|Fast & Furious|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Justin Lin|
|Written by||Chris Morgan|
by Gary Scott Thompson
|Music by||Brian Tyler|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$363.2 million|
Fast & Furious (alternatively known as The Fast and the Furious 4, or Fast & Furious 4) is a 2009 American action film directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. It is the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise. It was released in the United States on April 3, 2009. Fast & Furious follows Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) who are forced to work together to avenge the murder of Toretto's lover Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) and apprehend drug lord Arturo Braga (John Ortiz).
Fast & Furious marked the first film in the series since the original installment, The Fast and the Furious (2001), to feature the main cast. As a result, this spawned a shift within the series' chronological order, with developers setting Fast & Furious between the second and fifth installments, to account for their absences. Casting began in July 2007, after Universal Studios confirmed the returns of Diesel and Walker, while principal photography began in Los Angeles in 2008, with the film being shot in California.
Fast & Furious achieved financial success, setting box office records for its opening weekend and spring opening weekend gross. It quickly became the highest grossing film in the franchise, and eventually grossed over $363 million worldwide. The film was also the 17th highest-grossing film of 2009.
Despite its commercial success, Fast & Furious received mixed reviews, with critics singling out Diesel and Walker for praise in some reviews for their performances, while critics also praised the film's soundtrack and production. However, some were critical of the film's dialog, treatment of women, and the performances of the leads. A sequel, Fast Five, was released in April 2011 to box office success, surpassing Fast & Furious as the highest-grossing film in the franchise.
Five years after escaping from the US,[N 1] Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his new crew, consisting of his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tego Leo (Tego Calderon), Rico Santos (Don Omar), Cara (Mirtha Michelle) and Han Lue (Sung Kang), are hijacking fuel tankers in the Dominican Republic. Dominic 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, Dominic runs, leaving Letty behind to protect her from harm.
Three months later, Dominic is now residing in Panama City. He gets a call from his sister, Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), who tells him that Letty has been murdered. Dominic 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 (Paul Walker) is trying to track down a Mexican drug lord, Arturo Braga (John Ortiz). His search leads him to David Park, and he tracks him down using an illegal modification record on his car. Dominic 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 from the impound lot. Dominic races in his modified 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454. Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), 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. Dominic 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 Dominic notices that Fenix drives the same Torino the mechanic described. They drive across the border using underground tunnels to avoid detection. Brian has prior knowledge that after the heroin was delivered, Braga ordered the drivers to be killed. Upon discovering this, Dominic confronts Fenix and learns that he himself killed Letty when she tried to escape him. A stand-off ensues, though not before Dominic 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, Dominic and Brian hijack a 1999 Hummer H1 with $60 million worth of heroin in it. Dominic 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 Dominic's house, where they reunite with Mia.
Dominic finds out Brian was the last person to contact Letty, which results in Dominic attacking Brian until Brian 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 Dominic 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 Dominic drive through the underground 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, Dominic drives into and kills Fenix. As police and helicopters approach the crash site on the American side of the border, Brian tells Dominic to leave, but Dominic refuses – saying he is not running anymore. Despite Brian's request for clemency, the judge sentences Dominic to 25 years to life. Brian resigns from the FBI and Dominic boards a prison bus that will transport him to Lompoc penitentiary. As the bus drives down the road, Brian, Mia, Leo, and Santos arrive in their cars to intercept it.[N 2]
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.
The film was announced in July 2007. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, 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. 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.
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 454 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.
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.
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. The score album was released on CD by Varèse Sarabande Records with over 78 minutes worth of music.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. It was re-released in Australia on Blu-ray including a digital copy and re-titled Fast & Furious 4 on March 30, 2011.
Fast & Furious received mixed reviews from professional critics. The film is rated at 28% based on 173 reviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website and 45 on Metacritic based on 27 reviews.
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." 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." 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."
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."
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. The film had the sixth-biggest opening weekend of 2009 and was double what most industry observers expected.
It also held the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend in April 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. 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 with $7.2 million coming from the UK, $8.6 million from Russia, $6 million in France and $3 million from Germany.
The film ended its theatrical release on July 2, 2009 with a gross of $155,064,265 in the United States and $208,100,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $363,164,265 (making it the fifth most successful film in the franchise behind Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious, Fast & Furious 6, and Fast Five). It is also the 17th highest-grossing film of 2009 and the fifth highest film of 2009 to gross $300 million worldwide behind Star Trek, Monsters vs. Aliens, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Terminator Salvation.
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.
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