotten that straight, how was the movie? Well, it starts with an awesome setpiece - Diesel, Rodriguez and a couple of other carloads hijack an oil tanker in the Dominican Republic. This involves bootlegger turns and highspeed reverse driving, but most importantly, Michelle Rodriguez climbing around on and jumping between fast moving vehicles.

It's too bad, but I think the movie never gets up to this level of excitement again. Also, it's pretty much the last we see of Rodriguez.

We saw Rodriguez first in Girl Fight, which pretty much defined her style - a tough, strong woman who was not afraid of love. We loved her variations on this character in Blue Crush and Final Fantasy. Hard as nails, pretty as a flower.

The rest of the movie deals with Diesel and FBI man Walker going undercover as border runners trying to take down a drug lord. Diesel drives mostly muscle - Camoros, GTOs, etc. Walker drives imports, Nissans, Subarus, some German, I think. They drive them a lot - street racing, offroad racing, tunnel racing. These scenes are a blast.

In between racing, we get some family drama - with a fair amount of Diesel looking soulful. I shouldn't josh, he's actually pretty good. The non-racing scenes are rather nicely shot, too, with lots of warm low light scenes around a kitchen table late at night and so forth. But the speed scenes are the real soul of the movie.

In addition, there's a pretty fine soundtrack, with lots of Spanish language rap and reggaeton.

In conclusion, the best F&F we've seen to date. Needs more Michelle Rodriguez though.


mr. schprock said...

Needs more Smart Cars and Cooper Minis if you ask me.

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

Than you must have loved the Italian Job (both versions). Or are you thinking of that Bourne movie?