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This week:

The Fast and the Furious

Filthy says:
"Gentlemen, start your dicks!"

I fucked up last year when I gave Gone in Sixty Seconds Two Fingers. I must have fucked up because I want to give The Fast and the Furious two, and it's about a zillion times better than Jerry Bruckheimer's lazy, self-satisfied turd. So, I belatedly reduce Gone in Sixty Seconds to The Finger, and declare The Fast and the Furious the street-fighting champ, a better racing movie that will get the highest rating from crank-addled losers in their thirties who still live with their moms and ride bare-shirted around the suburbs on BMX bikes. It's also a fantastic movie for men who like big cars because they have small dicks, and young boys who just got their licenses and were waiting for Hollywood's permission to drive too fast and stupidly.

Here is an example of how intelligent The Fast and the Furious is: one character says racing is "not about how you stand by your car. It's about how you drive your car." Well, holy fuck! No wonder I never enjoy the Indianapolis 500.

The Fast and the Furious is so fucking male, it's got more spare testosterone than a polyorchid man. You'll see more ego-driven acts of mindless machismo than if you yelled "Fags!" at a thousand meatheads wearing wife-beaters and behind on Camaro payments. But where Gone in Sixty Seconds fell in love with itself and was far too interested in parading its big-budget stars around like walking, talking Hormel buttshanks, Fast treats its actors and plot like a teenage boy treats his mother: as an annoying device to get him from point A to B. This movie is about racing, and for better or worse, absolutely nothing else it does amounts to shit.

I hope you'll forgive me for not remembering any of the characters' names. They really don't matter. Best I can recall, there's a Vin, Dom, Mia, Hector, Spreidel, Trixie and Racer X. The nominal plot is some shit about Vin Diesel being a "mysterious" leader of a gang of street racers. Newcomer Paul Walker is an undercover cop who infiltrates the gang and, of course, falls in love with Diesel's sister Jordanna Brewster. She'd look pretty fucking hot if someone would tell her to wipe those two caterpillars off her forehead. There's a whole bunch of racing around while Walker tries to discover who is hijacking trucks loaded with home electronics.

But never mind the story, because if you do you'll quickly figure out that the screenwriters didn't. The half-baked plot makes no more sense than one of my retarded cousin Larry's squirrel stories. Besides, those of us who like "stories" are doomed to ask how one character squeezes two full nights and days into 36 hours. We're stuck wondering why one rival car gang stuffed its mechanic's garage full of "legally-purchased" DVD players. We're left waiting for an explanation about why one character's middle-aged father would have a hot-rodded Jetta. Most importantly, us movie-goers who aren't preoccupied with whether someone is stealing their new chrome-moly handlebars are stuck asking why we're supposed to root for a tremendously bad criminal and what turns out to be an incompetent, over-emotional cop with bad judgment.

Ultimately, the story is like the drivers, a machine that goes as fast as it can with no care for where it's headed or how it will stop. And it ends up crashing, a bloody horrific mess where the bad guys win, and the subplots are strewn across the highway like the limbs of unbuckled children after a bus accident.

And don't pay attention to the acting, because anyone does watches a cheap imitation of the occasionally-retarded Giovanni Ribisi stutter his way through the thankless role of a car-whiz who "should be going to MIT and shit." They see bad-ass Michelle Rodriguez shipped in to do nothing but snarl a few times in a feeble attempt to make this movie more than about men and their dick-surrogate street racers. Undercover cop Walker is probably considered good-looking, but he has the kind of boring good looks and flat personality that only gets a guy laid by fat, drunk secretaries after TGI Friday's Happy Hours. He isn't asked to do much but stare off blankly while wearing tight T-shirts, and he delivers. The only actor who's fun to watch is Vin Diesel. He's like a tolerable version of Sylvester Stallone, all lumpy with muscles and thick-tongued but also reasonably intelligent. He is so fucking serious, so straight ahead, that he almost convinces you not to laugh when he says garbage like "I live my life ten seconds at a time." Almost.

But do watch the racing because it's pretty fucking good. It's silly, sure, but it delivers what those guys on the BMX bikes demand: lots of shit smashing and loads of cars going fast. Stuff blows up real good and often. Wisely, director Rob Cohen has all sorts of excuses to disrupt the weak plot for angry men to hop into lowered Japanese cars and go very fast. For good measure, he sometimes doesn't even bother with pretense and cuts straight to racing. He also comes up with a clever way to get around the fact that drag races only last ten seconds over a quarter mile: he makes them last minutes and miles and assumes we're too stupid to know the difference.

So, Two Fingers for The Fast and the Furious. Give it credit for admitting it's just dumb fun, but not too much credit.

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