FAST FRIDAY | Fast & Furious

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We are now getting to the thick end of the Fast Friday articles, we started with the highs of the first movie, waded our way through the sludge of the second, slide expertly past the third and have firmly parked up beside the forth movie in the franchise ‘Fast and Furious’.

Film Title: Fast & Furious

The director of Tokyo Drift returned for this movie and I think it really benefitted the franchise. Justin Lin spoke of how he had a very clear vision for this film, to return to the original movie’s roots, style and heart. Perhaps the most noticeable similarity between this movie and the original is the cast. Not since the original movie 8 years before had the cast of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodreges gotten together and I think any fan of the franchise had a big smile on their face when they first seen the trailer with the guys involved.

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Although the two movies might have shared cast, location and even some cars that is where the similarities stop. In my opinion the main theme and focus of this movie and franchise as a whole shifted, it was no longer about cars with some cool action mixed in, the franchise shifted to being an action movies with some nice cars fired in.

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Lets start at the beginning, the opening sequence. The idea of jacking a truck from moving cars seems familiar but if the first movie opening scene was a 1600cc NA block, this movie opened with a nitrous fuelled V8. The quality of the action, realism of CGI graphics and the pace in which the scene runs is fantastic and really sets the film up for what is to come.

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The story of this movie really kicks off with the death of Letti, whist trying to earn a clean record for Dom with the FBI she is betrayed by the the crew she is undercover with. Dom secretly returns for the funeral only to see Brian has returned to his cop roots (guess his pockets became empty again cuz). We then are taken on a roller coaster ride of Dom seeking vengeance and Brian seeking justice. Although their goals may be different, naturally their paths cross and they end up working together.

Film Title: Fast & Furious

This movie is unlike the others where the plot is strong enough to hold the audiences attention throughout and at no point do you start to hope a nice car comes on the scene to brighten things up a bit. Even though the focus is firmly on the action and plot, the car race scenes thankfully are not over looked. Throughout the movie we get to see several top notch race sequences, my particular favourite is Brian’s Skyline up against Dom’s Camero. Brian’s inability to defeat Dom in a race continues into this movie and you can’t help be enjoy the smug look on Dom’s face at the end of the race.

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Perhaps out of all of the movies so far this has the strongest storyline. Not a huge challenge you might think, but when you break it down and remove the car ‘gimmick’ (outside world’s opinion, not that of Autolifers) the plot can stand alone. A wanted criminal leaves the love of his life to take the heat off her keep her safe, she dies trying to earn his freedom, he seeks revenge whilst working with a man who once betrayed him and his family. Not academy award winning quality but non the less still it is still pretty entertaining.

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The cars themselves in this movie are of a similarly high standard. From Brian’s R34 Skyline with a GTR engine conversion to the usual mixture of American muscle cars Dom enjoys, they all catch and keep your attention and i’m sure I’m not the only one to notice the rather tasty s15 Silvia near the start of movie. The producers and writers thankfully didn’t overlook the fact that even though the focus of the movie might have shifted the majority of the audience and fans are still petrolheads and demand to see some beautiful machinery throughout. This film doesn’t disappoint.

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With the other movies I have tried to look at if and how they affected out own car culture, with this film I have come to the conclusion that they had no influence on our own culture at all. I also feel that at no point did we get a look into a car scene of anytype. With it’s predecessors we got to see American Culture and it’s underground race scene, Japanese drift culture and how it looks to the outsider. This film and maybe franchise as a whole as I have mentioned earlier has now turned to action over asphalt and guns before gears. Don’t look at this movie as a ‘car film’ but rather a sweet ass action movie with nice cars and some cool race scenes.
 
Words: David Murphy
 

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