Fast & Furious (2009)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good action sequences, better acting than previous entries

Still hampered by so-so Diesel and Walker

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fast & Furious

Studio:  Relativity Media

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  April 3, 2009

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


The boys are back in town!

After fleeing L.A. a wanted man, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) finds himself heisting gas in the Dominican Republic with his gang Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tego (Tego Calderon), Omar (Don Omar) Cara (Mirtha Michelle), and Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang).  Deciding he is a risk to everyone, Dominic sets out on his own only to learn that Letty has been killed in L.A.  Travelling back to the States, Dominic finds himself forced to team with FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) again to infiltrate a Mexican drug smuggling ring and bring the man responsible for the death of Letty to justice.


I’m totally feeling furious!!!

Directed by Justin Lin, Fast & Furious (sometimes called Fast Four or The Fast and the Furious IV) almost serves as a relaunch after the disappointing reviews for 2006’s The Fast and Furious:  Tokyo Drift.  The movie was met with mostly negative reviews but became the highest grossing film of the series when it was released.

Fast & Furious does show a bit of an improvement.  The first film was hampered by bad acting and a so-so story.  2 Fast 2 Furious had a bad story and bad acting.  The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift didn’t feel like The Fast and the Furious and more like The Karate Kid.  Here, the movie is back to the original basics and emphasizes fast cars and action.


Vin Diesel makes you want to jump, jump!

Fortunately, this movie relies less on the actors than the first incarnation starring this cast.  This movie has tons and tons of car chases (something necessary for the series).  The races might not be realistic but they are fun.  Be it the high energy opening with the gas tankers, the street race, or the flying tunnel finish ending, Fast & Furious does at least give a rush.

The actors of Fast & Furious still hold the blunt of the problem in the series.  Walker is a horrible actor and makes Vin Diesel look great.  Previously Michelle Rodriguez was a weak link, but her role is limited along with Jordana Brewster as Dom’s sister.  The movie also incorporates The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift by bringing in Sung Kang as Han Seoul-Oh for Dom’s gas heist.


Have gun will travel…to Mexico

With Han Seoul-Oh, The Fast and the Furious timeline begins to get muddled.  Han is killed in The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift which makes this a prequel.  It could have been assumed that Tokyo Drift happened immediately following this movie (as indicated) but Han returns in Fast Five which makes that a prequel also.  This doesn’t make much sense because the cars of Tokyo Drift are older than the cars in this film and everyone seems to be able to drift in this film and the sequel…I’m waiting for the filmmakers to just somehow recon his death.

Fast & Furious represents a bit of an improvement in a series that was long in the tooth.  It is weird for a series to improve over time, but this film shows it is possible.  It is further proven by the release of Fast Five in 2011 which might be the best of the series.

Related Links:

The Fast and the Furious (1955)

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift (2006)

Fast Five (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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