The Fast And The Furious
Lately we've heard a lot about how movie studios are putting the brakes on marketing R-rated material to children. After screening this teen testosterone tale, I'm convinced Hollywood has its foot on the wrong pedal.
An over-revved movie about an undercover cop (Paul Walker) who becomes involved in the lives of illegal street racers while he looks to bust a gang of truck hijackers, the movie delivers high performance stunts with low octane acting and a script so full of plot holes that I suspect the real Fast and Furious were the writers attempting to flesh out a story that is based on a magazine article.
Trying to fill the void created by a handful of characters left flat with tough guy lines like, "You want time? Buy the magazine!" the creators turned to one of Hollywood's favorite spare tires: Violence. Containing two major scenes detailing how to steal a truckload of DVD players the hard way (by hijacking a truck on the freeway and eliminating the driver), a drive-by shooting with motorcyclists brandishing automatic weapons, a torture sequence where a man held at gun point has motor oil pumped down his throat before being forced to kiss the feet of his assailant, and a myriad of high speed chases with wheelmen shooting at each other while rocketing down city streets, I was convinced the biggest stunt of all was getting the MPAA to license this killer as PG-13.
Young viewers are also treated to a full tank of profanities, gambling, typecast portrayals of scantily-clad car-adorning women who are referred to as "trophies," two females engaged in a passionate kiss, and villainous characters who are exclusively Asian in this glamorization of crime.
To keep the lawyers happy, Universal Studios includes a small "don't try this at home" disclaimer buried near the end of the closing credits. Unfortunately, I was the only one left in the theater reading it. The rest of the teens surrounding me were already on the road home.