Summer is a time when film studios try their best to cash in on the holiday spirit that pervades the US by lining up their biggest releases. The release schedule gets crowded. The studios counter by releasing movies that can hit audiences hard and pick up a lot of cash quickly. Say hello to the Popcorn Action Blockbuster.
But every now and then a movie transcends its action genre and proves to be much more than a set of brainless thrills. Fast and Furious (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker) - the fourth installment in the 'car-zen plus some hot chicks on the side' franchise started off the blocks early this season. Reportedly made for $85 m (a bargain by Summer Tent pole standards), it pulled in almost $350 m worldwide.
I watched it on DVD expecting a mindless action flick. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that FF is not all brawn. In fact, its a veritable collection of VDT (Very Deep Thoughts). Littered all over the movie are codes to live life by.
As a public service, I've collected the key Fast and Furious philosophies below.
ON JOB SATISFACTION
Dom: The cops are getting hungrier...
Letty: Then I guess we are doing our job
ON FORESIGHT AND PLANNING
Letty: Ride or Die, remember? ...We'll figure it out. We always do!
ON RACE RELATIONS
Agent Stasiak: I could hit a fortune cookie out of the window and hit 50 David Parks right now
FBI Agent #1: Its (a) Korean (name), not Chinese
Agent Stasiak: Whatever!
O'Conner: I lied to everybody
Mia: Maybe you lied to yourself. Maybe you are not the good guy pretending to be the bad guy. Maybe you are the bad guy pretending to be the good guy. You ever think about that?
O'Conner: Every day
Dom: So what are we hauling?
Campos: For the money Braga's paying you don't need to know
Dom: You just said you wanted real drivers. A real driver knows exactly what's in his car!
ON WHAT MEN WANT
Gisele: Are you one of those boys who prefers cars to women?
Dom: I'm one of those boys who appreciates a fine body regardless of the make
ON WHAT MEN ALSO WANT
Gisele: So now that I know your taste in cars, tell me, what about your women?
Dom: It all starts with the eyes...20% angel 80% devil
ON HOW TO BREAK UP CORRECTLY
Gisele: (Your taste in women) That's not anything like me
Dom: It ain't!
ON MINDFUL MEDITATION
O'Conner: Everyone is looking for you
Dom: I'm right here
Mia: How do you say goodbye to your only brother?
Dom: You don't!
Now watch what happens. Even with the (highly misguided) expanded Oscar nomination roster, Fast and Furious will get passed by for Deepest Action Movie. Wait, what? There is no such category you say?
There ought to be one!
More Fast and Furious on the Drift: Cars and Masculinity 101