Fast and Furious opens with a driving/hijacking sequence reminiscent of the 2001 hit The Fast and the Furious serving notice that unlike two previous sequels this one would deliver the same style and major characters as the first. The role of Dominic Toretto is reprised by Vin Diesel who has had an uneven career at best since rocketing to fame with the back to back hits of Pitch Black and The Fast and the Furious. (side note: Diesel gives a bravura performance in Sidney Lumet’s Find Me Guilty). Paul Walker is back in his third Fast and Furious movie (he wasn’t in Tokyo Drift) as F.B.I. agent Brian O’Conner still showing flashes of that almost perfect cool he had in the first movie. Also back in very minor roles is Michelle Rodriguez reprising her role as the every tough as nails Letty and the every stunning and quietly indomitable Jordanna Brewster as Dom's sister Mia. The whole package is there for the fan of the series.
Fan is an important word when approaching any of the Fast and Furious series of movies. Gear heads and car buffs love the cars, the eye candy of all the girls in miniskirts practically begging to be part of the action are only window dressing for the main event which are the race scenes, chase scenes and the inevitable involvement of law enforcement in some capacity or another. The feature event in the bookends of the series so far though is the overwhelming presence of Dominic Toretto – Diesel absolutely dominates the screen in a way that only Eastwood before him has had the ability to do. When Dom is on screen you are watching him even when he isn’t doing anything he is the most interesting thing on the screen. Diesel cannot carry a movie by himself though and while Walker is a great counterpoint with his rapid shifts between casual cool and bundle of nerves Fast and Furious does require a fan’s mentality in order to best enjoy it.
The holes in the plot of Fast and Furious are big enough to drive an eighteen wheeler through and it isn’t just big things like why people would be competing for jobs when no one ever sees them again after they have the job. It is also little things like why would the bodyguards at a night club leave the only doorway to the big bosses office unguarded when he is in there with a customer. Accepting these flaws as just part of the tapestry of an outlandish tale to begin with is ultimately key to enjoying Fast and Furious. While those who do not enjoy the genre will be given tons of ammunition with which to shoot down this latest installment the fans will eat up the special effects, hot cars and damn the torpedoes attitude that permeates all the Fast and Furious movies. From the standpoint of a sequel in the tradition of the series Fast and Furious is a winner and an absolute pleasure to watch a very good action movie.