With the molded-rubber face of Savalas, the basso profundo of Stallone, and the name of an underdog gas alternative, Vin Diesels already-dubious ripped-tough-guy star has dimmed
enough to warrant a return to the car-chase series that made himand money. In the latest, notably slack Fast & Furious (number four), Diesel reprises the role of larcenist/muscle-car-enthusiast Dom Toretto opposite Paul Walkers import-fancying undercover agent Brian OConner. The untimely death of Doms partner-in-crime sends the rivals converging on thoroughly unremarkable drug-runner Campos (John Ortiz); they infiltrate his surefire business model of smuggling heroin across the border via inconspicuous hot rods. For a sense of the movies road sequences, note that the press-kit blurb for Diesel climaxes with his video-game production shingle. Pointing out Xbox aesthetics has become as familiar a move as bemoaning the disappearance of the frame in mainstream cinema, but sequences in Fast & Furious are as up-front about imminent adaptation to video game as some directors used to be about accounting for future TV broadcast. A movie whose second spoken line of dialogue is, candidly, Lets make some money at least ends with a satisfyingly ludicrous desert pile-on. But whether you blame the Part Four blues or Diesels gaming distractions, Fast & Furious reconfirms that car-chase moviesgood, bad, or mediocreall assume the future employment of the quaint old fast-forward button.