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The Essential Guide to Bristol
26 May 2009
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Fast and Furious (12A)

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/04/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Fast and Furious gets off to a terrific start but quickly runs out of gas, thanks to a lazy script and some unimaginative action sequences.

What's it all about?
The fourth instalment of the fast cars-based franchise (why didn't they call it The 4st and the 4rious?) reunites stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for the first time since 2001's original hit. After a terrific opening sequence involving a high-speed heist (most of which is in the trailer), fugitive Dominic Toretto (Diesel) is lured back to Los Angeles when his girlfriend (Michelle Rodriguez) is murdered by a member of a sinister drug cartel.

By an astonishing coincidence, Toretto's old buddy Agent Brian O'Conner (Walker) is trying to bring down both the cartel and its mysterious leader, so the two men go undercover and enter a high-speed race in order to infiltrate the cartel's heist squad.

The Good
To be fair, the actors are fine and the first 30 minutes of the film are superb, including a spectacular opening set-piece, a fast-paced foot chase and an exciting race sequence. Unfortunately, the film then completely runs out of gas and limps along for another hour or so.

The Bad
The biggest problem is that the film front-loads its best action sequences, meaning that the subsequent set-pieces and the climax are massively disappointing by comparison. In addition, the editing in the later sequences is extremely bad and if you don't pay attention to which colour car everyone is in, it's impossible to tell what's going on.

Similarly, given the prominence of Michelle Rodriguez in the film's publicity, fans are likely to feel cheated by her character's early exit and it's fair to say that when she dies, the film dies with her. In addition, the script completely lacks the sense of fun that characterised the previous three films and even fails to capitalise on Diesel and Walker's pre-existing onscreen chemistry.

Worth seeing?
Despite the much-touted presence of the original leads, Fast and Furious isn't a patch on the previous three films. Watchable, but disappointing.
Fast and Furious London Premiere

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Fast and Furious (12A)
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