When a loved one is mysteriously murdered in a drug run gone bad, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) returns to the U.S., chancing imprisonment, in order to find out who’s responsible and exact some swift & angry revenge. But he has help, just as he did five years prior, in his estranged cohort Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker). As Brian, now reinstated to the FBI, and Dom, still on the run from Johnny Law, infiltrate the drug smuggling racket, they find they must put the past behind them and once again trust each other if they want to bring down yet another shared enemy.
At times, FAST & FURIOUS plays a little like an episode of C.S.I, right down to the stylistic flashbacks of car wrecks. This is meant not as criticism but as a compliment to the film’s script and Justin Lin’s directing, which seems to have grown up and matured a little bit just as the original film’s audience has. The over abundance of sticker clad, candy colored imports have been traded in for good ol’, classic American muscle. The ten second straightaway races have fallen away for edge-of-your seat car chases on open streets and in narrow tunnels. The POINT BREAK-esque plot now left behind for the struggles and tension between the characters and the investigation they attempt to solve in the process.
Don’t be mistaken! Those elements still play a part in the FAST & FURIOUS, just not in the same manner they did in the past. When they do play a part, they are done in such a way that is more plot driven and action based as opposed to oddly placed drag races present only to show off hot cars and even hotter women. And while there is one or two scenes like this, they come off more as a nostalgic throwback to the first film.
If you have been a fan of the entire series, chances are you will most likely enjoy FAST & FURIOUS for some of the same reasons that have always drawn you to these films. If you checked out after the first film, you might want to give this one a chance, as it returns to its roots with the same characters in a similar story while adding a sense of maturity to the things that once felt novelty.
In the end, FAST & FURIOUS attempts to show its audience that, while it may be the same model of car, it has a new coat of paint.