REVIEW: The Fate of the Furious [2017]

“That’s a lot of ice cream and Tay Tay concerts” A new era in The Fast and the Furious lore has begun almost four years after original co-star Paul Walker passed away doing exactly what his character Brian O’Conner did in the films: drive fast. With his role shelved by retirement rather than death, the goodness Brian provided Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his band of miscreants remains in the background as an unseen sense of morality and justice. It lingers to bolster the group’s sense of “family” and togetherness…

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REVIEW: Furious 7 [2015]

“You never could take a punch” There’s something about this series that’s transcended any intellectual discussion about cinema. How else does a lamely derivative version of Point Break substituting waves with cars spawn six sequels in fifteen years? Think about that. 2 Fast 2 Furious was so bad that star Vin Diesel turned down a twenty-five million dollar payday to be in it. Then the third entry threw everything out the window but horsepower and took things international across the Pacific. This is where the taste of its potential began,…

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REVIEW: 2 Fast 2 Furious [2003]

“I’m not going back to Barstow” It would appear that we have Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to blame (thank?) for the sudden change from overwrought melodrama to self-aware comedy I would attribute to giving the Fast and the Furious franchise its longevity. Being that I had only ever seen the first, fifth, and sixth installments, I wasn’t quite sure what happened in between because, while I enjoyed the latter two, I simply couldn’t get into the original. Not only was it riffing on Point Break the wrong way by…

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REVIEW: Fast & Furious 6 [2013]

“You wanna catch wolves? You need wolves.” It’s family reunion time in the Fast & Furious franchise as its creative team consisting of director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan expand the arc they began seven years ago with Tokyo Drift. The one installment without tough guy scowls from Paul Walker’s Brian or Vin Diesel’s Dom (although the latter did cameo), it’s out of chronological order existence had only since been alluded to via the continued participation of Sung Kang’s Han. Fast Five brought Brian’s old friends from 2 Fast…

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REVIEW: Fast Five [2011]

“Running ain’t freedom—you should know that” If your city’s government finds a request to hold the twenty-year anniversary for The Fast and the Furious reunion, ask Rio de Janeiro how the tenth turned out. A rogue’s gallery of almost every cast member to get behind a car in the series, Fast Five lays it all out on the line by destroying miles of road, a bank’s lobby, and an entire fleet of cars with policía lettered on their side, all while over-using the Statue of Christ the Redeemer for each…

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REVIEW: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen [2009]

“What if we leave and you’re wrong?” My screening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ended around 10:00pm. What do we see in the lobby as we exit the theatre? A line already forming for the midnight show less than two hours away, the premiere time slot to expose the world to the ancient Decepticon Fallen. Those kids were ready for a good time, hoping that the sequel lived up to the surprisingly effective first installment. If any of them had asked me as I walked by what I thought,…

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REVIEW: Transformers [2007]

“More than meets the eye” Michael Bay is by no means a director for whom I hold each new film with anticipation. The man doesn’t do subtlety and he doesn’t do intelligent storytelling either. However, you cannot say he doesn’t have both artistic vision and deft skill at shooting a film. Sure the guy likes to blow things up. But being able to consistently make work with the amount of preparation and choreography his necessitates deserves some credit. When the idea of a live action Transformers movie was being bandied…

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