Fast & Furious (2009 film)

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Fast & Furious
Fast and Furious Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Lin
Produced by
Written byChris Morgan
Based onCharacters
by Gary Scott Thompson
Starring
Music byBrian Tyler
CinematographyAmir Mokri
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • March 12, 2009 (2009-03-12) (Universal CityWalk)
  • April 3, 2009 (2009-04-03) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
CountriesUnited States
Japan[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$85 million[3][4]
Box office$363.2 million[4]

Fast & Furious (alternatively known as Fast & Furious 4)[5] is a 2009 American action film directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. It is a direct sequel to The Fast and the Furious (2001) and the fourth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and John Ortiz. Fast & Furious follows Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Brian O'Conner (Walker) and Dom Toretto (Diesel) who are forced to work together to avenge the murder of Toretto's lover Letty Ortiz (Rodriguez) and apprehend drug lord Arturo Braga (Ortiz).

Fast & Furious marked the first film in the series since the original installment, The Fast and the Furious, to feature the main cast.[6] As a result, this spawned a shift within the series' chronological order, with developers setting Fast & Furious between the two previous installments, 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, to account for their absences.[7] Casting began in July 2007, after Universal Studios confirmed the returns of Walker and Diesel, while principal photography began in Los Angeles in February 2008, with the film being shot in California.[8]

Fast & Furious was released in the United States on April 3, 2009. The film received negative reviews and grossed over $363 million worldwide. The sequel, Fast Five, was released in April 2011.

Plot[edit]

Five years after escaping from the U.S.,[N 1] Dominic Toretto and his new crew, consisting of his girlfriend Letty, Tego Leo, Rico Santos, Cara and Han Lue, are hijacking fuel tankers in the Dominican Republic. Dom suspects that the police are on their trail, forcing the crew to disband and go their separate ways, with Han deciding to go to Tokyo. Realizing that he must leave, Dom runs, leaving Letty behind to protect herself from harm.

Three months later, Dom is now residing in Panama City. He gets a call from his sister, Mia Toretto, who tells him that Letty has been murdered. Dom heads back to Los Angeles to attend her funeral and examine the crash and finds traces of nitromethane on the ground. He visits the only car mechanic that sells nitromethane in LA and forces him into giving him the name David Park, the man who ordered the fuel, and informs him that the only car that uses nitromethane in the area is a green 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport.

Meanwhile, FBI agent Brian O'Conner is trying to track down a Mexican drug lord, Arturo Braga. His search leads him to David Park, and he tracks him down using an illegal modification record on his car. Dom arrives at Park's apartment first and hangs him out of the window by his ankles before Brian arrives. Brian saves Park and Park becomes the FBI's new informant. Park gets Brian into a street race. Brian selects a modified 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34[9] from the impound lot. Dom races in his modified 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. Gisele Yashar, the liaison for Braga, reveals that the winner will become the last driver on a team that traffics heroin between the Mexico–United States border. Dom wins by bumping Brian's car while it is in nitro, making him lose control. Brian uses his power as an FBI agent to arrest another driver, Dwight Mueller, and takes his place on the team.

The team meets up with Braga's personal henchman, Fenix, and Dom notices that Fenix drives the same Torino the mechanic described. They drive across the border using tunnels to avoid detection. Dom confronts Fenix and learns that he himself killed Letty when she tried to escape him. A stand-off ensues, though not before Dom creates a diversion by loosening his car with nitrous—sparking a vehicle explosion that destroys his car and several others, including Brian's. In the ensuing chaos, Dom and Brian hijack a 1999 Hummer H1 with $60 million worth of heroin in it. Dom and Brian drive back to LA and hide the heroin in a police impound lot, where Brian picks up a modified Subaru Impreza WRX STI Hatchback; they subsequently drive back to Dom's house, where they reunite with Mia.

Dom finds out Brian was the last person to have contact with Letty, which results in Dom attacking Brian until he explains that Letty was working undercover—she was tracking down Braga in exchange for clearing Dominic's record. Brian tells his superiors that in exchange for Dominic's pardon, he will lure Braga into a trap, forcing him to show up to exchange money for the heroin. At the drop site, the man who claims to be "Braga" is revealed as a decoy, and "Campos"—the real Braga—escapes with Fenix and the pair flee to Mexico. In the ensuing chaos, Fenix nearly runs over Gisele, before Dom saves her.

Brian and Dom travel to Mexico to catch Braga, with the help of Gisele, who gives them directions as a favor in return for Dom saving her life. Brian and Dom find him at a church and apprehend him. As Braga's henchmen try to rescue him, Brian and Dom drive through the tunnels back to the United States. Brian crashes his car after taking fire from Braga's men. He is then injured after being T-boned by Fenix. Before Fenix can kill Brian, Dom drives into and kills Fenix in retaliation for Letty's death. As police and helicopters approach the crash site on the American side of the border, Brian tells Dom to leave, but Dom refuses—saying he is not running anymore. Despite Brian's request for clemency, the judge sentences Dom to 25 years to life.

Brian resigns from the FBI and Dom boards a prison bus that will transport him to Lompoc penitentiary. As the bus drives down the Navs, Brian, Mia, Leo, and Santos arrive in their cars to intercept it.[N 2]

Cast[edit]

  • Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, a professional street racer, criminal, and fugitive from justice.
  • Paul Walker as Brian O'Conner, an FBI agent and former LAPD officer, who previously aided Dom in avoiding law enforcement, and was in a relationship with Mia Toretto later got patched up again.
  • Michelle Rodríguez as Letty Ortiz, Dominic's girlfriend, who dies in an automobile explosion caused by Fenix Calderon.
  • Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto, Dominic's sister and Brian's ex-girlfriend but later patched up with Brian again.
  • John Ortiz as Arturo Braga / Ramon Campos, a Mexican drug lord who recruits street racers to smuggle heroin across the Mexico–U.S. border.
  • Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar, a liaison for Braga, who shows a romantic interest in Dominic.
  • Laz Alonso as Fenix Calderon, Braga's right-hand man, who murders Letty.

The central cast is rounded out by Sung Kang as Han Lue, Dominic's right-hand man, while Puerto Rican singers Tego Calderón and Don Omar feature as Leo and Santos respectively, members of the oil heist team. Shea Whigham plays Brian's snarky colleague Michael Stasiak, and Liza Lapira portrays Sophie Trinh, an FBI agent who works closely with Brian. Jack Conley features as Penning, Brian's boss, and Ron Yuan acts as David Park, a scout of street racers for Braga. Greg Cipes, Neil Brown Jr., and Brandon T. Jackson play Dwight Mueller, Malik Herzon, and Alex, respectively, the other members of Braga's street racing team.

Production[edit]

The film was announced in July 2007. Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and the rest of the cast of the original film all reprised their roles. Filming began in 2008. The movie cars were built in Southern California's San Fernando Valley. Around 240 cars were built for the film.[8] However, the replica vehicles do not match the specifications they were supposed to represent. For example, the replica version of F-Bomb, a 1973 Chevrolet Camaro built by Tom Nelson of NRE and David Freiburger of Hot Rod magazine, included a 300 hp crate V8 engine with a 3-speed automatic transmission, whereas the actual car included a twin-turbo 1,500 hp engine and a 5-speed transmission.[10]

The original Dodge Charger 426 Hemi R/T that was used in the original movie was a 1970, but the car in this movie was a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi with a slightly modified front grill and rear tail lights to appear as a 1970 car; the original 1970 Dodge Charger was in pieces, being totally disassembled for restoration.

The original red 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS seen in the end credits of the first Fast & Furious movie, also makes an appearance but is later highly modified for a street race.

The most radical vehicles built for the film were the Chevy trucks constructed for the fuel heist. Powered by 502ci GM big block motors, the '67 had a giant ladder-bar suspension with airbags using a massive 10-ton semi rear axle with the biggest and widest truck tires they could find. The '88 Chevy Crew Cab was built with twin full-floating GM 1-ton axles equipped with Detroit Lockers and a transfer case directing power to both axles and capable of four-wheel burnouts.[11]

Another vehicle built for the film was the blue Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 owned by an uncredited owner which brought a 241-mile per hour top speed at the Bayshore Route Highway in Japan. It was a hard car to build by the production so they made clones by acquiring Nissan Skyline 25GT's and made them look like the original car. The Skyline that was also used at the desert was actually a dune buggy using a Skyline R34's shell.

Music[edit]

The score to Fast & Furious was composed by Brian Tyler, who recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.[12] The score album was released on CD by Varèse Sarabande Records with over 78 minutes' worth of music.

The trailers for the film feature the track "We Are Rockstars" by Does It Offend You, Yeah? and a Travis Barker-remixed version of "Crank That" by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em.

The official soundtrack was released on March 31, 2009 on Star Trak. The first single from the soundtrack was titled "Blanco" and is by Pitbull featuring Pharrell Williams and is produced by The Neptunes.[12] The second single from the album is "Krazy" by Pitbull featuring Lil Jon. The track is also featured on Pitbull's album Rebelution. The third and final single from the album is "Bad Girls" by Robin Thicke. The soundtrack also features the song "G-Stro" by Busta Rhymes featuring Pharrell Williams and also produced by The Neptunes. The track is a leftover track from Busta Rhymes' album Back on My B.S. Amazon.com gave the album an average score of 3.5 out of 5, calling it a Spanish-themed rap soundtrack with mostly average tracks. Interscope and Star Trak Records released the soundtrack for the film with "Crank That" not included.

Another song that was omitted from the album was song "Rising Sun" by South Korean group TVXQ.

The Japanese version of the movie features the song "Before I Decay" by Japanese rock group The GazettE.

Also featured in the background under a club scene which was omitted from the album, was song "Ride" written by Kervins Joseph and Travis Baker, published by InDigi Avenue Music Publishing (ASCAP), courtesy InDigi Music, and Virtual Diva performed by Don Omar.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

It was originally set to release on June 12, 2009, but moved it up to April 3, 2009 instead. It was the first motion-enhanced theatrical film to feature D-BOX motion feedback technology in selected theaters.[13]

Home video[edit]

Fast & Furious was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 28, 2009.[14] The DVD is a two-disc set that includes:

  • Digital copy of the film
  • Under the Hood: Muscle Cars & Imports
  • High Octane Action: The Stunts
  • Shooting the Big Rig Heist
  • Driving School with Vin Diesel
  • Original short film Los Bandoleros, the never-before-seen short film that reveals the events leading up to the explosive beginning of Fast & Furious. It is written and directed by Vin Diesel and was produced in the Dominican Republic.[15] This was released on the iTunes Store as a free download.

As of July 29, 2011 the DVD has sold 3,324,117 copies generating $53,879,547 in sales revenue for a combined total of $417,043,812 including worldwide movie ticket sales.[16] It was re-released in Australia on Blu-ray including a digital copy and re-titled Fast & Furious 4 on March 30, 2011.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

On its first day of release the movie grossed $30.6 million, and peaked at the top spot of the weekend box office with $70,950,500, more than Tokyo Drift earned in its entire domestic run.[17] The film had the sixth-biggest opening weekend of 2009 and was double what most industry observers expected.[18]

It also held the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend in April[19] and of any car-oriented film, the record having been previously held by Cars, which grossed $60.1 million. Both of these records were broken two years later by Fast Five, which grossed $86.2 million.[20] Fast & Furious also held the record for the highest opening weekend for a spring release, until it was broken by Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Its worldwide gross on its opening weekend stands at $102.6 million[3] with $7.2 million coming from the UK, $8.6 million from Russia, $6 million in France and $3 million from Germany.[21]

The film ended its theatrical release on July 2, 2009 with a gross of $155,064,265 in the United States and Canada and $205,300,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $360,364,265,[4] making it the 17th highest grossing film of 2009.[22]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 29% with an average score of 4.57/10, based on 175 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "While Fast and Furious features the requisite action and stunts, the filmmakers have failed to provide a competent story or compelling characters."[23] On Metacritic it has a score of 46 based on 28 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[24] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "A–" on a scale from A to F.[25]

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gives the film a B+, saying, "Fast & Furious is still no Point Break. But it's perfectly aware of its limited dramatic mission...and...it offers an attractive getaway route from self-importance, snark, and chatty comedies about male bonding."[26] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter thought this movie was the first real sequel to the first and also gave it a positive review, writing, "Fast & Furious is the first true sequel of the bunch. By reuniting the two male stars from the original and...continuing the story from the first film, this new film should re-ignite the franchise."[27] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave it a positive review, providing viewers were car fans, writing, "If you're a lover of stomach-clenching speed that turns the world into a neon blur...then Fast & Furious, the fourth edition of that metal-twisting series, should leave you exhausted and satiated for a very long time."[28]

Roger Ebert, who gave positive reviews to the previous films, gave an unfavorable review of the film, writing, "I admire the craft involved, but the movie leaves me profoundly indifferent. After three earlier movies in the series, which have been transmuted into video games, why do we need a fourth one? Oh. I just answered my own question." Ebert noted the story, dialogue and acting as perfunctory.[29]

Sequel[edit]

Paul Walker and Vin Diesel reunited for a Fast & Furious sequel, entitled Fast Five. Justin Lin directed, while Chris Morgan wrote the screenplay. It was released in April 2011.[30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As depicted in the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious.
  2. ^ As depicted in the 2011 film Fast Five.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Fast & Furious". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  2. ^ "Fast & Furious". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Fast & Furious speeds to No. 1 worldwide". Reuters. April 5, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2020. cost about $85 million to make, the studio said.
  4. ^ a b c "Fast and Furious (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  5. ^ "Fast & Furious 4 on Amazon". Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Merrick (March 6, 2008). "Another Familiar Face Is Returning For The New FAST AND THE FURIOUS Film!!". AintItCool.com. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  7. ^ Chris Beaumont (March 7, 2008). "Michelle Rodriguez Joins Walker and Diesel for The Fast and the Furious 4". FilmSchoolRejects.com. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  8. ^ a b More Cars and More Action in Fast & Furious Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine pedal to the floor March 20, 2015
  9. ^ 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R [R34]
  10. ^ The F-Bomb Drops on Fast & Furious Edmunds Insideline March 13, 2009
  11. ^ Fast & Furious Movie Cars – Faster And More Furious Hod Rod Magazine, May 2009
  12. ^ a b Dan Goldwasser (February 24, 2009). "Brian Tyler scores fast and furious with Fast & Furious". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
  13. ^ Ford, Allan (April 2, 2009). "Fast & Furious 4 To Be First Theatrical D-BOX Release". Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  14. ^ "Blu-ray.com – Fast & Furious Blu-ray".
  15. ^ "Vin Diesel "adores" Dominicans, presents 'Los Bandoleros'". dominicantoday.com. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  16. ^ "Fast & Furious – Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers (website). Nash Information Services. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  17. ^ "Daily Box Office for Friday, 3 April 2009". Box Office Mojo.
  18. ^ Rich, Joshua (April 5, 2009). "Fast & Furious shatters box office records". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  19. ^ "Walker, Diesel will return for 'Furious' sequel – Access Hollywood". Today.com. April 12, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  20. ^ Weekend Report: 'Fast Five' Packs Record Heat
  21. ^ The “Fast & Furious” international cume stands Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ 2009 Worldwide Box Office. Box Office Mojo
  23. ^ "Fast & Furious". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  24. ^ "Fast & Furious". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  25. ^ Brandon Gray (April 6, 2009). "Weekend Report: 'Fast and Furious' Power Slides to Record Debut". Box Office Mojo. Hispanics were Fast and Furious' most represented ethnicity at 46 percent, followed by Caucasians (28 percent), and the grade from moviegoer-tracker CinemaScore was an "A-," which was better than the "B" of the first movie.
  26. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (April 1, 2009). "Fast & Furious (2009)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  27. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (April 2, 2009). "Film Review: Fast & Furious". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  28. ^ Sharkey, Betsy (April 3, 2009). "Video review: Fast & Furious". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  29. ^ Roger Ebert (April 1, 2009). "Fast & Furious". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  30. ^ Reynolds, Simon (February 4, 2010). "Universal greenlights fifth Fast And Furious". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 4, 2010.

External links[edit]