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April 3, 2017

F&F 4: Fast & Furious (2009) --- "See How Ex-Friends Get Revenge For A Mutual Friend Against A Drug Cartel."

Plot Summary
Heading back to the streets where it all began, two men rejoin two women to blast muscle, tuner and exotic cars across Los Angeles and floor through the Mexican desert. When a crime brings them back to L.A., fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto reignites his feud with agent Brian O'Connor. But as they are forced to confront a shared enemy, Dom and Brian must give in to an uncertain new trust if they hope to outmaneuver him. And from convoy heists to precision tunnel crawls across international lines, two men will find the best way to get revenge: push the limits of what's possible behind the wheel.
- Written by Universal Studios

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The best way to describe Fast & Furious would be a guilty pleasure and while there is not enough weight in this film to be an Oscar contender but as with The Fast and the Furious (2001), there is something that gives it meaning. I believe that it is because we have Vin Diesel returning to the franchise.
     Now I am not suggesting that Vin Diesel is the greatest actor of all time but he is his very likable and suits his character, Dominic Toretto, down to a tee, as does his dimwitted surfer dude sidekick, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). Although Walker is a great actor, the only thing that he actually offers to this film is O’Conner’s relationship with Dom. The pairing is enjoyable but is not the main point of the movie. O'Conner is still working law enforcement but this time he is an FBI agent, after clearing his record in 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). Dom and O’Conner are both trying to get in with a drug ring for different reasons but they decide to team up in order to get what they’re after and reconfirm their friendship.
     The plot wasn't as detailed as the previous but it followed along well with what you think might happen in a Fast & Furious movie and the tone is on par with Rob Cohen's original, though I cannot justifiably compare this to the sequels. While this is the fourth installment, the timeline suggests that it is actually the third installment; coming between 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Tokyo Drift (2006). I believe that this has something to do with Justin Lin directing Tokyo Drift and now Fast & Furious. He's fantastic with these action sequences, not only making them pulse-pounding thrill rides but also letting you feel like you're in the car with these characters; an idea that was added to this movie and Tokyo Drift. At the end of Tokyo Drift, it is suggested that Han and Dominic Toretto had a history with each other. In the first couple of scenes in Fast & Furious, you see that Han is part of Dom's crew that hijacks gas tankers in the Dominican Republic. Later Dom tells Han it's time to go do his own thing. Han tells him that he hears of some things going on in Tokyo. If you recall in Tokyo Drift, Han tells Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) that Tokyo is his "Mexico" and he was running to stay out of jail.
     Overall, Fast & Furious is a thrilling movie to see. The chemistry between Paul Walker and Vin Diesel is amazing as they perform two very likable characters. It is also nice to see a franchise go off track and find its feet again after so many years. This is a true testament to the original cast who, though only have a limited range, have clearly breathed life back into the franchise. If you were expecting more than the cars then you will be sadly mistaken. However, director Justin Lin has mixed together all the makings of a thrilling action movie into this fourth installment, making it a little bit better than its predecessors and a lot of fun.

“It starts with the eyes. She's gotta have those kind of eyes that can look right through the bullshit, to the good in someone. 20% angel, 80% devil. Down to earth. Ain't afraid to get a little engine grease under her fingernails.”

- Dominic Toretto

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
F&F 1: Fast and the Furious (2001)
F&F 2: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
F&F 3: Tokyo Drift (2006)
F&F 5: Fast Five (2011)
F&F 6: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
F&F 7: Furious 7 (2015)
F&F 8: The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Italian Job (2003)
Mission Impossible (1996)
Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
Mission Impossible 3 (2006)
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2016)
Need for Speed (2014)
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
xXx (2002)
xXx: State of the Union (2005)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Justin Lin


Writing Credits:

   (Written by) Chris Morgan
   (Characters by) Gary Scott Thompson.

Produced by 

   Ricardo Del Río      ---     co-producer: Mexico
   Vin Diesel                ---     producer
   Michael Fottrell     ---     producer
   Amanda Lewis        ---     executive producer
   Neal H. Moritz        ---     producer
   Samantha Vincent ---     executive producer



Paul Walker --- Brian O'Conner
Vin Diesel --- Dominic Toretto
Jordana Brewster --- Mia Toretto
John Ortiz --- Campos
Laz Alonso --- Fenix
Gal Gadot --- Gisele
Jack Conley --- Penning
Shea Whigham --- Stasiak
Liza Lapira --- Trinh
Sung Kang --- Han
Tego Calderon --- Tego
Don Omar --- Don Omar
Greg Cipes --- Dwight
Ron Yuan --- David Park
Joe Hursley --- Virgil
Neil Brown Jr. --- Malik
Robert Miano --- Braga Double
Frank Miranda --- Dominic Jamel

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