Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tonight's Movie: Fast & Furious (2009)

Juggling my biggest work crunch of the year with Christmas shopping and holiday goings-on has left me without much time for blogging the past couple of weeks!

I'm now on vacation, and the tree is decorated, cards are sent, and gifts are wrapped, so I'm looking forward to being able to return to a more regular blogging schedule!

FAST & FURIOUS (2009) was a fun way to kick off my time off today. This slam-bang action film is the very definition of the term "popcorn movie." It might be a bit of a guilty pleasure, given that the lead characters aren't always on the side of law and order, but it's also quite entertaining.

FAST & FURIOUS is the third film in the series, at least in terms of story chronology, following THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001) and 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (2003). The 2006 film THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT, while filmed a few years before FAST & FURIOUS, actually fits after FAST & FURIOUS 6 (2013) storywise.

It's been five years since Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) last saw each other, when cop Brian allowed Dom to escape the law. Brian, having expunged his record, is now back in L.A. working for the FBI.

Dom has been on the run for years but returns to L.A. to avenge the death of his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Dom and Brian find common cause as they both are after the drug kingpin responsible for Letty's murder.

Meanwhile Brian rekindles his relationship with Dom's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), as they each find that despite the passage of time, they still have strong feelings for one another.

FAST & FURIOUS starts with an action sequence that's nothing short of insane, and I'm told the action sequences become even more unbelievable -- and more exciting -- in the films which follow. There are so many unexpected twists and turns to the action scenes that I found myself gasping out loud multiple times.

As the movie ends it's implied that Brian is once again leaving law and order behind; in the next film, FAST FIVE (2011), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson makes his first appearance as a federal agent on Dom and Brian's trail. Sounds like more good times ahead.

Like the first movie, much of FAST & FURIOUS was shot around Los Angeles, which makes it particularly fun for a viewer familiar with the area. Dom and Mia's house is on Kensington Road not far from Dodger Stadium.

FAST & FURIOUS was directed by Justin Lin. It was filmed by Amir Mokri. The running time is 107 minutes.

Parental Advisory: FAST & FURIOUS is rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality, and violent action. The action scenes are what I call "cartoon violence," not graphic.

FAST & FURIOUS is on DVD and Blu-ray. It can be rented for streaming at Amazon.


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