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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
Cast
Vin Diesel
Paul Walker
Michelle Rodriguez
Jordana Brewster.
Directors
Justin Lin.
Screenwriters
Chris Morgan.
Running Time
minutes

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Fast & Furious
The fourth instalment in the crazy car franchise


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Plot
When a mutual friend is suddenly murdered by a Los Angeles drug cartel, FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and outlaw boy racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) separately infiltrate the shady organisation in search of revenge, justice and screeching handbrake turns...


Review
Fast & Furious
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If ’80s redux fourquels like Die Hard 4.0 and Rambo are the movie-star equivalent of Viagra-powered pre-retirement benders, this follow-up to a recent action franchise puts stars Paul Walker (who was in The Fast And The Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious) and Vin Diesel (who sat out the first sequel but cameoed in The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift) in the position of 30 year-old guys who bust up their lives and have to move back in with their mums.

Since showing promise in 2001, when the original was a surprise hit, Diesel has gone from contender to pariah via xXx and The Pacifier, while even the most dedicated fact fan might need to check with the IMDb to name any Paul Walker credit beyond his eighth billing in Flags Of Our Fathers (Into The Blue? Eight Below?).

Obviously, both leads need a jolt of career nox to stay out of the DVD Dungeon, and — roles for tough, interesting women being as scarce now as in 2001 — the wholly wonderful and utterly sidelined Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are back in the harness too, along with a micro-bit for Sung Kang, who starred in Tokyo Drift, to tie together the series’ sprawling over-story.

The mix is as before — superstar illegal drivers strutting with babes hanging off their arms just in case you thought there was anything, well, gay about their twin obsessions with weirdly unattractive muscle cars and each other. The clunking plot finds old friends/foes Brian and Dom competing to get close to a mystery mobster who apparently needs fast drivers but, as it happens, doesn’t really.

Even with stars on cruise mode, coming to life only when they get to thump the odd annoying supporting character, this would have worked if only it delivered the series’ moneyshot scenes — fantastic car stunts, chases and pile-ups. But, in contrast with the grit of the first movie, computers have taken over: a multi-car/petrol tanker raid that serves as a prologue relies too much on CGI to augment the stuntwork, and the one big race sequence finds the outlaw drivers taking orders from sat-nav.


Verdict
If it were a DVD, you’d Fast & Forward to the chases, but not Forgive & Forget the crushing disappointment. In cinemas, you have to endure exposition and sob-you-were-my-best-friend scenes. It’s clearly time for Fast & Furious Vs. The Transporter...


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Fast & Furious
Empire Star Rating

Suprise

I detested the first three fast and furious films but you know what this isn't perfect but it still knocks the first three of its wheels. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 22:38, 25 October 2011 | Report This Post


I haven't seen the fourth one, but in my opinion this is the best one! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Great Danton at 08:55, 31 October 2010 | Report This Post


Good car movie - with something missing

Although Fast & Furious is a technically good car movie with decent car chases and satisfying automobile stunts, it has one major flaw which will largly affect fans of the series: it offers absolutely nothing new. Characters remain rather one-dimensional and it is baffling how all of them remain the same people after all that has happened throughout the four films. This is a fault, of course, of the writing, but one which forces the film's actors to remain stagnant and pull the film down - ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by djphilips at 20:06, 08 April 2010 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

**** SPOILERS **** While I enjoyed this I have to say the hype of getting the original lot back together clearly went a long way towards it's box office success. As a film it's not even better than part two which I thought was decent and the story was pretty lame as sadly was some of the action. I thought the sat-nav race was cool but some of the stuff in the tunnels just looked crap - brown dirty and dark environments and too much major action set inside there. I can't believe they... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 11:33, 07 December 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

Ok Gang... it's Josh here again... This is my fourth post... with me only just starting on this forum i wasnt sure where to put my views on the film so i made a new thread however i was told to put it on here... sorry for the mistake gang... i'll learn soon... Now i've just seen the film Fast and Furious with VIN DIESEL... phwaor!! and PAUL WALKER... phwaor!! Now all together the film was amazing... i love the whole series of films but the ending... I HATED I... More

Posted by Rwolfera at 12:48, 29 November 2009 | Report This Post


i came out talking about the cars, that was about it, i thought the cgi was a bit crap and the script was poor, dom didnt tear out what little hair he has when lettie died. pretty poor ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ivanahump at 12:24, 05 November 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

Walker and Vin sleepwalk through their roles and the two women are hardly in it.  It's not as bad as the two sequels but it's not as good as the first part.  Watchable but average really... ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 12:15, 30 April 2009 | Report This Post


Now I know this film wasn't written with any high hopes of winning an award, but I can't honestly understand how a producer looked at this script and thought "Yes! This is what we need to bring to our reborn franchise! A script that is so deplorably simplistic and fragmented that our cinema-goers will literally want to walk out in disgust!" It seems nothing's changed; the writing and editing remain offensively simple, Rodriguez is back on form with her typical whiny "don't fuck ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mrfleets at 22:30, 29 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

Very, very, very bland. The revenge storyline has been overused in sequels and if you're going to base your film around, don't compound it and at least make it a bit more interesting. Acting was very flat too, especially from Paul 'Blue Eyes' Walker. Jordana Brewster's role was fairly irrelevant as well. I didn't expect anything intelligent but I was hoping for at least some mindless fun. 2/5 ... More

Posted by Goodfella at 14:07, 26 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

It does what it says on the tin, its a very good sequel, and exceptional 4th in a series (by which time most are terrible and have no relevence to the original film) I cannot find fault with the film, by it's nature it won't interest everyone but the key demographic will lap it up, and rightly so. ... More

Posted by genejoke at 10:24, 26 April 2009 | Report This Post


This movie...

...is a chick flick masquerading as an action movie. There is just enough car action for the guys, who may have been dragged along to the cinema by girlfriends wanting to get another load of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel together again. Luckily, I'm a girl...and I LOVED IT! Nowhere near as good as the first movie, but 100 million times better than the last one with Bow Wow driving around Tokyo in what looked like a VW Lupo/Fiat Punto/Peugeot 206/Toyoto Yaris on steroids. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChickFlickCentral at 12:39, 22 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

Being a fan of the series, I was really looking forward to this, but would rate it as being the worst of the bunch. There seemed to be no spark or fun in it and some of the performances were incredible (in a crud way - hello Jordana and Gal). The actual racing scenes were fairly lame - too much focus on the infantile Sat Nav and the tunnel scenes were not that good 1st time around to warrant another chase.   Anyways, the running time was kept well under 2 hours, so credit due. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shandyman at 12:27, 22 April 2009 | Report This Post


This movie...

...is a chick flick masquerading as an action movie. There is just enough car action for the guys, who may have been dragged along to the cinema by girlfriends wanting to get another load of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel together again. Luckily, I'm a girl...and I LOVED IT! Nowhere near as good as the first movie, but 100 million times better than the last one with Bow Wow driving around Tokyo in what looked like a VW Lupo/Fiat Punto/Peugeot 206/Toyoto Yaris on steroids. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChickFlickCentral at 11:55, 22 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

Good fun to be honest. Not as good as the first one and I must say I haven't seen the middle two films so cannot comment, but I enjoyed seeing Dom and O'Connor back together. I really like Vin Disiel and want him to get his career back on track and this could be a step in the right direction. Just need him to get his Hannibal project off the ground and maybe work on a new Riddick film, and make it AWESOME. ... More

Posted by Mojo at 12:23, 21 April 2009 | Report This Post


Was forced to go and see this and it's exactly what you expect. Some cool chases with crappy plot and characters... basically 2 Fast 2 Furious. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by cluesy at 22:54, 20 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

I enjoyed it. It's the best of the sequels and Vin and Paul work well together. The action was good and the story is solid. The girls could have been given more to do, espechially Rodriguez but other than that I reccomend it! ... More

Posted by The REAL Bozz at 17:31, 20 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

I really enjoyed this. The problem with the whole franchise is that people take it too seriously. I for one like cars, women and explosions, and if done with any degree of success then a film is satisfactory.   WHere as F&F lacked real female lead and car-porn, the car chases and banter within the script made it enjoyable and Lin didnt let the story slow down enough to highlight its larger inadequacies. Plus there were explosions. Its a popcorn movie and should be tr... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Merc at 19:39, 17 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

I really enjoyed it. I thought the opening sequence was fantastic, editing and cinematography wise it pissed all over any sequence from the latest Bond flick, really exhillerating stuff. The story was so-so, pretty much what I expected from a F&F film, nothing more nothing less. It could have done with more actual races, but the main one in the middle with all the sat nav shite was rather cool, and a lil different from the ones that have come before it in the previous flicks. The SFX were... More

Posted by captainrentboy at 19:39, 17 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

I went for the cars :( was a bit dissapointed really. It was VERY loud (whether or not that's just our cinema, I don't know, but it was like they made it louder to compensate...). Strangely, there weren't many nice cars. I expected it to be more about the street racing than Dom and Brian turning into a rather bad Starsky and Hutch. Vin Diesel act, and it's a shame that he's rarely given any decent dialogue. Also dissapointing was Sung Kang was barely in it. I was hoping for more of a collab be... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by geekpenguin at 17:03, 17 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Fast & Furious

I’ll take a huge pass on this load of puss, I have the first film and I just can’t stand it anymore with crappy hot cars that should be scarp yard for crashing and hot tramp girls that look like YUCK! The second one was even worse load of puss. Just talking about fast furious of puss, makes me feel furious, hisss. ... More

Posted by Snake Plissken 3417 at 01:20, 17 April 2009 | Report This Post


Better than expected...

...though I admit I didn't expect much. This has not suffered from 'the gang's back together', the CGI is generally ok if you enter into the fun of it and just enjoy the ride. It's better than the previous two sequels, Diesel is brooding (if a bit cliche-ridden) and the chases are entertaining enough. I was somewhat bemused as to the amount of girl-on-girl action, but whatever floats your boat. I would happily go to another sequal if it's a much mindelss fun as this one. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shopachocaholic at 18:18, 15 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

If you enjoyed the first three then you'll enjoy this one. It's more of the same if not quite as good. Oddly one thing the first three movies proved is that it's all about the cars, nobody really cares who is driving them yet this time around most of the focus is on the two leads and not the cars. Vin Deisel , like Arnie before him works better when restricted to the bare minimum number of words, as a rule when possible he shouldn't be allowed speak. Doesn't help that he was given dialogue that... More

Posted by blackduck at 13:49, 14 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

A great case of "read the review, don't just look at the number of stars" then? Now let the great debate resume about why 2 stars is still too generous ... More

Posted by Professor Moriarty at 11:43, 14 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

OK, huge cock-up on our part (NOT Kim's): this actually got two stars - the proof is in the mag, which went to press before this review went online - and somehow it got entered in our system with three. As such, I'm deleting a lot of the pointlessly-abusive-to-Kim comments on here. Genuinely, no funny business here, just a data entry error. Albeit a bad one. Bugger. ... More

Posted by Helen OHara at 11:40, 14 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

My tip would be to just watch the first film in this franchise again, which is better all round. imo this struggles to 2/5 ... More

Posted by Professor Moriarty at 10:39, 14 April 2009 | Report This Post


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