Tuesday, June 24, 2008

REVIEW: The Fast and the Furious

The Fast and the Furious

Year: 2001
Director: Rob Cohen
Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Rick Yune
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

The Fast and the Furious is what started it all. Street racing and car explosions were never really taken to the limit until this movie came out. If it wasn't for this series, you wouldn't be seeing exotic racing cars crashing into other cars which is what we all really want to see. The movie did great at the box office grossing an estimated $207 million worldwide on a mear budget of $38 million. It didn't stop there because the movie went on to become one of Universal Pictures best selling movie title of all time. I cant remember how many times the studio has released this movie on DVD with some in box sets. The movie became very popular that Universal green lighted two sequels, but also a fourth which is being planned to release next year.

Plot Outline:
Police Officer Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) goes undercover to investigate local street racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) who served 2 years in prison for racing. There have been hijackers robbing trucks of their merchandise and Dominic is the main suspect. Brian is on the case, but his judgment is clouded when he befriends Dom and falls in love with Dom's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). It is up to him to make the right decision and end this case.

I thought the plot felt alittle too simple and not enough. Don't get me wrong when I say its simple because it just means alot of people wont get lost. With that said, the movie also isn't very deep. Its pretty straight forward and I'm sure just about anyone should feel at home with it. I just wish there was more to the story because it is somewhat interesting. It just doesn't go deep and give us more character development. I can be alittle forgiving on the film's story because after all this movie wasn't meant to have a perfect story or even a great one. It was suppose to have exotic cars and sexy girls and god dam it, it does. The movie is full of some of the best and slickest cars I have ever seen. There all nicely customized and full loaded which really makes for some killer races. Not only that, but the girls in this film are as hot as ever. Seeing them by the beautiful cars really tend to make me jealous at time. I mean cars and chicks....what more can a guy ask for?

The cast in this movie is mostly decent. Paul Walker plays as Brian O'Conner and I think he does an average job here. He certainly doesn't give a good performance like he did in Running Scared, but I still enjoyed his character for what he is. Vin Diesel plays as Dominic Toretto and he too gives a pretty average performance. However, I did tend to like his work here more than Walker and he too was also enjoyable to watch. Jordana Brewster plays as Mia Toretto and shes fucking hot in this film and as usual in person. I really thought her and Walker looked good together and had only some chemistry here and there. I still liked her in this film though. Michelle Rodriguez plays as Letty and shes also kind of on the average side. I just wasn't wowed by her work here, but like the others, I still enjoyed her character. Rick Yune plays as Johnny Tran and he too looks like hes not giving much work here. He still has that bad guy feel to him, but his character could have been more better.

The visual look for this film is simply fantastic. I have read from many sites stating that this movie is easily demo material for a DVD and I cant argue with that. The movies source is in good shape, but has some small grain here and their, but its certainly not going to be distracting because overall, its pretty clean. Colors are very nicely lit and bold. The colors on some of these cars are just eye candy and make you wanna reach out to touch it. Skin tones are spot on and have a cool warm feeling to them. Detail is very strong with alot of textures being nicely seen. Close up shots of some of the cast members reveal alot of clarity. I can really see everything on sexy Jordana Brewster's face. Not only that, but the cars look even better. The cars look very real and just wonderful to glaze at. This is top notch by the guys at Universal and still stands as demo worthy even to this day.

The soundtrack in the film is well balanced and good to hear. The movie has a nice score that is composed by BT. It sounds really good and matches whats on the screen. It even has some other music mixed in here some rap and some hip hop. This is a music focused film by all means and the music sounds real nice. The film also features some very aggressive bass. The sound of cars crashing and exploding as never sounded this good. My rear channels are put to great use because I can hear every car like as if they were driving right near me. This 5.1 set up easily rocked my system and is one of the best I have heard. Dialogue is also very positive and nicely clean. Every dialogue is heard without any hiccups. Its crazy to think that a 7 year old film like this still manages to impress me because this is also demo worthy.

The Fast and the Furious is pretty damn entertaining. The story isn't deep and robust like I would have hoped for, but its still easy to understand. The cast doesn't give their best performances, but for some reason, I really enjoyed their work on this film. The visual look for the movie is easily demo worthy with alot of detail in the cars that make them look oh so good. The soundtrack has a nice score that goes with the movie and the film features some of the best bass I have heard in a car movie like this. I can literally hear every car screeching and turning, this is easily demo worthy and one that will put your system to good use. This movie wasn't meant to have a great story, it was meant to focus on cars and girls. To my extent, it did just that. I'm glad a movie like this came out because it really put the pressure on all those racing movies to step it up and match the awesomeness of this movie. This is definitely worth a look if your looking for some fun.

Grade: C+

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