Movie Reviews: The Fast and the Furious
   
 



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Studio:
     Universal (1 hr. 47 min.)
Plot:
     A rookie cop goes undercover posing as a street racer to investigate truck hijackers.
Cast:
     Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez and Matt Schulze
Rating:
     PG13
Bottom Line:
     **

Coverage:

The warning is on the label.

"The Fast and The Furious" is a high-octane, white-knuckle-MTV meets illegal California street racing joy ride. From it’s opening shot, it’s made clear that the stars of the film are hyped-up street rodders who frame-by-frame zoom across the screen at such hyper-speeds, even racing enthusiasts can barely distinguish the car models. But that’s OK, because the audience is already thoroughly confused by the rapid-fire images of the races, which make it hard to tell the winner.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Between the racing scenes, the filmmakers did manage to slip in some semblance of a plot. Unfortunately it makes little or no sense at all.

The story involves an undercover cop (Paul Walker) trying to bust a truck hijacking ring led by baldie bad guy, Vin Diesel. And thus lies the problem with film. Vin Diesel’s crew is ripping off truck loads of DVD players (which by the way cost about $300 each) to pay for their $100,000 racing cars.

Now, I’m not a mathematician. But with all these expensive cars to build and maintain, if you do the math, well…I mean, it just seems like the hijackers would need to commandeer the entire production facilities at both Sony and Panasonic to support their racing habit.

And forget about the fact that there’s never a cop in sight when these gear-heads are racing 140 mph down major LA arteries and intersections.

Also, without fail, the villain in these types of flicks always has a cute sister that the cop falls in love with. And so we’re forced to sit through the worst subplot of the summer.

Furious’ plot is slightly reminiscent of the Keanu Reeves’ undercover drama "Point Break." However, instead of trying to catch surfer bandits, Walker is after an underground racing circuit that fuels a gang rivalry between Black, Hispanic, Asian and white street racers. Like Reeves, Walker successfully infiltrates the gang of robbers and so things go — on and on — until the inevitable final showdown between the villain and the hero — who, of course, actually like one another.

But having said all that, if you feel compelled to give the producers of "The Fast and The Furious" your hard-earned dollars, fear not, the street racing should keep you awake, since the hot rods have more character than the actors.

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