Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Fast and the Furious

In 2001 Universal Studios released The Fast and The Furious, starting a franchise that has spawned six sequels and has grossed over $2 billion worldwide. Borrowing its title from a 1955 film and taking its story from a magazine article on illegal street racing, one thing is for sure:  This ain’t your daddy’s drag race. So, let’s grab the nitrous, strap the Nanobots in the jump seat and see if The Fast and The Furious lives up to the hype.

  • We start with two short action sequences that mean nothing to us because we haven’t met anyone yet. = -15pts
  • Meet the team! Vin Diesel Street Racing™ is: Vin Diesel (natch), Vin Diesel’s Girlfriend, Twitchy Genius Mechanic Kid, Captain Furious, and Other Guy. Vin Diesel’s other venture, The Vin Diesel Roadside CafĂ©™, is run by Vin Diesel’s Sister. = +7pts
  • Congratulations, Captain Furious! You just started a fight with a guy over a tuna sandwich. Bet you’ll be as surprised as we are that this guy turns out to be the film’s protagonist. = -27pts
  • Vin Diesel’s arms are huge. Beefcake! BEEFCAKE! = +20pts
  • Minute 11 of this film sees the arrival of the car racing/chicks in leather pants/Limp Bizkit soundtrack part of the film. Whew, just in time. = +25pts
  • After Vin Diesel wins the big race against Protagonist, they trade barbs in front of the crowd. Oh no, he din’t. = +5pts (Oh yes, he did!)
  • In order to escape the scene of an illegal street race, let’s have a high speed car chase followed by a high speed car chase. = +13pts
  • Protagonist aids Vin Diesel in escaping the cops. Yay! = +10pts 
  • … Right into the territory of Rival Chinese Racing Team™. Boo. = -10pts (a wash)
  • Well, it’s obvious that Vin Diesel has a history with Rival Chinese Racing Team™ (RCRT) that hang out in Kung-Fu Town™, as they have a conversation about things that neither we nor Protagonist understand. = -12pts
  • It seems that Captain Furious’ only job is to keep telling Vin Diesel that Protagonist is a cop. Well, that can’t possibly be tr…Oh, it’s true. = -7pts
  • Protagonist becomes New Guy. He’s in! = +15pts
  • Twitchy Genius Mechanic Kid should be doing a lot more with his life than fixing engines for these lunk-heads, but is suffering from a made-up Hollywood learning disability.  Dear Writers, You do know that ADD isn’t the same thing as Autism, right? I think you meant to go with Autism here. In 2001=0pts. In 2013= -40pts
  • We're not an expert on police procedure, especially Undercover Ops, but We're pretty sure, “I don’t care if you have to blow your cover to hell, just make this case!” isn’t the way it works. = -13pts
  • “You better break this case in 36 hours!” Wow, who knew undercover cops had such tight deadlines.    =-10pts
  • RCRT™ has a warehouse full of electronics that are paid for and not the stolen electronics the undercover cop/New Guy is looking for. That’s a mistake we all would have made. = -25pts
  • Michelle Rodriguez is badass. That is all. = +20pts

  • Let’s have a break in the illegal street racing action for some illegal drag strip racing action. = +10pts
  • Twitchy Genius Mechanic Kid is racing for pinks? I mean, his car is impressive, but it’s no Greased Lightning. = -12pts
  • Even in a fake movie fight, having Vin Diesel on top of you, punching you repeatedly in a full on rage-a-sode must be terrifying. = +9pts
  • Note to Captain Furious: When riding outside the cab of an 18-wheeler in a high-speed stunt that goes wrong, leave the helmet ON! = -17pts
  • Also, we would like to take a moment to remind the driver of the 18-wheeler that he has brakes. And can use them at his discretion. And he should do that instead of reloading his shotgun to shoot a guy off the hood of his truck while driving it in a perfect straight line. = -11pts
  • Hey Captain Furious, we bet you’re happy that New Guy is a cop now that you have been shot in the middle of nowhere and he can call for an instant air lift to save your sorry ass. = +3pts
  • Twitchy Genius Mechanic Kid is shot by RCRT™doing a motorcycle drive-by. Hey, New Guy, how about using some of your magical calling-for-help powers that being a cop affords you in this universe. No? Oh. OK, then. = -50pts
  • Another high speed chase. Only this time, it’s cars and motorcycles. It’s like a totally different thing! = +12pts
  • Whoa, dude, you’re a cop and you just shot a member of RCRT™. Don’t you have to call that in or something? Ah, fuck it, let’s race a train! = -16pts
  • New Guy pursues Vin Diesel on yet another high speed chase. = -15pts
  • New Guy must bring in this electronics thief in the next 2 hours or the terrorists are going to set off the nuclear bomb under the White House…no, wait, that’s Jack Bauer. Will someone please tell us why this is so important? = -25pts

  • So, New Guy, after chasing Vin Diesel down and causing him to wreck his Charger, you’re just going to let him go? If you didn’t want to be a cop, why didn’t you just say so? You’re doing all this just to get back at your dad, aren’t you? Yeah, we could tell. =-16pts.
Total= -172pts.

Available on DVD, Netflix Disc, Amazon Instant, or just stream it for free off the internet 

This movie ends with a lot of unanswered questions, but by now we are too exhausted to care. The ‘bots made it to the finish line, but not without a few casualties. If you are looking for Shakespeare, you ain’t gonna find it here. If you want a solid action flick and don’t want to have to think too much, trust us, you could do a whole lot worse.

Score Technician: Stacey Hanlon

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