Wednesday, 9 April 2008

The Fast & The Furious


Directed by: Rob Cohen
Screenplay: Gary Scott Thompson & David Ayer
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez & Jordana Brewster

There is no denying The Fast & The Furious (TF&TF) is a slick and often entertaining piece of action cinema. But like many of its protagonists and car racers, underneath the hood it’s just a shallow shell and another glossy Hollywood cash in on a current trend in popular culture: the popular trend being street racing, where kids have souped up cars and race them in illegal street drags. Despite the shallow people, cookie cutter plotting (the flick is a poor man’s Point Break with muscle cars) and inane rap and nu-metal soundtrack, TF&TF does have one thing going for it: the awesome car chase scenes. Actually, it has a couple of things going for it, as Cohen’s tight direction and the bevy of bodacious babes also help to make TF&TF a little more digestible.

Dispensing with plotting, character and the acting (Diesel and Walker are pretty good and show they are much better than the material on offer) I’ll cut straight to the chase: the car stunt and chase sequences are awesome. Cohen and his team have crafted slick, exciting, and most importantly, adrenalin pumping car chases that elevate TF&TF from the teenage orientated dreck it really is. Revved up cars chase trucks with muscle, slipping in between and even under the trucks with greased up effortlessness. From the opening hijack; to the rescue of one of Diesel’s crew; to the motorcycle pursuit, the chases never slacken and show Cohen’s skill at crafting action cinema. Aside from one sequence, the chases are pretty much sans CGI and benefit from the stunt crew doing everything for real.

Not a great film, but a film with some great sequences in it, TF&TF is certainly recommended to car chase enthusiasts. The horrible day glow cars may not have got my engine running but the chase sequences certainly did. Not to mention that bevy of bodacious babes. I guess I’m pretty shallow too.

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