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Terrible Movie Thursday: Fast & Furious

It’s unbelievable how wrong critics can be sometimes. Case in point: Fast & Furious, the fourth movie in the franchise, has only a 29% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. For the movie that arguably brought the franchise back to life after two terrible showings in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift, a 29% approval rating is unconscionable.

So I have taken it upon myself to explain why these professional film watchers were entirely wrong in their assessment of Fast & Furious.

Critics Consensus

While Fast and Furious features the requisite action and stunts, the filmmakers have failed to provide a competent story or compelling characters.

Ummm…what? The return of Dominic Torretto and Brian O’Connor? Reuniting the family in a quest to avenge their fallen comrade Letty? Introducing Gal Gadot to the franchise and world at large? Those aren’t compelling characters or a competent story? Get the hell out of here with this crap!

Now we have to admit…

  • The villain in this movie is incredibly uninteresting and one-dimensional. Part of this is because they constantly pull the bait-and-switch of “is the guy directing them the real villain or is there really a shadowy figure behind the scenes.” There’s also the second-in-command guy who killed Letty that I constantly forget isn’t the main antagonist of the movie. It’s all very confusing.
  • The climactic final car chase scene through the tunnels on the US/Mexico border is pretty shitty. I mean, you can’t really see anything, you have no idea what the purpose of all the weaving is, and the corridors are so tight there’s no room for actual stunt driving. Plus, how the hell did two guys who drove this path once manage to navigate it going like 70mph?
  • Same goes with Dom and Brian’s little vacation to Mexico. The whole scene drags and makes zero sense. Why is Braga going to a church, alone? How did Brian and Dom manage to slip past his bodyguards and capture him with such ease? Did they come out of the same portal Arya Stark teleported out of when she killed the Night King?

But come on guys…

  • The first heist scene of Toretto, Letty and their crew robbing the oil tanker was dope as hell. Like when he’s waiting for the right moment to slip under the crashing tanker on that road? Unrealistic, sure, but also cool as hell. Plus, I liked that they connected this to Tokyo Drift by adding in Han to Toretto’s crew.
  • Dominic Toretto, back in the franchise again. One of the great action figures of the last decade, out for revenge. Insert that Maximus “are you not entertained” gif right here. If you weren’t entertained, you damn well should have been.
  • The chase scene by Brian early on in the movie was also a lot of fun. It also shows a lot of his character development in that first scene, how he’s trying to prove himself to his superiors and others in the law enforcement community but deep down he knows that he belongs in that world of crime.
  • The twist that Letty reached out to Brian to help Dom and that got her killed, which is part of the reason Brian is so driven to stopping Braga. That feeling of guilt that compounds on top of how he betrayed Dom and Mia in the past. It’s just great goddamn acting.
  • All those references between Dom and Brian to the first movie. “Still a buster,” “now you owe me a ten-second car,” Dom keeping his MO of boosting tankers even when on the run.
  • We got the family back together! Come on, you knew Dom and Brian weren’t gonna stay mad at each other! Plus he and Mia got together, this movie was the start of the family we’ve all grown to love that’s spanned another four-0plus movies. And don’t you critics dare put disrespect on its name again!

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Ben Jammin (Shithead)
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Ben Jammin (Shithead)

You guys haven’t hit the bottom of the barrel yet, but you’re close.

commenter27
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commenter27

The Fast and Furious franchise is my favorite movie franchise of all time. I acknowledge that the first movie is the best and all the ones that follow get progressively more action based and have less dialogue and character development and are all around terrible. But that is why it called entertainment. Sometimes, we just need a predictable action movie with impossible stunts, hot people doing cool shit, and an ending that wraps the movie up in a nice bow (or ending in a cliffhanger guaranteeing I’ll spend another $15 on a ticket plus concessions in 18 months). This franchise… Read more »