After The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift offered up such an entertaining spectacle of drift king oriented action, I was expecting something equally as fun and refreshing with the follow-up and fourth entry into the series, Fast and Furious. Not to be confused with The Fast and the Furious, which is the first film but without all the articles stripped from its title. Instead, we receive a stripped-down version of the series, and the weakest so far in a film that feels both dated yet uniquely bland, an amalgamation of all things bad and dreary. It’d be forgivable if it were fun, but this boring, asinine entrant into the series is nothing to write home about.
Once more pairing Paul Walker and Vin Diesel together, it’s startling to see how little the two can do together. Chemistry isn’t the issue here, they perform against one another amicably enough, but the screenwriting simply isn’t up to the task. Maybe it’s a lack of trust and faith in their leading performers, or perhaps it simply boils down to a severe inability and few ideas to be thrown around. Fast and Furious marks a pivotal time for the series, but flounders uncontrollably from generic plot to all-encompassing nonsense far too frequently. It doesn’t help that at this stage in the series neither Walker or Diesel have won me over with their charm. Their wry smiles and laddish attitudes, love for cars, coronas and chicks, it starts to wear a little thin once you realise that’s all they are. Vacuous gutter balls who are one poor catchphrase away from parody.
There’s little in the way of a silver lining, too, at least something to clutch onto would’ve made this piece at least a tad bearable. Nothing offers itself up in that regard, though, aside from an opening two minutes that show us the high-octane energy future instalments would lean into wholeheartedly. After this flimsy, brief opening and its horridly dated CGI, it devolved into forgettable fluff, a barren wasteland lacking in ideas and optimism. Trying to repair the relationship between Dom and O’Conner, director Justin Lin comes up extremely short in his sophomore appearance in the franchise, but I’m sure he can reverse back into the more promising land Tokyo Drift offered.
Neither fast nor furious, the fourth entry into this behemoth franchise fizzles out almost immediately. About as much fun as washing a car, Fast and Furious is a frustratingly boring film, one that wouldn’t be much fun at all if it weren’t for the jeering and heckling of good company. It leaves the sincere, family silliness of the first trilogy of entrances and shoots for straight action, missing entirely in its aim, failing completely to make even the slightest dent on the action genre. I can only hope that this mistake is not repeated in the future, but I’m tremendously worried that the depth of these “cars go really fast” movies will not be deeper than that of a paddling pool.