I attended an early screening of this movie and received a promotional item. It was a book of matches. I opened the matches to realize that it was not in fact a matchbook, but a very small condom…with Fast & Furious scrolled on the cover. It made me laugh.
In fact, many parts of Fast & Furious made me laugh. Like when the actors attempted to act. Or when the screenplay attempted to tell a story. And who can forget when the director attempted to compensate!
The story is simple. A wanted man in the states, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is brought out of hiding when a heroin importer kills his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in Los Angeles. There, he teams with Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) in an attempt to get revenge and clear his name in the process.
With this being the original cast of The Fast and the Furious, which ended with everyone going their own way, the audience is treated to the obligatory “where did you go?”, “I thought you loved me!” scenes that reconnect the characters. And whether it’s Vin Diesel looking confused in moments of reflection or Paul Walker delivering lines with the depth of a mud puddle, we begin to realize how these actors came to be involved in a fourth installment of the series.
It certainly wasn’t because of a worthwhile script. That a story with no more than six plot points could make each one confusing and illogical is somewhat of a miracle. A racing-inspired movie contains one generic race and becomes the redheaded stepchild to Traffic. The dialogue is recycled from a bad Pennzoil commercial. And there is more than one occasion in which a character expresses a reason for doing something only to contradict himself the next line (no other character seems to notice).
Did I really expect more? Yes. I hoped for simple, stupid entertainment. What I got was one of the funniest movie-going experiences of my life. Usually that’s a good thing, but, well, let’s just say this won't have me backtracking to catch Tokyo Drift…