This review contains no spoilers
Creating one’s own Fast legacy is in many ways possible but creating a Furious vibe in a racing car premise, rare can handle. It must be borne in mind that The Fast and Furious is also a legacy of framily and frenemy of 16 years so any new line ups trying to catch up should prepare for a massive battle in the genre.
It’s not only about bringing up new speeding vehicles on every installment but also developing the story and characters into a solid chain. Hence, The Fast and Furious starts right. It starts with a paradox, an illegal street racer meets an FBI agent with passion in car racing. Despite both aim different goals towards each other, the nature of interest finally helps Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) share the same needs. Later we know the two are inseparable and do the car thingy the fast furious way.
We still remember Need for Speed (2014) which appears with its own style of direction. It’s based on a video game series notorious for its Ford Mustang. The story starts with quite a drama; a big brother races for the sake of avenging his lil brother’s death. Turns out his enemy is his childhood friend, thus Need for Speed speeds mostly for a personal aim. It’s not a safe drive though yet still lacks of street wilderness.
A recent line up, Overdrive, whose script is handled by those behind 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) (read: the worst in the franchise) doesn’t manage to start with certain issue but simply a heist among car fanatics and fun of driving only luxurious antique cars. Unfortunate as well as predictable, when the cars are gone, the drama turns blant as the characters can’t work out the lines and are developed nowhere.
The not-so-good guys are half-brothers, Andrew (Scott Eastwood) and Garrett (Freddie Thorpe) who are car thieves specialized only at the best. The movie opens with a scene of both stealing Bugatti 1937 which belongs to a French wealthy fanatic, Jacomo Morier (Simon Abkarian). Despite their success to hit and run, Morier finds his way to capture the two to avenge the incident. Repeatedly claiming themselves famously smart, the brothers take advantage of the situation; offering Morier their service to add more collections in his garage. Later, we’re introduced to a French wealthy lunatic, Max Klemp (Clemens Schick), who possesses a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which is about to be stolen.
The cars are indeed beautiful, the heist elements aren’t that bad and even some scenes show guts; explosions, flipping cars, and a single flying car shot on a crumbling bridge, although we’re expecting for a slomo or another extreme move. The bad news, the plot is too generic and the scenes are never emotionally or technically engaged, causing Overdrive less impressive for FF fans. The direction and characterization aren’t taken seriously, relying most on seriously pretty faces of the ensemble cast.
The brothers can drive, drift and know what to call every car in Klemp’s garage. Ironically, these can’t make them among the best drivers in the genre. They’re just standard, turning themselves soulless without the cars, failing their attempt to live up to the title.
Director: Antonio Negret
Cast: Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorpe, Ana de Armas, Gaia Weiss, Simon Abkarian, Clemens Schick
Duration: 96 mins