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PULLING A FAST ONE; Vin Diesel returns to the role that made him a star for more car chases and eye candy.

FAST AND FURIOUS *** PG

YOU could just rent the original. Seriously, the description 'more of the same' has never applied so perfectly to a movie that's got nothing new going on under the bonnet.

In saying that it's still vibrant, mindless fun, packed with beautiful people, pimped up cars, and er,Vin Diesel.

The thick-necked one returns to the role that made him a star and with a career that's been stuck in second gear ever since (The Pacifier anyone?) he needs all the fuel-injected help he can get. Call me cynical but I reckon he's back for the cash, and the brief thrust of limelight the film will give his dwindling career.

Keeps his profile ticking over I guess, but his inclusion is also a wise move on the studio's part that is sure to please audiences. The previous movie in the franchise, 2006's The

Fast and the Furious - Tokyo Drift, limped home with a paltry $63 million. Neither Diesel nor its other original star PaulWalker appeared, so with both of them back, it's a kind of return to gloriously idiotic form and hopefully for them double the box office and then some.

But the only reason anyone will go to see this film are the fast cars, sexy women and death-defying stunts.

Not the sparkling dialogue or riveting acting, if there was any.

Admittedly there are a few funny one liners and of course the slick cars, but ultimately Fast and Furious is a franchise closely running on empty.

And why, if the emphasis is on the cars, have the makers even bothered trying to make us care about these characters' personal lives, and minimizing the only reason why people will go and see the movie... that's right, the car racing.Yup, for a film that's known for pedal to the metal action there should be much more of it. Maybe they thought the chases would dumb the film down too much. Er, HELLO!

Forget everything about Tokyo Drift, this picks up the action a few years on from 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Out-for-revenge Diminic Toretto (Diesel) and FBI agent Brian O'Conner (Walker) reunite along with eye candy Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster to take down a Mexican drug-kingpin (Arturo Braga) who is recruiting street racers to drive his heroin across the border.

It all amounts to a seen before and pointless tale of espionage and non-intrigue that just gets in the way of the fast and furious hokum.

It's technically brilliant, utterly implausible, popcorn for the eyes that shouldn't be taken as seriously as the film takes itself.

MY MOVIE RATINGS

***** EXCELLENT - A MUST SEE

**** GREAT - CATCH IT IF YOU CAN

*** GOOD - YOU'LL ENJOY IT

** AVERAGE/FAIR - TAKE CARE.

* AVOID - LIKE THE PLAGUE

CAPTION(S):

DRIVING FORCE: Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel in a high-speed car chase
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 10, 2009
Words:470
Previous Article:BoxOffice; We rate the movies that are on at the cinema this week.
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