Mr. Movie

'Fast' franchise finally runs out of gas

The name play with the The Fast and Furious sequels is far more creative than the plot of the latest installment which has a line in it that indicates it may be the prequel to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

Fast & Furious is the name this time. Skipped is the beginning “the” and an ampersand replaces “and.” Neither title is as much fun or as inventive as 2 Fast 2 Furious which was light years faster and much more furious than this one.

More cop shop than chop shop, Fast & Furious brings Vin Diesel back into the franchise. He heads home to Los Angeles to avenge the death of girlfriend Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty at the hands of a merciless drug dealer.

He reluctantly teams with ex-friend and FBI agent Brian O’Conner to get the job done.

The action sequences are mediocre. Cut to a headshot of Diesel or co-star Paul Walker’s O’Conner. Flash to a quick shift at the gearshift knob. Next comes slamming down of -- select one: brake or gas pedal. That is followed by squealing, smoking-tires and six or eight quick edits of a car or cars careening down a street or highway, through the desert or in dirt-packed tunnels.

Fortunately there aren’t many of these badly done chase scenes. Unfortunately, that’s why you want to see this movie. Even more unfortunate: What passes for a plot is interspersed between them.

Are you catching my Tokyo drift?

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated PG-13 for some violence, language, mature themes. It opens April 3 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.