Fast X Review

It’s time to take a look at the latest Fast and the Furious film. As you can expect this one is going to be a ton of nonstop action and at this point in the series the cast is rather huge. I’d say the movie does a great job of giving everyone something to do. There are so many cutaways to different locations and it’s pretty much the Infinity War of the racing series. It’s easily one of the stronger films in the series and it really shows how this series has become consistently great ever since the 5th movie. It can now be compared with heavy hitters like Mission Impossible. Throw in the fact that this film is “Part 1” and you’re also guaranteed a fun cliffhanger.

The movie starts with a flashback to the 5th film introducing us to the new villain, Dante. He’s the son of the guy who got bumped off in the 5th movie and now he wants revenge. He has been biding his time for years now and is finally ready to make his move and take Dominic down. Specifically he wants to destroy his family first and then take Dominic down for the count. He will have to go up against an army of heroes though so does he really have what it takes? Well, time to find out.

So one of the benefits of a movie series is that you have a lot of time to introduce all of the characters and develop them over time. When handled correctly, an ambitious film 10 will always beat the oneshot adventure because you are able to make this as grand as possible. This movie brings in characters from so many films and so many plotlines that it automatically gives the film a big boost. It almost feels like a crossover to an extent even though it’s just one film. Particularly characters like Shaw and Jakob because they almost feel like they’re from different series.

The action scenes here are really on point as you would expect. The films have so many hand to hand fights now in addition to the car scenes and they all work well. The choreography is on point and it’s also nice seeing the different fighting styles. Jakob fights more like a special ops guy with precision shotgun blasts to the head, Shaw fights like an assassin using every trick in the book, Cipher fights with deadly short stabs, etc. At this point they’re all so powerful and some of these characters have to fight other established fighters which makes for a wild ride.

The pacing is also excellent. The chases and action scenes start off almost right away and from there it tends to be nonstop. The movie is long and it feels long, but in that time it still manages to cover more than you would expect. I like how the characters keep hopping across the globe into different countries. The constant change in scenery is nice and the film keeps up with the different song styles all throughout as well. The movies have always had a really solid soundtrack and I’d say this one fits right in. The songs always get your blood pumping as you get ready for more high intensity races.

At this point of course there aren’t a lot of actual races though. There are a ton of car chases and action scenes but there’s only one real race and it’s very short. It was still nice to see it for an instant though and I thought the movie did a great job of setting it up. We meet a hype character who has been winning a lot of races lately. She believes that beating Dominic will be easy, then you have Dante in his villainous car and one of Dominic’s local supporters. It had all the setup and stakes of a true race.

With this much nonstop action you may worry about it being too much but that’s not a problem. The action scenes are all different so that’s never really a concern. All of the best scenes involve some kind of action but the title never loses its heart either. My favorite moment was definitely when Letty decided to take down Cipher. Sure Cipher may be helpful in the current predicament but you can’t forget what she’s already done to the heroes so there’s no time to work as buddies. She just had to be taken out of the equation real quick.

Even with a film this great of course there will always be some issues. No movie is perfect after all. The weakest part in this one would be the main villain Dante. The film’s definitely playing him up as a super quirky villain. He has a lot of comedic moments in a dark humor kind of way like talking with dead bodies and generally acting insane. He probably laughs about as much as the Joker and Dante tries not to take himself too seriously. He’s always squealing and trying to play mind games on the heroes. So far we have not been able to really see him fight though as he folds like an omelet the instant the heroes finally get to him.

His planning is good of course and the guy is one step ahead of the heroes the whole time so you do have to give him a lot of credit. The guy is good at what he does and a true threat but I can’t say that I found him all that engaging or exciting as a villain. Personally I just was not impressed and he would be one of the weaker villains for me. His scenes tended to be the weakest part and you were just waiting for the heroes to step in. His intro scene of appearing before Cipher also had a whole ton of plot armor for him to get so far.

There’s also the one obligatory scene of Dominic driving towards a racing area where we get some random dancing and fanservice. I feel like they squeeze one scene like this into every film just for tradition even though it doesn’t actually add anything to the story. You’ll be rolling your eyes at that scene and just waiting for the next one but beyond that the rest of the film is definitely legit.

Meanwhile Cipher continues to be a great villain through and through. She really managed to overcome the odds by taking on such a large group of fighters. She was one of the big masterminds in previous films and I’m glad that she’s still got it. I did mix up her and Tess at one point because they look so similar but both are quality characters so that wasn’t much of a problem. Hopefully Cipher continues to get some more fights in the next one. Eventually they do need to take her down though, I hope all of the heroes hold a grudge like Letty and don’t just forget how evil she was.

Little Nobody doesn’t get to do a whole lot here. The guy continues to look incredibly unimpressive which is why we need the real Nobody back. I feel like this guy only exists to get styled on every single time. Tess was a fun addition to the cast though. I look forward to seeing her get to fight a little more next time but already she’s done a lot to prove that she is someone who shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Then there is Isabel who has a smaller role than most of the other characters but I liked her confidence in the race. She definitely knows how to race but at the same time if you’re Dominic you’re probably not worried. Shaw’s role is also pretty small here but I’d say in large part it’s because he would really steal the show if he was here longer. What are the villain’s really going to do against a fighter who is this skilled and prepared? Shaw is really in a different league from pretty much all the main characters here, even Dominic would likely go down against this guy. Always satisfying to see how he fights.

Roman and Tej have a lot of fun banter throughout the film as always. I tend to prefer Roman as a character because no matter how things turn out the guy always has something witty to say while Tej tries to bring the mood down. Their fight definitely felt like the most random part of the whole film though. I kept waiting for there to be a twist about how this was going to lure the villains’ out or something but I guess they actually did just need to mix it up a bit. Ultimately this subplot served its role well as the more comedic B plot.

Ramsey and Han also tagged along for the ride. Ramsey did her usual solid hacking and Han gave us a way to bring Shaw back into the mix so that was fun. In a way the characters didn’t get to do much other than just hanging out nd being themselves but that’s all you really need. Another benefit of this being a sequel, you already know the characters so it’s not like they have to be introduced again.

Then there is Mia whose appearance is small but she does well in it. She definitely still knows how to fight and gives the villains a really tough time all the way through. Hopefully they can incorporate her more into the plot again at some point. Then once Jakob shows up he really begins to steal the show in his subplot. The guy does a great job of looking after the kid for the most part and it felt like he kept a lot of the strength that he had as a villain. This guy isn’t going to go down easily and has a lot of his own contacts. Fans of the character should definitely be real satisfied here.

Letty does well as the main heroine. She is always quick to fight and did keep up with Dante for quite a while which was impressive. Whenever Dominic tries to leave on a solo mission she does not let him and that’s the right way to go. At this point they need to be a team so no running off solo like in the old days. At this point Dominic needs to be able to trust the team and she makes sure to press that point. Letty also more than justifies her own involvement since she can take care of herself.

Then we have the new government head Aimes who really doesn’t want to hear any stories and just wants to take Dominic down for the count. The guy is definitely as unreasonable as possible and doesn’t like the whole family approach. It is fun how he basically acknowledges that everyone always turns good and joins the barbeque by the end of the film. It’s the right level of awareness without actually breaking the 4th wall. In general I liked all of the callbacks here and references to different parts of the franchise. It worked really well.

Finally we have Dominic who is a great main character as always. He gives more lessons about just how important family is and never lets up on this. He goes through a lot here but always comes up with a plan and thinks things through. I really have no problems with Dominic because he’s just a stand up guy who always does the right thing and doesn’t waver. There aren’t any real flaws to point to here and that’s why he’s a character that everyone else can rally behind. As long as he has a car then he has a chance and that will always be the case here.

The film has a great cliffhanger to end things off. It takes full advantage of the fact that this is a multi parter and a two part film should never end with things appearing to be resolved. (Slight shots to the RWBY/Justice League film) This is definitely how you do it. Then you have an after credits scene which was excellent. One of the stand out scenes in the film. Now this isn’t how the film would play out but imagine for a minute if the second film only focused on the character who appeared at the end? Sort of like a redo but seeing if the strategy would work on this character. Trust me, I don’t think it will. This character does have some family weaknesses as well but he’s ready for action. The first thing I said when leaving the theatre is that the villain’s going to be in for a surprise because this guy won’t be going down the way a certain other character did.

New main character, new rules. This guy also isn’t hiding and the sheer top level confidence here was great. A super bold move would be not to bring back just about any of the characters from this film so the sequel is just the characters who were all right by the end of this one. Realistically though this is the kind of film where you’re expecting more of a full teamwork, celebration mood by the end. Nothing wrong with that either, but the possibilities for the sequel are just so good. X already set a high bar but the sequel could manage to top it and I’m eager to see how this plays out.

Overall, Fast X is a great film. It’s really got everything that you could want in an action thriller. A lot of action and a lot of thrills. Yeah that may just sound like more of the same but why fix what isn’t broken right? I would say there is probably still more action here than even in previous films though. It feels like the most nonstop out of all the films at least after watching it. It’s a perfect film for theaters in that respect as well because hearing all of the sounds and watching this on the big screen was a real treat. It may be tougher to watch if you haven’t seen the previous 9 but either way you want to catch this film before it leaves theaters because it is definitely on point!

Overall 8/10

F9 Review

Fast and the Furious has had quite a lot of solid films throughout the series. It started out a bit slow but kept on getting better by the 5th film. By this point we’re back on the way down a bit since there aren’t any Hobbs or Shaw characters to help keep things going. I think after you’ve been with those characters for so long it’s hard to go back to not having them around anymore. This is still a good film but you don’t feel like it’s quite on the level that they used to be at.

The movie starts off with a flashback about Dom and his brother Jakob as they were watching his father in a race before he was unfortunately obliterated in a big explosion. Dom find out that Jakob seemingly sabotaged the car and banishes him from the family. Jakob then went on to become one of the world’s greatest intelligence agents and works for many different villains on really difficult missions. Now he has captured Cipher and has access to some of the most powerful weapons imaginable. The gang are forced to call Dominick Toretto back into action but he refuses since he’s retired. The choice is taken out of his hands when his wife Letty agrees to help though so he tags along. Can they take Jakob down or has this man grown too powerful to be stopped?

I like the idea of Jakob more than the actual character. So you’ve got the long lost brother who is super skilled in a car and can match Toretto blow for blow. I mean that’s pretty cool right off the bat and I can even overlook how he just wasn’t mentioned all these years even if that is rather odd. No my main problem is that his character arc felt really rushed by the end and we didn’t get the satisfying clash with Toretto that I was waiting for. When Hobbs first showed up we had a great confrontation with Toretto that absolutely lived up to everything you could have hoped for. When Shaw appeared he also got a great clash. Jakob though? Nah not really. They get to talk and we learn more about the past but outside of a quick race and confrontation later on it isn’t nearly as grand. I feel like they fumbled this character a bit.

If anything Jakob’s best scene was when he was talking tough to Cipher. She tried to psycho analyze him and he just wasn’t having it. He had good comebacks for all her insults and just walked off. That’s exactly how you have to handle these manipulative villains or else you will always be in trouble. They could have probably shortened the flashbacks to when they were kids as well to be honest since those scenes weren’t as exciting. I think you could have condensed that really easily.

Now lets go back to the positives for a moment. One thing the series has always done well and continues to do well is delivering on a ton of nonstop action. The fights just keep on coming here and there are explosions around every corner. I think it’s safe to say that all action fans should be really satisfied while watching the movie. While the story may be more forgettable, all of the characters get their moments and that’s impressive because the cast is absolutely massive here! That also means the group splits up real fast so they aren’t all united until the end of the film.

The after credits scene here is also a lot of fun. A character that I had been wanting to show up at least gets a small cameo this way. I would have still liked more content out of him but I’ll take what I can get. He’s still a very powerful fighter after all so I expect he can beat anyone who gets in his way so the group is lucky that he’s basically a hero now. Perhaps one who is still very extreme and will crush anyone in his way but an ally all the same. The series continues its streak of great endings with this.

As always Toretto is a good main character. I really don’t blame him for wanting to get out of the business either. It’s a dangerous line of work to be taking on countries and such and now that he has a kid to think about he shouldn’t be taking extra risks. Once he’s on the mission he does use all of his resources to get to the bottom of it though. He does nothing halfhearted and that’s what I like about him. Letty also looks really good here as she was the one who was proactive about helping out from the start. She’s always ready to fight and isn’t afraid of taking the lead on these missions.

Roman and Tej mainly get the comic relief plots here. Roman does tend to really take down a lot of enemies when it counts though so you have to give him a lot of props there. He always pulls through and then Tej has the tech aspects on point. Ramsey is also important for helping on that end so the hero group really has a whole lot of talent now. Even Mia steps in to help out and it’s been a while since that happened. Now a big controversy before the film came out was Han showing up since we saw him die rather clearly. I will say that the explanation they gave here wasn’t very good at all. Like almost anything else would have been a better explanation. What would I have done? I would have had the cops run to the wreck and find Han alive in the explosion because he had some kind of sci-fi suit materialize over him at the last instant. That would have absolutely been more convincing if you ask me.

It is nice to see Han back of course but they could have tried a bit harder there. As for Cipher, it was nice to see her return. She’s easily the most personal villain of the group with what she did to Toretto in the past and I actually wasn’t expecting to see her again so that was a welcome surprise. The films are great at expanding the cast a whole lot but even then this one went the extra mile with a bunch of other characters showing up too. I actually don’t think Cipher is getting a redemption arc anytime soon so this is one character who is going to stay bad to the bone the whole time.

The film has a lot of music going on as the characters run around the planet and it works pretty well. The variety of the songs is good and most of these did land. I appreciated the throwbacks to Tokyo Drift as well. I would have liked it if the old protagonist there could have actually fought a bit more with the team though. He was a solid racer in that movie after all so I feel like he could have really contributed even though he hasn’t been in the game for a while. That’s just how good he should be when he’s behind the wheel since you never really lose those skills. They just stick with you through thick and thin.

Overall, F9 is a pretty good movie. It just feels a bit more forgettable than the others. Maybe it needed to pick a plot and focus on it more like the rivalry with Jakob. There’s a whole lot of untapped potential there. We find out some twists about the past of course but at the end of the day I wouldn’t say it makes Jakob look all that great anyway. Maybe the next film will help me like him more but with how his character arc went he’s already going to be rather different this time around. If you’ve watched the previous titles then you definitely need to check this out and I would still recommend it to the average movie viewer who isn’t into the series yet. It may not be the best one but it’s pretty fun and at the end of the day what more do you need than that right?

Overall 7/10

Fast & Furious Crossroads Review

It hasn’t been too long since I played the last Fast and the Furious game so it was time to check out the latest one. It has certainly raised the bar compared to last time and it’s a fun playthrough. It’s a bit on the short side though, you’ll certainly be able to beat it in under 10 hours. Aside from the first two levels which I played on day 1, I conquered the rest in one sitting. This is not a game you buy to play for a full month vacation.

The story starts by introducing us to the two main characters Vienna and Cam. They seem to be running away from some kind of dark past but have finally found themselves at peace in a new city. This doesn’t last though when one of Vienna’s friends gets himself wrapped up in some mob business that’s connected with a global terrorist group. Dom and Letty have been on this case for a while but the villain group led by Emil is rather tricky to pin down. They always seem to be one step ahead. Perhaps Vienna and Cam can help Dom’s crew gets the edge here. It’s high risk but then again, the main characters are probably doomed otherwise. Will they be able to gain enough skills to actually take down the villains or will it be curtains for them.

Right away you can appreciate the solid graphics here. The level designs are on point and the world feels really large. It’s really like something out of a Need for Speed game. Granted, I don’t think there actually is a free roam option although I could be mistaken. Each level makes you feel like you can just go off track and do whatever you want though. There are a lot of shortcuts you can use in each level by going off the path. Occasionally you will bump into an invisible wall though and the short cut ends up being the long way around. You have to choose your routes carefully but it’s certainly a good feeling when you find the right path.

The levels are polished and that’s absolutely what you want to see in a game like this. Now once in a while they can go a bit overboard on the effects like the desert level where you can’t see anything. It might be realistic but I’d actually like to see the level instead of sand clogging up the mirror. If you throw on your nitro while in the sand storm it’s really a trippy experience as the whole screen turns a dark red and it’s like you’re in the underworld. Beyond that level it’s always clear to see what is happening though.

The game isn’t very difficult. You should be able to beat most of the levels on the first try. The only two that gave me some trouble was one mission where you couldn’t let your partner die and one where you have to beat the main villain before he got too far away. That one was tough because of how fast he goes but fortunately each level has a lot of checkpoints so you never have to go too far. That’s definitely a critical point because having to replay a whole level would be unfortunate so this was just really good stage design.

The soundtrack’s more on the forgettable side. I doubt you will remember it at all. For the characters, they’re okay but the film crew steals the show so I wouldn’t have minded if they were the main characters instead. Vienna get a tragic backstory that we don’t fully learn about until the final 2 minutes of the game so the writers really took their time here. She has a clear reason to fight and a lot of development throughout so they did a good job with her. Cam is here as the tough character who is always disobeying orders to run in and get the job done. This tends to work out more often than not and seeing as how everyone is always defying orders here, Cam fits right in.

From the movie cast you’ve really just got 3 characters who get a lot of screen time here. First up is Roman who has to handle the undercover part of the job. He really does take the biggest risks here so you feel bad for him with how nervous the guy gets. It’s fortunate that he is able to stay so calm under pressure. I would have liked to have seen more of him since he was great in all of his appearances. Then you have Dom coming in clutch as always but he might get the smallest role of the 3 since he’s always dashing off. When the game enters the climax and a huge rocket appears you know that he is really their only chance now.

Letty has a lot of connections and is also the one to find the new main characters so she contributed quite a lot to the group. Vienna tries to make things personal quite a few times and fortunately Letty doesn’t back down. She’s not the kind of character who will take any disrespect without some kind of comeback. The villains in the story are less noticeable though. The leader is a guy named Emil but there really isn’t anything to him. He’s just an old guy who wants to cause a lot of chaos and deal a blow to America. It all comes down to money for him.

There actually aren’t a lot of races in this game. Most of the gameplay is following other cars, getting somewhere on time, or even fighting against other cars. There are only maybe 2-3 races if I recall correctly. The races are typically the toughest levels in the game though so it works out that they’re gone. I would win them but it would come down to the wire because it took me some time to get the turning under control. Once that was in the bag then it was off to the races for me. There are also some quick time events like jumping onto a truck but you never control anyone outside of the car so this isn’t completely like Pursuit Force just yet. Maybe for the sequel.

There isn’t a whole lot of replay value here though. So the main story will last you some hours but after that you really just have online and some trophy hunting to keep you busy. I don’t expect either option will last you for too long. I mean, the online will take a lot of matches to get the Platinum if you pursue it, but if you don’t have PS+ then I don’t see the offline options keeping you around for very long. This is definitely a game that you beat and then put away.

Overall, Fast & Furious Crossroads is a solid game. I certainly would have liked to have seen the story be a bit longer but in the end I don’t have any big complaints. It ends up executing well on what you would expect for a game set in the Furious universe. You have high intensity races and car battles from start to finish. The story quickly goes off the rails with the rocket showing up and it feels out really crazy like the movies tend to be. If you want a vehicular battle game then this is the one for you.

Overall 7/10

2 Fast 2 Furious Review

With Furious 7 out in theaters, it’s the perfect time to continue my journey through the series. I can’t say that I was impressed with the first one at all, but this looks like one of those series that gets better as you go along. In theory anyway. This one is certainly more fun than the first film, but it still falls into most of the holes that the first did, which prevents it from ultimately being a good film.

Brian has fallen from the good grace of the police for letting his target escape in the first film. He now has fun in underground racing so he has ironically become the very criminal that he used to hunt. The cops eventually show up with a job for him. He is to pose as a racer for a criminal mastermind so that he can help the cops get some evidence on him. Brian will need a partner and that’s where Roman comes into play. They’re going to need to drive hard and drive fast if they want to win this round!

All right, let’s talk about the improvements from the first film first. For one thing, the racing scene at the beginning totally destroys the scenes from the previous film. The cars were going very fast and the new nitro effects were a lot of fun to watch. The dark background of the night contrasted with the bright colors and made for a very explosive race. It was tough to beat..evidently too tough to be honest. The film could not even come close to matching that race for the rest of the film, but it was still a very epic way to start off the film.

The characters are also a lot more interesting than the ones from the previous film. The dynamic between Brian and Roman can be good at times. Brian is portrayed as an expert when it comes to this kind of operation. After all, he has been through this before back during his cop days. That being said, he starts to lose control of the mission whenever he sees a pretty face. That’s where Roman comes in. He may not be an old pro officially, but he knows how to fit in rather easily and probably does a better job of convincing the villains of their authenticity than Brian. He’s probably not as good a driver as Brian, but he’s good enough.

The film is typically a lot of fun, which is a shame that it fell into numerous holes. Where to start right? First of all, let’s go for the rat scene. Each of these films will probably try to have at least one big gangster moment to show us how evil the villains are. The first one had the scene where the villains forced someone to drink oil and this one has the villain pin a man down and watch as a rat starts to eat through his stomach. It’s a very gruesome scene to say the least. I prefer the classic “Held at gunpoint” trope as it shows that the villain is ready and the hero still knows that the guy is willing to pull the trigger.

Another aspect is still the underground/gangster feel that the films try to have. This results in a whole lot of unfortunate fanservice. The characters wear skimpy attire and are constantly making suggestive remarks. Roman and Brian naturally take part in these shenanigans as well, which is sad. What happened to professionalism? I fear that it died with James Bond and Captain Kirk taking office. It almost goes without saying that we also get language issues and birdies as well. The film should stick away from those things. It’s a writing issue and it’s one of the things that I’m hoping the films can change later on.

That may not seem like a lot of “holes” as I put it, but they are so frequent that there may as well be a dozen issues with it. The film simply can’t control itself. The main villain is also rather unlikable. He’s another guy who’s really just interested in getting rich and getting the girl. I would have preferred for him to have just been a good driver who wanted to get rich the quick way. He would still be a villain, but at least he would be someone that you could get hyped to fight.

The cops naturally look pretty bad as this is Brian’s show. A squad of around 20 cars can’t match up against two and they are constantly crashing. The FBI is fooled by the ole switcheroo tactic and they are also kept out of the loop a whole lot. You have to wonder why they always need to ask Brian for help during the beginning of these films, but the latter scenes show why they need him. On their own, they simply can’t stand up to the gangsters.

The final big scene where the heroes summon hundreds of cars is really the definition of plot hax. I really don’t buy that happening for a second. Getting everyone into the garage and into their cars while also allowing enough space for the heroes to fit in and get their car into the middle? That’s way too unpractical and elaborate to actually happen. It’s worse than the heroes constantly betting hundreds of dollars against each other every day. There must be a gold mine around there that we don’t know about.

I still have a problem with such large areas not being covered by the police as well. With their fancy satellites and FBI guys on the case, you would think that underground racing would really be a thing of the past at this rate. Of course, that probably won’t be the case as long as Brian is on the case. After all, he loves a good underground race apparently.

I was pleasantly surprised by one of the detectives making the right call at one point. After being threatened with the rat, he still managed to assemble the cops to have one last clash. I hope that he got his family to safety first so that he could really focus on this issue. It’s still too bad that the cops weren’t more organized, but at least the detective did the right thing. Hopefully he can live safe and sound now.

My main piece of advice for the series would certainly be to include more race scenes. We only got to proper races and one was just a back and forth route so it wasn’t a true race. Car action scenes are okay, but they’re not even close to being as epic as a race. A real race gets your heat pumping and you become ready for more. If the whole film had been epic races like the intro, it could have bumped it up a star. 1 star may not sound like a lot, but it’s something. Improving the races is simply one element to add to the whole. If it can get everything right, soon it could be one of the best racing franchises out there. (In movie world. F Zero and the famous Captain Falcon own the streets otherwise)

Overall, This film was better than the first one. It’s slowly becoming more of a respectable franchise, but it is really slow going. As soon as it gets rid of the suggestive themes and bad writing, the films will begin to rise up rather quickly. As it stands, none of the characters are actually likable. Brian and Roman are charismatic characters and they certainly have personality, but they’re way too into women, which distracts them from their moral compass as well as their job. I look forward to the FBI appearing to hire the heroes once again. I’m not sure when I’ll be seeing the next film, but eventually I’ll be onto the current one. Then we’ll see if it manages to live up to the hype or if the series has not changed quite as much as I hoped.

Overall 3/10

The Fast and The Furious Review

The Fast and the Furious is a film series that many are familiar with at this point. It is getting close to 10 films at this point and the films are earning more and more money as they go on. The latter ones look pretty exciting, but this film doesn’t exactly start the series on a high note. Some cool races to be sure, but it was lacking in other areas.

There are many people engaged in underground racing and the FBI sends an agent in. The agent’s name is Brian and he must gain the trust of these outlaws and find some proof so they could be locked away. As serious as the underground racing is, the mysterious attacks on truck drivers is even worse. Unfortunately, the agent begins to develop feelings for one of the characters and starts to become friends with the boss, Dominic. Brian may be in a little too deep now!

It is a pretty good premise…well, mostly anyway. The beginning of the film feels like a level from Need For Speed as the newcomer challenges the pros so that he can earn some respect. The night race is pretty good. The visuals are not quite as exciting as its counterparts in Speed Racer and Need For Speed, but this is only the first film so it will likely improve as the series goes on. The races are the selling point of the series after all. If the film had kept that as a focus then it could have been really good, unfortunately that didn’t happen.

The film really suffers from the fanservice and unnecessary scenes of romance/physical pleasure. Most of the characters are in the slums area and they hang out with many shady characters. A lot of attention is drawn to the skimpy attire that the characters wear and it’s all in rather poor taste. This may be underground racing, but I would prefer the film to place the emphasis on the dangerous racing than on the background characters. This is an obstacle that the film never gets around. It simply keeps popping up over and over again.

The main character isn’t likable either as a result since he quickly succumbs to a one night stand. Brian likes the character, but if she is that easy then he should probably reconsider the situation. His final decision is also one that I don’t agree with. Naturally, the film tried to make Dominic sympathetic, but he was still guilty. Do the crime and then do the time. He shouldn’t be left off the hook so easily just because he experienced a sad event back in the day. As long as he stays in such a troubled environment, problems will continue to occur around him. Of course, these two characters were still a lot better than most of the supporting characters, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. None of them were actually likable after all.

The language wasn’t as much of a problem as I had expected given how the characters were interacting. There is still some there, but it was not abundant enough to really warrant much of a warning. You will likely forget about it by the end. The film isn’t very violent either although the scene where the villains force someone to swallow motor oil is a little intense. A guy also gets stuck to a truck, which makes his arm get pretty injured. By and large, it’s still nothing worse than the average action film. Actually, it turns out that the film does have quite a bit of language. With 3 ultimately bad words and a high number of others, the language does actually work against the film. I saw the TV version, which edited out most of the language, but if you end up watching it on DVD or somewhere where the language is kept in, then I deduct the rating to a 2 and definitely advise you to stay away from this title. Check out a good Pac Man ep for fun or some Speed Racer cartoons if you want another racing dvd.

As this is a film with a lot of car action, there is bound to be a lot of plot hax. Driving at high speeds without hitting any other cars when there are a lot of blind turns. The cops crash a lot of course. The biggest scene does not involve a race though, it was the battle against the truck driver. With his shotgun, the heroes should have been doomed from the start. He had a lot of point blank opportunities to hit them and simply breaking would have saved him several times. At least the truck driver won in the final battle, but the casualties would likely have been a lot higher. The first encounter was also pretty suspect as the driver just stood there and watched as he got pwned. I hope that they would put up a better fight if this happened in real life.

The government hangs out in the shadows as you would expect and they show that merely having a lot of resources is not always good enough to solve the case. They only have one special agent on the field so they really are running in blind the entire time. They talk a pretty good game and it is amusing to see their bravado in the midst of such a tricky situation, but the ultimate irony is that they were actually right from the start this time. They pegged it on Dominic from the very beginning and the main character is the one who tried to divert suspicion away from him. So, if you ever wanted to see the government look sort of smart in a film like this…this could be your big chance.

The soundtrack is very fast and lively, but it could still be better. This is one of those times where instrumental just works better. The lyrics are just distracting and while you probably won’t even know what they are saying, it would be for the best if they had just left then out. The actual rhythms certainly work well with the film though.

Overall, The Fast and the Furious is a film that could have been much better than it was. It was plagued by many of the problems that arise in the average film, but to a higher degree than you would expect. The film tries a little too hard to depict how the slums look and goes overboard on making every character unlikable. The racing scenes are typically a lot of fun, but we only get 2 real races in the film. There are a lot of scenes that involve cars in other ways, but I would have liked some more pure races. I am confident that the series will improve and I recommend just taking a pass on this title. If you want some good races, then check out Speed Racer!

Overall 3/10