The pickings must be slim for Vin Diesel and Paul Walker these days. How else can you explain why they would come back to star in Fast and Furious when they left the series on high notes after The Fast and the Furious eight years ago? You can’t, and this half-hearted attempt to recapture what the franchise lost guarantees the pickings for these guys will remain slim at best.
Anyways, since they had the audacity to star in this movie and I made the mistake of watching it, let me go through the motions of telling you why you shouldn’t.
If you recall from the first flick, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) was an FBI agent sent to infiltrate the car theft ring led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). He fell in love with Dominic’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), got caught up in the rice racer atmosphere and ultimately let Dominic escape. Now they’re both inexplicably back, teaming up in a mutually beneficial alliance to infiltrate the empire of a drug kingpin known as Braga.
There’s not much else to say, other than the plot is so paper thin it is transparent. Writer Chris Morgan tries to spice this weak, seen it before story by infusing some nagging nuances to spice Fast and Furious up like: Dom still being a wanted man and Brian still being an agent of the law, and Brian having dumped Mia years ago and her not being so happy about seeing him again. Perhaps there could have been something more to these nods to the original but since the characters are so one-dimensional and poorly acted out, what little tension and resolution there is doesn’t mean a thing.
And then I realized, Fast and Furious could have had its story centered around barehanded fishing for catfish in a backwoods Georgia lake and it wouldn’t have mattered — it’s all about the flashy neon cars that make high pitched whining sounds when revved hard, heart pounding and reckless street racing, and the flashy broads who love them both. There’s plenty of all three to get the Need For Speed addicts, whom I presume this movie was made for, all sweaty palmed and blurry-eyed.
Problem is, aside from the opening sequence in which Toretto and team hijack a tanker truck while moving, there isn’t much to the races/chases to see that hasn’t been done a hundred times before. Hell, at least the utter mess that was The Fast and the Furious:Tokyo Drift showcased a new aspect of racing known as drifting. Things get so bad in this installment that two nearly identical chase scenes are filmed in the same “tunnel” between Mexico and the U.S. (I guess $85 million for production doesn’t cover what it used to).
I do have to credit to the marketers of the film though as they really got the tagline right for Fast and Furious. It reads: ‘New Model. Original Parts.’ It’s the first time I’ve seen truth in advertising although they could have gone a bit further with it. It probably should have read: ‘Same as the First. Only More Expensive and a Whole Lot Dumber.’