Tuesday, July 28, 2009
DVD review: "Fast and Furious'
The "Fast and Furious" franchise comes full circle with the fourth film, which reunites original cast members Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez as gearheads driving tricked-out cars through an improbable and seemingly endless series of chases.
Justin Lin, who also directed the third movie, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," delivers an aggressively stupid action film in which all the women are hoochies with ample cleavage and booty shorts, and all the men are so overpumped with machismo that every exchange of dialogue becomes a duel of glares and snorts.
The cars are the real stars of the movie. Both Diesel, as criminal Dom Toretto, and Walker, as undercover fed agent Brian O'Conner, drive a variety of cool vehicles during the course of the movie, nearly all of which end up in a pile of twisted debris. Toretto's black Charger makes a return from the first film, along with a number of American muscle cars and tuner imports.
The plot involves Dom and Brian infiltrating a Mexican heroin-smuggling ring. There's a big race to determine who will get to join the faceless drug lord's crew of drivers. Dom wins, but then Brian inexplicably is allowed to come along too, which kind of renders the race pointless. It's undoubtedly galling to the drivers who crashed during that race, at speeds that must have left them in the hospital, or mortuary.
"Fast and Furious" comes in single- and two-disc versions. Both include a gag reel and director's commentary by Lin, which tends to stick to pedantic shot-by-shot descriptions.
The two-disc version also includes a digital copy of the film, a short movie called "Los Bandoleros" about Central American crime, and a variety of making-of featurettes. One shows Vin Diesel attending stunt driving school in preparation for the shoot, will another is a breakdown of how they shot the opening heist of a big rig towing five fuel tankers.
Movie: 1.5 stars
Extras: 3 stars