It may have Diesel, but ‘F&F’ franchise is out of gas

Posted: April 02, 2009

I'll now deliver the stunning news that "Fast and Furious" is not a very good movie.

Vin Diesel will not be nominated for an Academy Award.

Neither will Paul Walker, unless there's an Oscar for looking like Peter O'Toole would have looked if he'd been a surfer.

No prizes for writing or directing, either, unless you count the Razzies.

None of this will be an obstacle to fans, who go to "F&F" movies (this is No. 4) to look at cool cars, to listen to their growling engines, to ogle girls of many ethnicities as they rub their bumpers up against the cars of many nations. (Everyone in the movie is 20 years old, or meant to be. There are vintage cars, but no vintage people.)

At various points, for no apparent reason, the party girls start kissing each other, the kind of lascivious stunt that used to be confined to soft-porn and Larry Clark movies, but has now gone mainstream.

The "F&F" franchise has produced movies of varied quality (this is the worst), all built around the commercial premise that moviegoers like fast cars/fast women more than they dislike cheesy movies. "Fast and Furious" milks the cars/chicks/hip-hop vibe for all it's worth, which is roughly $8, if you're male, 18 and under.

Diesel is still the outlaw driver, Walker still the fed infiltrating outlaw-driver culture - in this case the drivers are being used to ferry heroin over the U.S.-Mexico border.

There are high-speed tryouts on the streets of Los Angeles, high-speed desert smuggling runs, presented unevenly by "F&F" veteran director Justin Lin. There are a few decent sequences, but many fake-looking digital stinkers, and a general vid-game look of flashy incoherence. (The big death-race finale in the Mexican desert won't erase the memory of "The Road Warrior.")

One thing worth noting is how gas-happy the movie is. GM may be deader than Henry Ford, but Walker and Diesel are still driving around in a Hummer, smashing stuff up on their way to L.A.

Yes, that's still smog hovering over the city, and, yes, "F&F" drivers are still getting five miles to the gallon and making wimp jokes about the Prius.

"F&F" has more shots of oil derricks than "There Will Be Blood," only here you get Diesel standing defiantly to one side, gym-buffed arms folded defiantly.

This movie isn't one for the Academy, but one for the time capsule, for sure.

Was the Hummer really considered a passenger vehicle, granddad?

And was the guy's name really Diesel? *

Produced by V*n D*esel, M*chael Fottrell and Neal H. Mor*tz, d*rected by Just*n L*n, wr*tten by Chr*s Morgan, mus*c by Br*an Tyler, d*str*buted by Un*versal P*ctures.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|