Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious

“I live my life a quarter mile at a time.”

The Fast and the Furious isn’t that bad.

Pfft, guess it’s gonna be one of those reviews, huh?

Yeah, ‘fraid it is, fellas. Gonna be one of those days where Tim watches a bunch of trash and takes that trash to the curb. This trash has been waiting to be taken to the street for a long time.

The Fast and the Furious saga takes braindead to a whole new level. Transformers gets criticism, and in some instances. rightly so but The Fast and the Furious series is the cream of the crop, cherry on top.

It’s pandering car porn and scantily clad ladies. Pretty simple equation, not much processing involved with understanding this one and yet I have to admit this one feels more natural than that. It still loves sipping on that metal fixation but there’s an attempt at actual storytelling here. It’s not good but, ya know, effort.

Shame that’s the standard we have to go to these days, isn’t it?

“Well, did the crew try?”

Yeah, actually, I think they did.

“Oh, well that’s a good start.”

It’s mostly a film that is by no means suggesting you drive at dangerous speeds and put other people’s lives in danger but is possibly hinting to tap the gas just that little more next time you’re on an open stretch and have a chance to feel the need for speed. Whoops, wrong franchise.

There is that adrenaline rush that they’re playing with. The more you watch these, the more that little voice in the back of your head says breaking triple digits on the highway might not be so bad before the rest of you tells that part to sit in the corner until it decides to stop being stupid.

But maybe you should go free. Maybe you should just let it go, burn rubber and get to take the definition of freedom to another level. For some people, as is said in this picture, the car and the road are where they feel life is at its fullest.

And as stupid as it is, and trust me, it’s pretty stupid to even be discussing this, there is a part of you that remains curious, afraid you might be missing something. What if you were? What if you reached a whole new plateau of enlightenment when you fought the political establishment and tore through a fabric of reality, reaching another echelon of understanding? There is something surreal about defying everything around you, isn’t there? Flying 120, weaving through the pawns of the world. Maybe we’re missing something.

Only we’re not. Everything I just typed is something The Fast and the Furious wants you to think about but, unfortunately for them, it’s not something most of us has to think about very long if at all. No, we’re not missing anything. Driving with a death sentence doesn’t open your eyes to possibility. It’s how you get on The Darwin Awards.

I wish I could say The Fast and the Furious had more to offer but I’m not sure that it does. It is really playing that adrenaline chord hard on the strings and doesn’t seem to know any other tunes to play, at least not very well. It does have the family thing going on and creating a sense of community, like these drag racers have their own niche in society and so on but doesn’t focus on it too much before getting back to those sweet drifts, man.

I’m sure gearheads just love this stuff though. This is their baby, the thing they run home to work on every day. I don’t have an appreciation for cars the way mechanics do and that’s because I don’t understand how the parts all come together and form this master thesis of metallic art but I do know film and I know the focus on the cars is what this film is highlighting. It’s not character.

I will give the film credit for attempting to explain the thrill of racing. I can think of one scene with Mr. Diesel in particular that nibbles at that before someone on set must’ve yelled, “Shut up! Back in the cars!”

Before I head out, I need to mention this: this is a film made for stunt drivers. I can bash this film for its disinterest in character but I can’t bash the stunts. The film takes pride in that. At least they take pride in something.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (HerTakenCaptain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of Ultron)

80-89  It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The WorldThe 40-Year-Old VirginThe ConjuringSinisterOlympus Has Fallen)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHush)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The RoadDoctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Brooklyn’s Finest, Death RaceWind RiverTommy BoyDeath Note)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesPower RangersUnderworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsport)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (High-RiseMost Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturion)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The SnowmanAvalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe Visit)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Fast and the Furious: 57.

At the end of the day, I feel like The Fast and the Furious is a movie that’s already been made. It’s called Point Break. Both have corny dialogue, both are riding the fumes and vapors of adrenaline and both want the protagonist to break out the norm and join the cool kids. Difference is one of them has Keanu Reeves. I just don’t know if that makes it better or worse.

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