Fast & Furious
is the third sequel to The Fast and the Furious
. For part five, they should remove the “&,” drop the vowels, and replace the “S”s with “5”s. As this one is being sold as the reunion film, it carries a problem of most comebacks. The inspiration is lost. The first movie had a young energy to it. This one is slower and less sure of itself. Justin Lin returns as franchise director, having shot third installment Tokyo Drift
. But trying to go back to the original roots, he doesn’t match the neon-colours-at-night look that made the Rob Cohen original vibrant. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return as pals on opposite sides of the law. Sort of. I’m not sure how Brian O’Connor (Walker) has a job with the FBI, as he’s never shown much responsibility at law enforcement. Diesel’s criminal gear-head Dom struggles to do the right thing, after his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is murdered. Diesel has never appeared so bored in a movie, and the two stars haven’t the chemistry together that the movie anticipates. There’s too much CGI in the race and chase sequences, which defies the reason people are interested in seeing them. The movie and characters are distastefully unfazed by civilian casualties, which is not par for this series. The tone is too witless and generic for the extravagance of some of the stunts. And following the “drifting” gimmick of Tokyo Drift
, this time the big thing with the cars is that they have GPS. The marketable edge that defined The Fast and the Furious
has now just been replaced with a marketable brand name.