Alright, so I’m gonna start off by getting the ‘bad audience’ bit out of my system. It was sold out, which I haven’t been to a sold out movie in ages. I was packed in like a sardine, and the dude next to me really liked his elbow space. Like, you know, over the arm rest and into my ribs. Then the jackasses behind us (I swear it was the entire row) kept making stupid jokes half the time. And they weren’t even whispered or just mumbled among themselves. These were called out loud for all to hear. And they weren’t really remotely funny. Just a bunch of douches who thought they were being cute. Then there was somebody at the far back of the theater who really had a thing for his laser pen. Throw in a couple instances of screaming children, too. And finally, what is a packed theater experience without at least two people sitting far ahead of you texting the entire time, shining the light of death for all the theater to see?

And I’m sure if you’ve been keeping tabs (I doubt it), you’ll have realized that usually, when I have a bad or annoying theater experience, I usually have a pretty bad review to follow it.

Not this time.

No, not even all of that mess could have taken away the great fun that Fast & Furious gave. For those fans of the series, this installment takes place after the second film, but before Tokyo Drift, about five years after the original film. Dom (Vin Diesel) and his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are living in the Dominican Republic, stealing gas to sell on the street… but from currently moving envoys, of course. But after a terrible occurrence, Dom is forced back into America where he eventually meets back up with his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and the newly reinstated FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). Together, though for completely different reasons, they must infiltrate a drug cartel. Lots of stuff happens from there.

The movie starts off with a bang, though we’ve seen a lot of it in the trailers. It’s the scene with the big tanker truck that Dom and Letty attempt to highjack, which turns out a bit more… explosively than originally planned. There’s also a nice tie-in to Tokyo Drift during this segment with one of the aforementioned movie’s main characters, showing how Dom knew him (as mentioned at the end of said movie in Vin’s brief cameo). And from there, the action continues on, switching over to yet another scene we know from the trailers—O’Conner chasing down a man through the streets for information. So straight off, our adrenaline is already pumping like crazy.

And the movie has its quiet moments, but usually just to set up the plot of the action sequence to come. Though there are some character development scenes sprinkled in, as well. But for the most part, the movie is just a ton of action. And the action is gloriously splendid. They really amped it up, from busy-street racing to underground-tunnel racing. Not all of the action is car-oriented, of course, but the majority of it is. And if you’re going in for the racing action (and you know you are), you’ll be more than satisfied.

If I had any complaints, it would be that Jordana Brewster’s Mia was hardly in the movie, and she could have used a much bigger role, especially considering the rift in the relationships caused by the events of the first film. So by the time anything is really settled between Mia and Brian, it’s slightly hard to take because of her lack of screen time and re-connection with Brian. My other complaint would be that I got confused with what was going on a couple of times, but that could have just been the fault of the distractions due to a bad audience.

There’s really not a whole hell of a lot to say about this film. You’re not going for a masterpiece of acting. You’re not going for a masterpiece of plot. It has a decent story with some average action movie acting, but some really awesome action and some pretty funny moments, too. I might dare say it’s as good as if not better than the original. The only thing the original might have over this one is more character development and/or interaction. But on the whole, this one was pretty damn good.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

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