Michelle Rodriguez Gets Fast and Furious Again
This has always been a dark pleasure of mine that I'm constantly ridiculed for among my circle of friends, but I LOVE the Fast and The Furious franchise. To be sure, I certainly concede the productions firmly float in the shallow end of the pool. But as a car nut, the flicks are pure brain-rotting eye candy. In addition to the routine smattering of news surrounding the fourth iteration of the line, Rodriguez' official site tells us that Michelle Rodriquez has signed on to reprise her original role of Letty from the first film, pretty much completing the core original cast.
As has been broadly reported this past year, the yet-untitled fourth film is a return to the 2001 series' origins, bringing back Brian (Paul Walker), Dominic (Vin Diesel) and Mia (Jordana Brewster); and now, Rodriguez, who ironically was jailed back in December because of violating her probation relating to a DUI charge. (She's out now, though).
Despite being the fourth film, this story doesn't exactly build off its predecessor. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (i.e., the third in the series) had little to do with the first two, save for a half-assed cameo by Diesel in the very end. However, director Justin Lin of Tokyo Drift will return to direct the fourth film and apparently has some ideas on how to bridge the latest two movies.
If you saw Tokyo Drift - which I would venture to say most readers of this post haven't, given the unfortunate sigma of the franchise - you would be familiar with the character, Han (Sung Kang from War, Live Free or Die Hard), who actually died in the film. However, in Diesel's cameo at the end of the movie, he alludes to being a friend of Han's.
That's where the fourth film comes in. Leaked plot details so far indicate that the new film will actually take place between the second and third, and Sung Kang will join the alums, thus manifesting the friendship between Han and Dominic. Make sense?
In early February, Rope of Silicon posted the following rough synopsis:
"Brian (Paul Walker) is freed from prison (the authorities found out that he let Dominic played by Vin Diesel go at the end of the first film) to help the feds stop a heroin importer known as Braga. With the help of an informant named James Park, Brian – and ultimately Dominic Toretto – wins a place on the criminal's team, where he – and his flashy Nissan plan to catch the man red-handed."
Personally, I'm very much looking forward to June 5th, 2009 when the film is due to be released. I had an overly exuberant affinity to Tokyo Drift, since at the time I owned a modified Nissan 350z not unlike those used in the movies. In the upcoming film, I can equally get behind the cars I've seen so far, namely a Ghost Rider-inspired Mustang and the new Subaru STI.
The original of the series is decidedly the best and most successful, grossing near $150 million domestically, compared to the last installment which only pulled in $62 million. Clearly, the appeal has waned, which is why no one went to see it with me. I do hope, with the return of the original cast, this next iteration will be equally entertaining and more broadly appealing.