The Same Ol' Race
Fast & Furious is the fourth movie in "The Fast and The Furious" series, and it's pretty clear by now the whole thing's on auto-pilot. Absolutely nothing new happens here -- you get what you'd expect, which are cool cars, some creative racing/driving stunt scenes, and some plot dealing with illegal this or that, while the protagonist men bond.
The novelty, if you can call it that, of this particular entry is the reunion of the primary cast of the first movie (and primarily Vin Diesel's return to the franchise), but it's rather anti-climactic since the characters don't really do all that much when they're not driving or mumbling. It is amusing, though, to see just how much Diesel dominates his co-star Paul Walker in their onscreen relationship -- no mistake who the alpha male is around these parts.
Director Justin Lin, who also helmed the third movie, brings things back to multi-cultural Los Angeles, and it's always nice to see that he has roles ready for Asian-Americans, although now the primary concern of pigeonholing may come from the depictions of tough men and thugs -- if you've seen seen one tattooed gangster in a movie, you've seen 'em all.
Yes, I'm kidding, but the general unoriginality contributes to "The Fast and the Furious" series' own issue as a "seen one, seen 'em all" series. If you don't mind seeing one again, though, Fast & Furious is a passable time-waster -- it only offers what's asked of it, and nothing more.
(Released by Universal Studios and rated "PG-13" for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references.)
Review also posted at www.windowtothemovies.com.