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The Fast and the Furious Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze, Ted Levine, Ja Rule, Vyto Ruginis, Thom Barry, Stanton Rutledge, Noel Gugliemi

“I live my life a quarter-mile at a time…Nothings else matters, not the store, not the mortage, not the garage, not my friends or any of their bullshit. For those 10 seconds or less, I’m free.”

The Fast and the Furious: an undercover cop infiltrates an LA street racing scene in the hopes of busting a ring of hijackers with crazy-good driving skills. So it’s not the most ambitious, smartest, or brilliant piece of film-making, but ‘TFATF’ does what it does really well. It’s brimming with bicep-bulging machismo, dangerously-torqued grotesque muscle cars, nearly-nude dance / club girls, thick green wedges of dead presidents and general glorification of the thug life… There’s a pretty cool soundtrack (for the time), but it’s a little dated now – although dance/trance/rave pounding through entire scenes makes it feel like an arcade game. The characters are all fairly stereotypical, the script’s as cheesy as they come, but these are cancelled out by some decent action set-pieces, some serious stunt-driving, and what’s essentially a ton of car-porn. My biggest gripe is that it feels far too derivative of previous undercover action films like Point Break and No Man’s Land. It’s easy to sneer at a film this dumb, but you’ve got to admire how a bunch of car fanatics could get together and turn out a film with a decent story, awesome cars, great stunts and above all – keep it broad and entertaining.

Score: 6.5/10

The fast and the Furious II Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze, Ted Levine, Ja Rule, Vyto Ruginis, Thom Barry, Stanton Rutledge, Noel Gugliemi

Wrong Side of Town: an ex-marine has to get across town to save his kidnapped daughter – but he has a bounty on his huge head to gets his tiny-headed friend to help out. The opening scene and cool Bond-esque credits & song pricked my ears up straight away; unfortunately you soon realise that this can’t even be called legitimate acting – it’s a sad state of affairs when professional wrestler Batista pulls out the best performance in your film. On all other levels this really is “sub-movie” – story, script, direction, casting… you name it. A poor man’s JCVD – RVD – limps through the film, a fitting metaphor such a tragic film. If wrestlers running around looking badass with generic WWE metal intro music is your thing, then maybe this is worth a gamble. However, I usually take that stuff with a pinch of salt, but the only way I can sum this up honestly is by saying “Holy shit WWE! Must. Try. Harder.”

Score: 1.5/10