Fast & Furious

FAST & FURIOUS doesn’t exactly powershift for a title, but after the stand alone The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, this 4th entry in the series brings back four of the original crew: Vin Diesel’s ‘Dominic Toretto’, bruising for a cruise; Paul Walker’s amiable agent ‘Brian O’Conner’, down for rule-bending; Jordana Brewster as Dom’s serious sis ‘Mia’ and—briefly—Michelle Rodriguez as lit fuse ‘Letty Ortiz’, Dom’s squeeze-of-squeezes. As mindless time-whilers, it’s not bad, directed with some gusto by Justin Lin, whose action staging—absurd but amusing—keeps Chris Morgan’s script from sitting too heavily on your brain waving.

Please let this go, before it’s too late.”  “It’s already too late.”  Whew, didn’t see that comin’.

Cutting to the chase/s, dour Dom and smiling Brian team up to deal with Mexican drug lord ‘Braga’ (John Ortiz); Dom for vengeance, Brian for something like The Law. Twenty-three year old Israeli stunner Gal Gadot adds slinkpower in her first international film role.

Locations used & abused include the Dominican Republic (one heckuva semi-truck-on-fire-over-a bluff situation), Panama, Mexico and faithful California. Some good stunts, effective scoring, the expected eye candy brigade. Cool end credits get crowds pumped for sequel.

Laid down for $85,000,000, it summoned the legions to rack $155,064,265 in the United States and Canada and $205,300,000 elsewhere to total $360,364,265 worldwide, 2009’s 17th biggest flick.

With Laz Alonso, Jack Conley, Shea Whigham, Liza Lapira (fairly charming), Sung Kang and Mirtha Michelle. 107 minutes zoom by.

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