REVIEW: SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE

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CAST

Demi Lovato (Camp Rock)
Mandy Patinkin (Dead Like Me)
Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Jack McBrayer (Wreck-It-Ralph)
Danny Purdi (Powerless)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and The Furious)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)
Julia Roberts (Closer)
Ariel Winter (Modern Family)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: TAS)
Yuri Lowenthal (Legion of Super Heroes)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Kari Wahlgren (Rick and Morty)

In Smurf Village, the Smurfs live peacefully among themselves. Their leader is the wise, eldery, and a bit overprotective, Papa Smurf. Some of the Smurfs include the klutsy and slow-witted Clumsy Smurf, the intelligent and eccentric Brainy Smurf, the strong and gutsy Hefty Smurf and the beautiful Smurfette, who feels out of place in Smurf Village as the only girl. Smurfette was created by the villainous wizard Gargamel from a lump of clay, but was redeemed by Papa Smurf and became part of the village. Gargamel makes it his mission to capture the Smurfs, steal all of their essence, and become the most powerful wizard in the world.After Smurfette accidentally breaks an invention by Brainy, made up by a fun day snowboarding with Clumsy, Brainy and Hefty, Smurfette sees a blue creature hidden by a leaf and follows it straight into the forbidden forest, which Papa Smurf forbids the Smurfs from entering, believing the creature to be a Smurf. She loses sight of the creature but she discovers a hat that was dropped by the possible Smurf. Smurfette ends up being captured by Gargamel and at his castle, she ends up inadvertently revealing the hat, enabling Gargamel to mix up a brew that causes him to locate the village on a map. Soon enough Clumsy, Brainy, and Hefty, who followed Smurfette, help her escape and return to Smurf Village, where they are reprimanded by Papa Smurf for disobeying his orders and confines them to their houses while dismissing their claims of a lost village filled with Smurfs.However, Smurfette, still wanting to find her place, sneaks out into the night, with Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty volunteering to come with her. Gargamel soon discovers them trying to find the lost village and heads out with his cat Azrael and giant bird Monty to stop them. The four best friends follow the map and end up in various predicaments and misadventures, like being attacked by monster flowers and getting caught in a stampede of luminescent rabbits, one of whom they befriended and named Bucky, who helps them on their quest. After setting sail on their handmade raft along the river, they encounter Gargamel, Azrael, and Monty. Following a brief chase, Gargamel was thrown out of his own raft. Hefty and Smurfette convince the others to help save him. They do so but instead of thanking them, he pushed them out of their raft, leaving them to plunge down a waterfall.Meanwhile, back at Smurf Village, Papa Smurf tries to reconcile with Smurfette over his actions on the previous night, but soon discovers that she, Brainy, Hefty, and Clumsy are gone, so he sets out to find them and set things right. Back with the Smurf group, after surviving the waterfall and washed ashore, they are soon captured by the leaf-covered creature from earlier along with a few others and they soon reveal themselves to be female Smurfs. They are taken to their village, which is called Smurfy Grove, in the trees and get to know all the girl Smurfs, including the leader Smurf Willow, the tomboyish Smurf Storm, the hyperactive Smurf Blossom, the gentle Smurf Lily and the music-loving Smurf Melody. They all welcome the Smurfs, especially Smurfette, to their humble home. After a while of showing them what they do, Smurf Storm and Clumsy come back with her telling that Smurfette was created by Gargamel. Before they can attack her for being considered a traitor, Papa Smurf appears, and the female smurfs accept him into their home. Then, Gargamel comes and destroys Smurfy Grove, capturing all the Smurfs, all except Smurfette, who is now alone, feeling guilty for her actions. However, Brainy’s pet Snappy bug shows her a picture of her and the others, and she soon realizes that she is not a real Smurf, and heads back to Gargamel’s lair with Snappy and Bucky to save the Smurfs.At Gargamel’s lair, where all the Smurfs are, Brainy makes a plan to escape. Papa Smurf hears their plan and he and Smurf Willow decide to help them. Hefty, Brainy, Clumsy, and some of the female Smurfs succeed at the plan until Gargamel and Azrael spot them and put some of the female Smurfs and Clumsy into his Smurfilator, extracting their essence. Smurfette appears, tricking Gargamel that she wants to be an evil smurf again. When Gargamel tries to turn Smurfette into an evil smurf, he realizes that Smurfette is absorbing his magic powers instead, a skill she found earlier after destroying Brainy’s invention. The lair explodes, sending Gargamel, Azrael, and Monty into a lake full of piranhas. Unfortunately, Smurfette has reverted to her original lifeless clay form. Back at Smurf Village, all the Smurfs mourn the loss of Smurfette. Using their energy, Smurfette comes back to life and becomes a Smurf again and everybody celebrates. After which, Smurf Village and Smurfy Grove become united with each other and Smurfette finds her purpose, being anything she wants to be and most of all, a true-blue Smurf.Smurfs: The Lost Village is a story that fits nicely between the classic Peyo comics and the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon. The animation is beautifully done. There is no way you can take every little detail in with just one viewing. The plot is fairly straightforward with adventure at the forefront. This film avoids the misplaced pop culture references and overused Smurf puns that many disliked about the previous movies. “Smurfs: The Lost Village” aims for a younger audience, but adults shouldn’t have a problem remembering why they liked these characters themselves.

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REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS 8

CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Jason Statham (Safe)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers)
Ludacris (Gamer)
Scott Eastwood (Fury)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones)
Kurt Russell (Big Trouble In Little China)
Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane)
Tego Calderón (Illegal Tender)
Don Omar (Los Bandoleros)
Luke Evans (Dracula untold)
Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones)
Helen Mirren (Red)

Dominic “Dom” Toretto and Letty Ortiz are on their honeymoon in Havana when Dom is challenged to a street race at an auto show by local racer Raldo. Dom races for Raldo’s car, intending to give it to his cousin Fernando, while wagering his own show car. After narrowly winning the race, Dom allows Raldo to keep his car, earning his respect, and instead leaves his cousin with his show car. The next day, Dom is approached by elusive cyberterrorist Cipher, who coerces him into working for her.Shortly after the encounter, Dom and his team, comprising Letty, Roman Pearce, Tej Parker, and Ramsey, are recruited by Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs to help him retrieve an EMP device from a military outpost in Berlin. During the getaway, Dom goes rogue, forcing Hobbs off the road and stealing the device for Cipher. Hobbs is arrested and locked up in the same high-security prison he helped imprison Deckard Shaw in. After escaping, both are recruited by intelligence operative Frank Petty/Mr. Nobody and his protégé, Eric Reisner/Little Nobody, to help the team find Dom and capture Cipher.Deckard reveals that Cipher was the mastermind of previous encounters with the team, such as employing his brother Owen Shaw to steal the Nightshade device and orchestrating the attempted theft of God’s Eye, Ramsey’s software program.The team tracks Dom and Cipher to their very location just as they attack the base and steal God’s Eye. When Dom begins to question Cipher’s motives, she reveals that she has held Dom’s ex-lover and DSS agent Elena Neves – as well as their son, whose existence Dom was previously unaware of – hostage in order to keep Dom loyal to her. Elena tells Dom that the child was born as a result of an unintended pregnancy, and that she wanted him to decide the child’s first name, having already given him the middle name Marcos.Cipher then sends Dom to New York City to retrieve a nuclear football held by the Russian Minister of Defence.Dom manages to evade her for a short time through a diversion created by Raldo, allowing him to meet with and persuade Deckard and Owen’s mother, Magdalene Shaw, to help. The team intercepts Dom after he steals the nuclear football, but Dom escapes, shooting and apparently killing Deckard in the process. Cipher facilitates Dom’s escape by hacking into all of the autonomous cars in the city and reprogramming them to auto-drive, wreaking havoc throughout the city. Letty catches up to Dom, but is ambushed and nearly killed by Cipher’s enforcer, Connor Rhodes, before Dom rescues her. In retaliation, Cipher has Rhodes kill Elena in front of Dom.Dom is then sent to Russia to use the EMP device to disable a nuclear submarine, enabling Cipher to hijack it and attempt to use its arsenal to trigger a nuclear war. They are once again intercepted by the team, provided with modified vehicles by Petty. Meanwhile, Deckard, who had faked his death and been extracted by Tego Leo and Rico Santos, former members of Dom’s team, infiltrates Cipher’s plane to rescue Dom’s son at Magdalene’s behest, with the help of Owen. Once Deckard reports that the child is safe, Dom turns on Cipher and kills Rhodes, avenging Elena’s death, before rejoining his team. Outraged, Cipher launches an infrared homing missile at Dom, but he breaks away from his team and maneuvers around it, causing the missile to hit the submarine instead. The team quickly forms a vehicular blockade around Dom, shielding him from the ensuing explosion. When Deckard reaches the front of the plane and confronts Cipher, she makes her escape by parachuting out of the plane. Petty and Reisner visit Dom and his team in New York City to report that Cipher is still at large. Hobbs is offered his DSS job back, but he declines in order to spend more time with his daughter. Deckard then arrives to return Dom’s son, putting his differences aside with Dom and Hobbs in the process, and is accepted into their family. Dom decides to name his son Brian, after his friend and brother-in-law Brian O’Conner, and they celebrate.Fast and Furious 8 is awesome and does what it is trying to do which is entertain with crazy action sequences. A great action packed film to a solid franchise.

REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS 7

CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Paul Walker (Brick Mansion)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers)
Ludacris (Gamer)
Djimon Hounsou (Staragte)
Tony Jaa (XXX: The Return of Xander Cage)
Ronda Rousey (Blindespot)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones)
Kurt Russell (Big Trouble In Little China)
Jason Statham (Safe)
Lucas Black (Jarhead)
Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane)
Noel Gugliemi (Old School)
John Brotherton (Fuller House)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)

After defeating Owen Shaw and his crew and securing amnesty for their past crimes, Dominic “Dom” Toretto, Brian O’Conner and the rest of their team have returned to the United States to live normal lives again. Brian begins to accustom himself to life as a father, while Dom tries to help Letty Ortiz regain her memory. Meanwhile, Owen’s older brother, Deckard Shaw, breaks into the secure hospital that the comatose Owen is being held in and swears vengeance against Dom and his team, before breaking into Luke Hobbs’ Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) office to extract profiles of Dom’s crew. After revealing his identity, Shaw engages Hobbs in a fight, and escapes when he detonates a bomb that severely injures Hobbs. Dom later learns from his sister Mia that she is pregnant again and convinces her to tell Brian. However, a bomb, disguised in a package sent from Tokyo, explodes and destroys the Toretto house just seconds after Han, a member of Dom’s team, is killed by Shaw in Tokyo. Dom later visits Hobbs in a hospital, where he learns that Shaw is a rogue special forces assassin seeking to avenge his brother. Dom then travels to Tokyo to claim Han’s body, and meets and races Sean Boswell, a friend of Han’s who gives him personal items found at Han’s crash site.Back at Han’s funeral in Los Angeles, Dom notices a car observing them, and after a chase, confronts its driver, who is revealed to be Shaw. Both prepare to fight, but Shaw flees when a covert ops team arrives and opens fire, led by Frank Petty, a man who calls himself Mr. Nobody. Petty says that he will assist Dom in stopping Shaw if he helps him obtain God’s Eye, a computer program that uses digital devices to track down a person, and save its creator, a hacker named Ramsey, from a mercenary named Mose Jakande. Dom, Brian, Letty, Roman Pearce, and Tej Parker then airdrop their cars over the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan, ambush Jakande’s convoy, and rescue Ramsey.The team then heads to Abu Dhabi, where a billionaire has acquired the flash drive containing God’s Eye, and manages to steal it from the owner. With God’s Eye near telecommunications repeaters, the team tracks down Shaw, who is waiting at a remote factory. Dom, Brian, Petty and his team attempt to capture Shaw, but are ambushed by Jakande and his men and forced to flee while Jakande obtains God’s Eye. At his own request, the injured Petty is then left behind to be evacuated by helicopter while Brian and Dom continue without him. Left with no other choice, the crew returns to Los Angeles to fight Shaw, Jakande and his men. Meanwhile, Brian promises Mia that once they deal with Shaw, he will retire and fully dedicate himself to their family.While Jakande pursues Brian and the rest of the team with a stealth helicopter and an aerial drone, Ramsey attempts to hack into God’s Eye. Hobbs, seeing the team in trouble, leaves the hospital and destroys the drone with an ambulance. Ramsey then regains control of God’s Eye and shuts it down. Meanwhile, Dom and Shaw engage in a one-on-one brawl on a parking garage, before Jakande intervenes and attacks them both. Shaw is defeated when part of the parking garage collapses beneath him. Dom then launches his vehicle at Jakande’s helicopter, tossing Shaw’s bag of grenades onto its skids, before injuring himself when his car lands and crashes. Hobbs then shoots the bag of grenades from ground level, destroying the helicopter and killing Jakande. Dom is pulled from the wreckage of his car, believed to be dead. As Letty cradles Dom’s body in her arms, she reveals that she has regained her memories, and that she remembers their wedding. Dom regains consciousness soon after, remarking, “It’s about time”.Shaw is taken into custody by Hobbs and locked away in a secret, high-security prison. At a beach, Brian and Mia play with their son while Dom, Letty, Roman, Tej, and Ramsey observe, acknowledging that Brian is better off retired with his family. Dom silently leaves, but Brian catches up with him at a crossroad. As Dom remembers the times that he had with Brian, they bid each other farewell and drive off in separate directions.Fast & Furious 7 is a no-holds, over- the-top and mindless action film, but this aside, it is an extremely entertaining and fun film to watch. With an all-star cast and some brilliant action sequences, Fast & Furious 7 is proof that certain franchises can continually make great movies. The most notable moment however in the entire film is the emotional and respectful ending during the send-off of Paul Walker, the film finishing with a montage of Walker in the previous six films, finishing with just two words. A fitting end for a great actor.

REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS 6

CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Paul Walker (Brick Mansion)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers)
Ludacris (Gamer)
Sung Kang (Bullet to The Head)
Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
Luke Evans (Dracula untold)
Gina Carano (Deadpoll)
John Ortiz (Narc)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane)
Jason Statham (Safe)

Following their successful heist in Brazil, Dominic “Dom” Toretto and his professional criminal crew have fled around the world: Dom lives with Elena; his sister Mia lives with Brian O’Conner and their son, Jack; Gisele and Han live together; and Roman and Tej live in luxury. Meanwhile, DSS agent Luke Hobbs and Riley Hicks investigate the destruction of a Russian military convoy by a crew led by former British SAS Major and special ops soldier Owen Shaw. Hobbs persuades Dom to help capture Shaw by showing him a photo of the supposedly long-dead Letty Ortiz, Dom’s former lover. Dom and his crew accept the mission in exchange for their amnesty, allowing them to return to the United States.In London, Shaw’s hideout is found, but this is revealed to be a trap, distracting them and the police while Shaw’s crew performs a heist at an Interpol building. Shaw flees by car, detonating his hideout and disabling most of the police, leaving Dom, Brian, Tej, Han, Gisele, Hobbs, and Riley to pursue him. Letty arrives to help Shaw, shooting Dom without hesitation before escaping. Back at their headquarters, Hobbs tells Dom’s crew that Shaw is stealing components to create a deadly device, intending to sell it to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, Shaw’s investigation into the opposing crew reveals Letty’s relationship with Dom, but she is revealed to be suffering from amnesia. Dominic’s crew learns that Shaw is connected to a drug lord who was imprisoned by Brian, Arturo Braga. Brian returns to Los Angeles as a prisoner to question Braga, who says Letty survived the explosion that seemingly killed her; Shaw took her in after discovering her amnesia. With FBI help, Brian is released from prison, regrouping with the team in London.Dom challenges Letty in a street racing competition; afterwards, he returns her cross necklace he had kept. After Letty leaves, Shaw offers Dom a chance to walk away, threatening to otherwise hurt his family, but Dom refuses. Tej tracks Shaw’s next attack to a Spanish NATO base. Shaw’s crew assaults a highway military convoy carrying a computer chip to complete his deadly device. Dom’s crew interferes while Shaw, accompanied by Letty, commandeers a tank, destroying cars en route. Brian and Roman manage to flip the tank before it causes further damage, resulting in Letty being thrown from the vehicle and Dom risking his life to save her. Shaw and his crew are captured, but reveal Mia has been kidnapped by Shaw. Hobbs is forced to release Shaw, and Riley, revealed to be Shaw’s covert accomplice, leaves with him; Letty chooses to remain with Dom.Shaw’s group board a large moving aircraft on a runway as Dom’s crew gives chase. Dom, Letty, and Brian board the craft; Brian rescues Mia, escaping in an onboard car. The plane attempts take-off, but is held down by excess weight as the rest of the team tether the plane to their vehicles. Gisele sacrifices herself to save Han from Shaw’s henchman; Letty kills Riley and escapes to safety, but Dom pursues Shaw and the computer chip. As the plane crashes into the ground, Shaw is thrown from it, seriously injuring him, and Dom drives a car out of the exploding plane. Dom reunites with his crew, and gives the chip to Hobbs to secure their pardons. Dom and the others return to his old family home in Los Angeles. Hobbs and Elena, now working together, arrive to confirm the crew’s freedom; Elena accepts that Dom loves Letty. As Roman says grace over the crew’s meal, Dom asks Letty if the gathering feels familiar; she answers “no, but it feels like home.” In a mid-credits scene, which takes place in Tokyo, Han is involved in a car chase when he is suddenly broadsided by an oncoming car. The driver walks away from the scene after leaving Letty’s cross necklace by the crash, and calls Dom as Han’s car fatally explodes, saying, “You don’t know me. You’re about to.”It’s so rare nowadays that sequels improve and franchises get better, well Fast & Furious shows us it’s truth. This sixth addition lives up to it’s speedy natured title yet again with furious action sequences that will excite audiences from the epic scale convoy heist to the knockout plane finale, it’s all so over the top and that’s exactly what you want.

REVIEW: FAST & FURIOUS

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CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Paul walker (Brick Mansion)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
John Ortiz (Amistad)
Laz Alonso (The Last Stand)
Jack Conley (Get Shorty)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Sung Kang (Die Hard 4.0)
Don Omar (Los Bandoleros)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Ron Yuan (Ring of Fire)
Tego Calderón (Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds)
Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder)

Five years after the first film, Dominic Toretto and his new crew, consisting of his girlfriend Letty, Tego Leo, Rico Santos, Cara Mirtha, and Han Seoul-Oh, 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, 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, F.B.I. agent Brian O’Conner is trying to track down a Mexican drug lord, Arturo Braga. 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 F.B.I.’s new informant. Park gets Brian into a street race. Brian selects a modified 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34[5] from the impound lot. Dominic races in his modified 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454. Gisele Yashar, 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 F.B.I. agent to arrest another driver, Dwight Mueller, and takes his place on the team.The team meets one of Braga’s men, 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. Fenix killed Letty personally, and after a stand-off, Dominic detonates his car with nitrous to distract Braga’s men, and Brian hijacks a 1999 Hummer H1 with $60 million worth of heroin in it. Dominic and Brian drive back to L.A. and hide the heroin in a police impound lot, where Brian picks up a modified Subaru Impreza WRX STI Hatchback, and they drive to Dominic’s hideout.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, 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 and flees to Mexico.Brian and Dominic travel to Mexico to catch Braga. They 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.

The movie is full of everything you expect from the franchise: Nice cars, great racing and hot women. This movie has great action sequences as well. I recommend this movie to anyone that has followed the others.

REVIEW: LOS BANDOLEROS

CAST

Vin Diesel (XXX)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Sung Kang (Die Hard 4.0)
Tego Calderón (Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds)
Don Omar (Fast & Furious)

Dom-Letty-in-Los-Bandoleros-dom-and-lettyLeo Tego is imprisoned in the Dominican Republic, and engages in a debate with other prisoners regarding corporations holding back the electric car and starting wars for oil. Rico Santos, meanwhile, encounters difficulty in locating gas in order to get home on time for dinner. Han Lue later arrives, and is collected from the airport by Cara and Malo. They drive him back to Rico’s house, where his aunt Rubia is struggling to keep up with her gas bills. Han goes outside to see Dominic Toretto working on his car, before they both go inside to enjoy a meal with the entire family. Dominic discusses breaking Leo out of prison and stealing oil to support the family. Dominic, Cara, and Han later head to a nightclub to meet with corrupt local politician Elvis, who is able to arrange for the robbery to take place on a highway the following morning. After managing to break Leo out of prison and finalizing the plan with Rico, Dominic is surprised by the arrival of Letty Ortiz. The two drive together to a beach, and rekindle their romance.Dom-Letty-in-Los-Bandoleros-dom-and-letty-18642547-900-506The Fast and Furious franchise can, at times, be confusing. The first movie, The Fast and the Furious, centers around Dominic Toretto and his family of fast-driving, big-hearted criminals. 2 Fast 2 Furious puts Dom completely out of the picture and follows good-cop-gone-bad-gone-good-again Brian O’Conner down to Miami, where he meets up with an old friend and has absolutely no interaction with anyone from the first film – except for one of his cop bosses. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift then pulls fans even farther away from the people they’ve come to know and love. So when the fourth film in the franchise, Fast and Furious, decided to reunite the original crew and pull together the plots and characters from all three films, Vin Diesel knew he had some explaining to do.

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His solution? A short film set after 2 Fast 2 Furious but before Tokyo Drift (much like the next three films would be) to tie up loose ends. And that’s just what Diesel did when he wrote and directed the 20-minute film Los Bandoleros. Available on YouTube and as an extra on the Blu-ray and special edition DVDs of Fast and Furious, this short film has now become an integral part of the franchise. Fans can even see clips from it in the opening credits sequence for Furious 6. An excellent short that brings closure to some unanswered questions.

 

REVIEW: THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS

CAST

Vin Diesel (Riddick)
Paul Walker (Brick Mansion)
Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil)
Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Rick Yune (Die Another Day)
Matt Schulze (The Transporter)
Chad Lindberg (October Sky)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)
Ja Rule (Fly)
Vyto Ruginis (Moneyball)
Thom Barry (Cold Case)
Johnny Strong (Black Hawk Down)
Noel Gugliemi (Training Day)
Reggie Lee (The Dark Knight Rises)

In the docks outside Los Angeles, a semi-trailer truck is loaded with electronics. On the road, it is hijacked by three heavily modified black Honda Civics with green underglow. The Honda drivers fire a grappling hook into the truck’s windshield, knock out the driver, and corral the semi allowing them to heist the electronics and escape.The next day, undercover LAPD officer Brian O’Conner is assigned to find the gang responsible for the crimes. Brian uses his cover job at an auto parts shop to infiltrate the L.A. street racing scene. While visiting Torreto’s Market, a local diner, he flirts with the shop’s owner, Mia Toretto, who is the younger sister of a well-known street racer, Dominic Toretto. Vince, one of Dominic’s henchmen and who has a crush on her, starts a fight with Brian, which Dominic breaks up.During a local racing gathering, Brian arrives with his 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, and Dominic arrives in his 1993 Mazda RX-7. Dominic organizes a drag race with himself, Brian, and two other drivers. Despite monetary bets, Brian wagers pink slips for his car. During the race, Brian blows his engine, handing the victory to Dominic. As Brian prepares to give Dominic the keys, the LAPD arrives, forcing everyone to flee. Dominic parks his Mazda into a local garage to limit suspicions by walking home, but is spotted by a police cruiser. Brian arrives and saves him from the cops. The duo ventures into the territory of Dominic’s old racing rival, Vietnamese gang leader Johnny Tran and his cousin, Lance Nguyen. Tran and Lance blow up Brian’s Eclipse. Afterwards, Dominic tells Brian that he owes Dominic a “ten-second car”, a car that can drive a quarter mile in 10 seconds from a standstill.Brian goes to Dominic’s garage, where he offers his skills as a driver and a mechanic. He begins dating Mia, much to Vince’s dismay. Brian investigates Hector and Tran, convinced that Tran is responsible for the truck hijackings. He is cornered by Vince and Dominic, who demand an explanation. Brian lies about checking the cars of his rivals for the upcoming Race Wars, a street racing event in the desert. Brian, Vince, and Dominic check out Tran’s garage, and Brian notices a shipment of electronics in the garage. Meanwhile, Brian and Dominic build a replacement car for the Eclipse, a 1995 Toyota Supra.Brian reports the batch of electronics to his superiors at the LAPD and FBI, and they arrest Tran and Lance. It turns out the electronics had been bought legally, leading to the duo’s release. Despite his own doubts, Brian is now forced to assume that Dominic is the actual coordinator of the truck heists. Brian’s superiors give him 36 hours to find the perpetrators, as the truckers are now arming themselves to defend themselves against hijackings. At the Race Wars, Jesse, another of Dominic’s henchmen, wages his father’s Volkswagen Jetta to Tran, but flees with the car after he loses. Tran confronts Dominic to claim the car, and then mocks him, accusing him of reporting him to the police. This leads to Dominic and Tran engaging in a fight. Later that night, Brian notices the crew leaving, and realizes that Dominic is indeed the hijacker. He reveals his true identity to Mia and convinces her to reveal the location of the Civics and aid him in his plans.Dominic, Vince, Dominic’s girlfriend Letty, and another henchman Leon, prepare to hijack a semi-trailer truck. However, the truck driver is armed and uses aggressive counter-hijack tactics against Dominic’s gang. Vince is trapped on the truck’s hood having been shot, while Letty’s car is knocked over and flips from the highway, later saved by Leon. Brian arrives with Mia, who commandeers the Supra while Brian rescues Vince. When Dominic arrives, Brian is forced to blow his cover and call for a medical evacuation to rescue Vince. Dominic leaves with Mia and the rest of the crew after Vince is saved.Brian arrives at Dominic’s house to ask him about Jesse’s whereabouts, saying that he’ll get the cops to find him before Tran does, but Jesse arrives, apologizing for his actions, and is then killed in a drive-by shooting by Tran and Lance on dirt bikes. Dominic and Brian pursue them, with Dominic ramming Lance’s bike off the road before he can shoot Brian. Brian shoots Tran, who loses control of the motorcycle and hits a curb, breaking his neck and killing him instantly in the process. Brian sees Dominic in the distance. Brian proceeds to chase after Dominic, culminating in a quarter-mile drag race. The race ends in a dead heat and they barely manage to cross a railway crossing before a train passes by, but Dominic violently crashes his father’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T into a truck. Instead of arresting Dominic, Brian gives him the keys to his own car, telling him he still owes him a ten-second car; Dominic goes in the car, and is able to escape the police. In a post-credits scene, Dominic is seen driving through Baja California, Mexico, in a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, having presumably abandoned the Supra.All in all the cars are hot, the girls are hotter, the cars are fast, the guns are loaded, and for the more serious, the relationship between Dom, Mia, Vince, Letty, and the others is amazing. A great movie that started a franchise.