One of the things that I do every few months is binge watch some of my favourite films; recently, I was watching through the fast and the furious series again. Throughout all of this, I have come to the conclusion that the film “Fast & Furious” is the best film in the series. Here’s why. Warning: This review will contain spoilers for the film “Fast and Furious” and other films in the series.
OK, so the first thing to mention is that all of these films are great because they are completely over the top. They all have their downfalls, including this film. But out of all of them, this film, the fourth one in the series, is the one that has the best acting, choreography, cars, and most realistic stunts, and is the real start of the franchise.
Starting at the top of that list, the reason why I think the acting is the best in this film is due to the way that the actors click with each other. You can imagine each of these characters hanging out together in real life. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is the guy that is holding everyone together with his “Code”, Family, it’s the most important thing to him as a character and is constantly referred too from the first film. It’s only in this film that it really begins to show. Next, we have Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), He has gone back to working for the FBI as a cop looking for an in with a drug cartel that uses modified cars to run drugs and money across the border. His character in this film is dealing with a completely different set of issues compared to everyone else.
At this point in time, he hasn’t been reaccepted into Dom’s “Family” but is still around Dom because he is of use of him. The film itself does explaining this very well, Mia finishes a conversation by saying maybe you’re not a good guy playing bad, maybe you’re a bad guy playing good. This line sums up the entire conflict within Brian for the film, and he pulls it off without a hitch. There are other characters in the film that do a great job including John Ortiz as Arturo Braga / Ramon Campos, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty. Finally, there’s Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto, Dom’s sister and Brian’s love interest.
Moving on to choreography and cars. These sorta end up going hand in hand due to the fact that the cars are just as important as the characters themselves. I’m mainly going to be referencing this part to one of the last scenes in the film, where Brian and Dom have kidnapped Braga from Mexico and are driving him back across the border too where the American Government can arrest him. In this scene we see them driving back through the tunnel under the border that has lots of turns and is easy to get lost in. At the front, Brian has Braga in his car, A Subaru Impreza WRX and is driving through the tunnels trying to remember the turns to take to make it to the other side while being followed by Fenix in a Ford Gran Torino Sport. At one point, Brian makes a wrong turn that sends him to a dead end. Crashing through the wall at the end he makes it back on track and out of the tunnel.
At the same time, Dom is distracting the rest of the pack in his Dodge (69 made to look like 70) Charger. While in the tunnel, the choreography gets really interesting, at one point, a perusing car (The F-Bomb, a Chevrolet Camaro RS-Z28) traps Dom on a route that would cause him to crash into a dead end. After ripping the door of his car off on a post he proceeds to jump into the F-Bomb, pushing the driver out and taking control of the car, following that he breaks out of the tunnel fly’s through the air, lands, pulls a wheelie to deflect bullets and then drives straight into Fenix trapping him against the Subaru killing him. I’m not saying that it’s the most realistic stunt, but it is pretty badass.
I haven’t even begun to mention the other awesome cars that are featured in the film. For the first half, we see Brian driving a Nissan Skyline GT-R R34. The real car which was owned by an uncredited person was recorded doing 241mph in Japan, but they couldn’t use it all the time in case it got damaged so they built replicas. The one seen going through the border tunnel was really a dune buggy with the shell of an R34 on it. Some of the other impressive vehicles built where the trucks we see at the beginning of the film stealing fuel tankers in the Dominican Republic. One of them had a 502ci GM big block engine with a rear axle from a Semi-Truck fitted with the biggest widest wheels they could find. The film also features a car that was in the original film as well, a red Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454, but this time is highly modified for a street race.
And now for the real reason why I think that this film is the best in the entire series. This film is what kicks off the entire series that has a common enemy. The previous films could be compared to standalone films that are made by Marvel to introduce a new Hero. This film introduces us to the Braga crime family, that would later introduce us to Owen Shaw in the “Fast 6” who worked with Braga in the past. After seriously injuring Owen, we are introduced to Deckard Shaw, Owens older brother. While there is currently no known plan for the Shaw family to make a return to the series, I would be surprised if they didn’t, so far they have been a part of 3 of the 7 films that are out right now but with a spin-off coming out sometime next year, I reckon that there’s a chance they will return to the forefront of the series again.