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Fast & Furious
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz and Laz Alfonso
Director: Justin Lin
Scriptwriter: Chris Morgan on characters created by Gary Scott Thompson
Composer: Brian Tyler
Cinematography: Amir Mokri
Universal Pictures
Rating: PG 13 for action sequences, sexual content, drug references and violence
Running Length: 105 minutes
Don't try this with your car. This disclaimer comes at the end of  Fast & Furious, but should be repeated every 15 minutes or so. Yes, Vin Diesel is back as the car-jock street racer with a heart and a sister (Jordana Brewster) he protects. Paul Walker (a lookalike for Paul Bettany) is the government agent who is sort of after Diesel, but in past films, lets him go. Michelle Rodriguez ("Lost") is also back as Vin's girlfriend, Letty. Soundtrack by Brian Tyler is as pounding as tires on pavement.
The story begins in Central America, where a gasoline hijacking is about to take place. Through intricate maneuvering, specially designed pick-ups try to pry apart the tanks of gasoline a truck is hauling through hilly terrain. It almost is accomplished and with Vin at the wheel, plus Michelle climbing the truck, you are in the action. Part of the sequences in this film are computer-generated, but they blend in with real action.Timing is everything, especially when driving your vehicle just under an on-coming massive object. Something like trying to spring under a T-Rex on the move.
Two stories are going on at the same time. Vin is trying to find the killer of someone close to him, while Paul is trying to find the leader of a drug cartel and bring Vin in (again). Women are in the film as dressing and then it is back to the boys and their cars. You have never seen a garage or garage floor so clean, plus no one has dirty overalls or fingernails and Paul Walker gets regularly beat up and still manages to come back looking clean. Vin is always wearing a white shirt. Government agents are generally clueless and the best place to hide something is right under their noses.
Vin Diesel is listed as one of the producers and it is good to see Vin back in his element as this street racer. The audience feels comfortable with the word play between he and Walker and I hope this franchise continues, even though the amount of gasoline consumed to film it would power a fleet of trucks. As far as villains go, John Ortiz (Campos) and Laz Alonso (Rise) do it right, as boss and right-hand-man and are a team unto themselves. Let's face it, though, even though Diesel and Walker are the stars, the real stars are the cars themselves with brilliant paint jobs, chrome to dazzle the eye and enough hardware to match a rocket launcher. Take this film with a grain of salt and when you come to a red light, think again when it turns green. Diesel just might be barreling down the street at that moment.
Copyright 2009 Marie Asner




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