Fast & Furious. Decent. Most franchises don’t stay strong after three movies. It’s definitely grown up: multi-national settings, gratuitous helicopter flyover shots, fancier locations, and pretty fireball explosions among the big-budget must-haves. The obvious CGI in the tunnel scenes was a bit of a letdown. The races more frenetic and choppy; the crashes were definitely more… comprehensive. I was also thinking this is first in the series that’s felt wholly like a work of the 2000s. Even has teal and orange in full force, along with some shaky-cam here and there. Good to see Vin Diesel back in a bigger role here, though sometimes it seems like he’s following instructions or something. Gotta like him, though. I also really, really enjoy John Ortiz as a villain. So good. He has a knack for balancing the malice and the charm without turning into a sideshow (see also his role in Miami Vice). I don’t think the music is as strong as in the previous three. Also, border crossings and expendable, replaceable labor force? Where have I heard that before? Final thought: I’d love to know how many times in movie history there’s been a woman/man/couple carrying groceries into a house, unloading in the kitchen, and then devolving into an argument/outburst/tears/etc. It’s movie boilerplate.

I’m now four deep into the F&F franchise. My top and my bottom picks are pretty secure, but for the middle ones, right now I think I’d rank them like…

  1. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
  2. The Fast and the Furious
  3. Fast & Furious
  4. 2 Fast 2 Furious