A cool movie that keeps the franchise alive.
It was hard not to know what was gonna happen next.In Fast & Furious the original cast featuring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster returns. While everything is a bit more supersized this time around, there was enough of the cool aspect of the first movie to keep this high octane thrillride interesting. As you may recall, at the end of the first movie, Dominic Toretto (Diesel) leaves Los Angeles and Brian O'Conner (Walker) basically lets him go. Well, nobody ever stays gone forever (at least not in these movies) and when Toretto returns to the City of Angles, it isn't long before these two are squaring off.
However, the fact that these two strongwilled men find themselves up against the same enemy, only makes the action stronger as they now have to work together to achieve the same end. While Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are given places at the top of the bill, this seems like more a cursory nod than a creative one. These two women are involved in this movie but really only serve as flashy pieces of eye candy.
Fast & Furious moves at a breakneck pace and at almost 2 hours in length that is really saying something.
Director Justin Lin handles the commentary track here and he does a commendable job. I like this guy. I think it's cool that he broke into mainstream moviemaking with a small independent film like Better Luck Tomorrow, and then builds on that with a mix of ultra indy and ultra action projects. He talks about making this movie, working with the original cast, building on what The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen did with the first film, etc. He breaks down what it was like to create such big action sequences, but he also discusses little things he did to inject some Los Angeles reality into the project.
High Octane Action: The Stunts
The stunts of Fast & Furious are broken down in this featurette. While I am not somebody who goes to see a film based on the stunts, I will admit that when they are done with cars (and they look real) that has a way of impressing me. The stunts in this movie are nothing short of breathtaking. While this featurette is slickly edited and well put together, I would've much rather have seen things taken their time a bit so that we could have seen more of the logistics. In a lot of ways these things seem almost death defying, but the way this featurette is edited they have an almost "anybody can do it" feel.
Under The Hood: Muscle Cars & Imports
Driving School with Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel is on hand to give viewers a lesson in the preparations he went through to make his driving look legit in this film. The car culture is so large that they are ultimately the reason why these Fast & Furious films are successful. If the people behind this movie were not getting it right, there is no way that this film would have grossed $350 million dollars worldwide. While Diesel is in pure dork mode for this section, I do give him credit for not talking down to his audience.
Shooting the Big Heist
Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.40:1. I know that this movie is available on Blu-ray disc but it looked pretty darn awesome on this standard release. I found that the picture was really crisp and there was never a point where things were overly baked in any particular area. When one sees how quickly this movie moves, they will be taken aback by just how good a job Universal has done bringing it to DVD. Of particular note are the scenes where the action is absent. It would have been easy to let this falter, as the action scenes are so quick viewers may not notice, but thankfully everything was kept at the same level.
Languages: English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. The audio on this movie was also pretty darn hard hitting. I watched it on a regular TV and the sound just pulsated. Had I seen this movie in the theater that might have been a little much for me, but in the comfort of my home where I could raise and lower the audio, things played just fine. There was a little bit of a disparity between the action and the talking scenes, but on the whole everything was leveled equally and this helped viewers really get into this world.
The faces of our four cast members are presented on this front over with Toretto's muscle car looming large in the foreground. The back features a collage of about 7 images from this movie, a description of what this film is about, a Bonus Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.
I remember when I saw Vin Diesel at the end of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, I was pretty stoked. When one considers that the first film gave him a career (and legitimized him as an action hero), it was pretty sad to see him become the poster boy for the cheeseball, flatbill, black clothing, tattooed set. (Personally, I think that Diesel is a good actor, he just has embraced the dork aspect of himself to the point where that is all he allows people to see). I thought it was interesting that he turned down doing a sequel to The Fast and the Furious because his reasons were based on artistic merit. He and Rob Cohen didn't like the script or whatever. Yet somehow, they liked the script to xXx better?
So when this movie came around and all of the original cast returned, I was skeptical. It seemed pretty convenient and, more to the point, like a way to easily ignite 4 stalled careers. Well this did happen, but along the way Fast & Furious also turned out to be a really entertaining movie.
Fast & Furious was released April 2, 2009.