Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Fast and Furious

Truth be told, it's about time I got off my ass and actually got down to reviewing a movie (all right, just remembered I'm still sitting on it at present, great start with the contradiction). Also, no more promises, but hey, even if it is late, it's the review that I said that I was going to do. So, here it as it lies on the dinner table, Fast and Furious, ready for me to dissect and perhaps munch to pieces. The movie is the first time in ten years that all of the original cast get back together in a movie, so it has been hyped as a big thing, ever since fanboys shed tears of joy upon Vin Diesel's cameo at the end of The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Truth be told, I really did enjoy the original, but haven't got down to seeing the other sequels, so going into this movie is akin to going into a direct sequel. I thought as well that for the first twenty minutes that I was rather enjoying it. I felt that if the film remained consistent with this direction, then I would be able to give it a good review. For starters, each of the leads, Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster essentially pick up from where they left off, and granted, there are no acting masterclasses here, but these are characters we have gotten to know and love. Also, the movie is being marketed as an all-out, balls-to-the-wall action film, and for a good bit, it was delivering nothing less than just that. It stood up on its own two feet and said, "Here I am." However, there is a major turn for the worst not far round the corner, and I will not spoil the film because I know that there are a good few people who are going to go out and flock to this movie and lap it up even if it is processed garbage. Help me here because I am going to start sounding like Mark Kermode trying to explain the problems of the film while not spoiling it. Basically, we get to the plot point about twenty minutes in, and it completely changes the tone of the film. Whereas it was delivering on what it is, a boom-boom action film, it then goes on to parade and masquerade as a human drama, and how emotional it is when old friends get together. Interspersed in these scenes of "human drama" are ridiculous explosions and chase sequences. Granted, I could put up with these chases if the film was not so bloody hypocritical and contradictory of itself. Also, there are a few things to get off my chest. Isn't The Fast and The Furious as a whole meant to be about the cars and chases, rather than action sequences with explosions, guns and a ridiculous death toll? Also, why in gods name does every action film now have to have at least one foot chase with the old shaky-cam coming in again? Well, we have Paul Greengrass to thank for that. Thank you Paul, you're one of the best directors in the world, but these foot chases, which are poorly shot by people who can't do it properly without you, make me and the audience feel like we are going through some mass joint lobotomy. Finally, why in hell have we got this recurring metaphorical reference to Christianity throughout the film, with Vin Diesel going all born-again, whenever seconds he's crushing a man with his giant Mustang or whatever muscle car it is? It completely rules out the idea of being born-again whenever you are going out and committing acts of mass murder for the audience. To add what else you say about how annoying the film is, the direction is poor by Justin Lin, who is directing this film like a drunk man attempting to take a piss, the script is so dire, particularly in moments in which it attempts to use comedy, with the jokes coming off as unnecessary, unwanted, poorly timed and completely offensive. I think that I probably could survive another go at Fast and Furious, but I was incredibly bored from the twenty-minute mark, so much so that I started looking through old bus, train and plane tickets in my pocket. I know that it seems like I have absolutely slaughtered the film, and granted have to a degree and have enjoyed doing so, but the film is not as horrible as some films which I have given a lesser final verdict. It is brain candy and the action sequences (the good ones) are enjoyable to watch. However, many of the action sequences, which with the lead acting performances are really the film's only saving grace, are poorly shot, including the afformented shaky-cam foot chase and another chase in which the scene is very dimly lit and the cars seem like they are black, meaning I am unable to differentiate who is driving what car, and clearly throughout the film-makers try to emphasise who drives what car. Call me blind, but how am I supposed to know who is driving what car if I can't see who is driving what car? There we go. It's over. I'm sure many people will lap this up, and quite clearly many do considering it has already made god knows how much money, but I really found it an awful bore and at times just plain annoying.

The Thin White Dude’s Prognosis – 3.6/10

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