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observation notes: 200MPH

In the vein of the Fast and Furious movies and its own Street Racer, this high-octane gift from the fine folks at The Asylum comes courtesy of writer Thunder Levin and director Cole S. McKay, and tells the story of a young amateur racer (Jaz Martin) who falls into the seedy and dangerous world of illegal street racing following the death of his older brother. 

It's a simple enough plot, but the story isn't the star here; that would be the pulse-pounding, adrenaline-boosting action sequences. And there's a bunch of them, all expertly choreographed and directed. Are they rolling 18-wheelers like F&F? No way, not for the budget, but McKay and his crew stretch their dollars to the max, giving us an array of fast and furious displays of automotive prowess that are worth every penny.

As for the human components of the film, lead Jaz Martin, in one of his first big roles, is spot on right out of the gate as the humbly-over-achieving younger brother just looking to race for the love of cars but thrust into a world bigger, deeper and darker than himself. His character travels through the widest emotional spectrum, and at every band Martin's right there and ready. He sort of reminds me of a younger Adam Scott, which is a good thing. We'll be seeing more of him in the future, I'd bet.

AnnaMaria Demara as Jaz's girlfriend Claudia stands out from the first frame she's in, and as more than just a remarkably pretty face (think Eva Longoria meets Mila Kunis with a dash of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen); she exudes a sultry sort of confidence and a feminine bravado that is as enchanting as everything else about her. Furthermore - and I honestly mean this in the nicest way possible - this girl was born to start a drag race.

Other cast standouts include Hennelly Jimenez as the car-smart and midriff-baring mechanic, Tommy Nash as the ill-fated older brother, Darren Thomas (Born Bad, 2012: Ice Age) as the evil Kayce and, of course, the great Paul Logan (Ballistica, Mega Piranha) as the crooked Officer Flynn.

In terms of story, as mentioned, this is a basic vengeance tale, but a well-executed one that offers a fair amount of detail into L.A. street racing culture, and strippers. Seriously, the majority of female characters in this movie are strippers by trade, including Jaz's girlfriend and mom. Though there are a couple of weird points - sons joking about mom's job as a stripper (keeping in mind both sons are in their 20's, making mom...not), son visiting mom at the strip club and conversing with her while she's topless, some interesting dance montages, and this line: "no, this is me, the man with your balls in his hand," though not actually holding anyone's balls -  but all in all this is a film with a lot of heart for an action flick, more heart, in fact, than most of the F&F films, without sacrificing action. Plus, they drop like fifty f-bombs. Just sayin'.

If you enjoy race films, action films, beautiful women dancing while scantily-clad and neon, I can't see any reason you wouldn't enjoy the hell out of this one. I did. Find it on DVD this Tuesday.

1 comment:

  1. This review isn't dropping with sarcasm, so I'm not sure I understand just why the review is so positive.