Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Fast and Furious.
- The Fast and the Furious
- 2 Fast 2 Furious
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
- Fast & Furious
- Fast Five
- Fast & Furious 6
If you have been reading along with my Fast and Furious reviews, you’d get the idea that I am not a manly man. I don’t watch football and drool over car magazines and talk to my boys about which engine is bigger or whatnot. No, that’s simply not how I roll. How I roll is…well…I like to sit on my rear end, watch movie after movie, and then write review after review. I don’t get out much, and if I do, it’s likely to the theater. Being a movie critic has its perks, but try as I may, it’s hard to escape a bias. Some things you just don’t like. When it comes to movies, I’ve never been a fan of…documentaries, foreign flicks, movies about cars, dancing, even movies about water I’m skeptical about. I try my hardest to be objectionable about these things, but I slip up every now and again.
The Fast and the Furious is a film series that I would have bet top dollar that I’d hate because it looked like movie-length commercials about cars, and that’s really not what they are. They are a set of films geared around a group of street racers that consider each other family. That alone isn’t very persuasive, but their characters are. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker especially are fantastic in their roles and you really believe their friendship. Throughout the film series, you meet more and more memorable characters, and the stories keep getting higher and higher in regards to how intense they really are. While it starts out as a seemingly innocent gang street racing illegally, it turns into undercover missions with dirty cops, drug and crime lords, and road heists is a common theme as well.
With each film comes a bar to meet in regards to story and action. The first film was geared more around character development and showing the world a different way as to how we view street racing. It mixed together the idea of police working with criminals to take down a bigger criminal, and because racing is a big element, the cars were practically characters in and of themselves, making the series something quite unique and special, even if you’re like me and not a big car guy. Every time a new film was released, we got more intense with the action sequences, and yeah…the series lost itself in that aspect. Too much focus on how it looked ruined the series a bit around Tokyo Drift.
They began to realize what they wanted out of the series around the fourth film, when they had the original cast return, however, this was only the smaller cast of the first film, and so it didn’t have as huge of an effect. Mostly because the plot itself was pretty forgettable. The series finally figured everything out in time for the fifth, Fast Five. That was the film where all characters from all five films gathered together and created something very special. It was a mix between its own series and a heist film not unlike Oceans 11. That mixture freshened up the series and made it, honestly, amazing. It is without a doubt the best film in the franchise.
Which brings us to the sixth and final film, which followed in Fast Five’s footsteps. This is the only sequel that feels right as a sequel in this franchise. It’s the only one that feels exactly like the last one, only with a different story. I wasn’t as much of a fan of this one, because it lost that element of a heist. It still had a great story, so I still enjoyed it as a close second. However, the lack of the heist, the lack of real surprises, and the tacky choice of bringing back Letty (who died in part four) ultimately made me rate it lower.
For the most part, I really am looking forward to Fast & Furious 7, because that will ultimately be the film people consider as Paul Walker’s final film. In essence, it’s the Dark Knight of the series, and they actually had to rewrite the script, presumably to add in Brian’s death – which will be huge in the series. Also really sad, because his character is a new father. I’m sure out of the entire series, this will be the most heartbreaking.
R.I.P. Paul Walker