Fast & Furious

Directed By: Justin Lin

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster

"I don't know about your other drivers, but when I see flashing lights in my mirror, I don't stop."
-Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel)

Fast & Furious is the third sequel to The Fast and the Furious, yet it is the first true sequel to the original film with all the principal cast members reprising their roles, including Vin Diesel in his leading role as Dominic Toretto.  It's a damn shame that it took eight years to get Dom back in a 10 second car for more than just a brief cameo in a watered-down version of a Fast & Furious film.  If the quote at the beginning of this review proves anything, it proves that Dom is a badass driver we've missed sorely for quite some time.  Moreover, it's really good to have the whole gang back, with perhaps one exception whom I'll discuss a little later.

Five years after the events in The Fast and the Furious, Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are up to their usual tricks.  Along with their other crew members, they continue to pull off major heists in the Los Angeles area.  However, this does not come without consequences because the heat is on.  The cops want Dom's head on a platter.  To keep the ones about whom he cares most safe, Dom decides to leave the country.  After some time away, Dom gets a call from his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster).  Letty has been murdered.  His move didn't quite keep everyone safe.

In the meantime, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) has revived his career in law enforcement working for the FBI.  He's currently on the hunt for a drug dealer by the name of Arturo Braga (John Ortiz).  His investigation leads him to a man named David Park and to his old running buddy Dom, who has returned to Los Angeles in search of Letty's killer.  This definitely complicates things for Brian as his superiors want him to take down Braga and bring in Toretto.  Meanwhile, Brian tries to rekindle his relationship with Mia, but she can't just let bygones be bygones.  Though he has the law on his side, Brian did rip her family apart, and that leaves some scars.

Fast & Furious isn't perfect, but it sure proves that muscle beats import every time.  This fourth installment in the franchise is a major improvement over Tokyo Drift.  We're back in Los Angeles.  We've got the old gang.  We don't have teenagers.  All in all, director Justin Lin gets it right this time.  With all the hot chicks, big explosions, and 10 second cars throughout Fast & Furious, Lin takes the action and chase sequences to new levels as we get a taste of what made this series so fun in the first place.

For their first time back together in quite some time, the cast mostly gets it right.  As Dom, Vin Diesel offers more great one-liners than ever and keeps the action coming.  For his part as Brian, Paul Walker really does well on screen as an FBI agent though he sucks in any attempts at male bonding within the movie.  In her small part as Dom's late ride-or-die chick Letty, Michelle Rodriguez even brings her game.  As Mia, however, Jordana Brewster once again drops the ball in some really atrocious attempts at romance with Paul Walker and a bland performance on the whole. 

Fast & Furious doesn't offer world-class acting or intellectually stimulating entertainment.  That's not what it's supposed to deliver though.  We go to these movies for big chases and beautiful faces.  In this respect, Fast & Furious gets the job done and even puts the series back on track.  This fourth installment gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.  In the spirit of the original, make sure you're drinking Coronas.