Fast and the Furious
Rival Los Angeles street teams use illegal street racing as a means of establishing power. Paul Walker stars as a rookie cop who goes undercover, posing as a racing team member, in order to investigate a series of truck hijackings.
Well, it’s not the worse movie I ever saw. In fact it’s difficult not to get caught up in the splendidly photographed racing sequences as our daredevils speed through major thoroughfares – some crowded, some not – exhibiting a propensity for fast cars and even faster women. However, I was unable to put aside my musical prejudice for the film’s omnipresent background music, which consisted of rap, hip hop or free-something-or-other. Actually, that I was able to deal with, but the constant drumbeat that began whenever someone started an engine reminded me of the obnoxious ‘70s disco-based score to the old “CHIPS” TV series. I expect a racing movie to be loud, but loud is too soft a word for this eardrum-splitter. At one point, the background musical sound effects took on a cacophony of shrill caterwauling that sounded like demons in torment. Some may not approve of their Christian critic saying the music sucks, so I’ll just say it inhales profusely. ….. I’m sure those objections are probably the studio’s foremost weapons to attract its core audience – along with the camera-roaming of leather-clad cuties, and the film’s hijacking, face-punching, shotgun shooting, car crashing, testosterone-fueled heroes and villains. ….. Okay, so I’m not the film’s target audience. My complaints aside, including the film’s cliché-ridden storyline, which has all the profundity of a Tidy Bowl commercial, the one objection I think parents should be aware of is the film’s moral ambiguity. The undercover cop is becoming a buddy of the main hijacking suspect and, of course, falling in love with the hijacker’s sister. We find ourselves rooting for the baddies when they are up against a truck driver who fights back. Indeed, it is the members of the establishment who seem to be the real outlaws. It’s “Cannonball Run” meets “Rebel Without a Clue.” It’s all testosterone, attitude, and hot pants. ….. Now, I’m sure there will be no hotdoggers attempting to copy what they see in the movie (yeah, right), but if you live in the Los Angeles area, I’d suggest avoiding Van Nuys Blvd. for the next few weekends. ….. If you want to see one of the best action chase scenes ever filmed, see “Bullitt” (on the biggest screen you can). Although technology has come a great distance, what makes the chase scene in “Bullitt” so extraordinary is Steve McQueen. He was cool then. He’s cool now. (Footnote about McQueen: Did you know that Steve became a Christian toward the end of his life? It is said that when he passed away, he even had his Bible open to John 3:16.) ….. Several exciting car chases also occur in one of the funniest movies ever made, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” “The Great Race” is another hilarious film featuring an auto race. This comic salute to old-time melodramas stars Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon. It has some of the funniest sight gags I have ever seen in a film. ….. Not looking for laughs, just speed? Try “Le Mans.” Also starring McQueen, the documentary-styled script has McQueen’s character returning to the famed car race a year after being injured. It contains excellent racing footage.