×

Film Review: ‘Superfast!’

Serial spoofers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer fall flat with a low-octane satire of the 'Fast and Furious' franchise.

With:
Alex Ashbaugh, Dale Pavinski, Lili Mirojnick; Andrea Navedo, Omar Chaparro, Dio Johnson, Shantel Wislawski, Gonzalo Menendez, Chris Pang, Rogello Douglas Jr., Chanel Celaya.

Official Site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2933474/

Filmmakers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer ran out of gas a long time ago as aggressively madcap movie spoofers. (Not that they had much in the tank to begin with – remember, we’re talking about the pair who gave us “Vampires Suck,” “Disaster Movie” and “Meet the Spartans.”) But they’re still spinning their wheels, even while stuck in a rut, and continuing to produce lamely unfunny drivel such as “Superfast!,” a low-octane goof on the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Much like “The Starving Games” (2013), heretofore the nadir of their careers, their latest opus is receiving only a limited theatrical release — during the opening weekend of monster hit “Furious 7” — concurrent with its VOD debut. But, really, some theatrical releases can never be limited enough.

This time out, Friedberg and Seltzer keep their freewheeling pop-culture digressions to a minimum, preferring to concentrate almost exclusively on the primary object of their affliction. Trouble is, it’s hard to make fun of a franchise that already has embraced enough outrageous excess to qualify as self-parody. Indeed, it could be argued that, by this point in the “Fast and Furious” series, Dwayne Johnson can earn more laughs with a few seconds of artful eyebrow arching than Friedberg and Seltzer manage throughout the entirety of their mercilessly protracted 99-minute comedy.

It may come as a relief to anyone who samples this swill that the filmmakers refrain from making jokes of any sort about tragic death of “Fast and Furious” mainstay Paul Walker. On the other hand, they don’t do the late actor any favors by representing his signature Brian O’Conner character as Lucas White, a clueless undercover cop who must transcend his conspicuously Caucasian orientation to infiltrate a multiethnic gang of car thieves, illegal auto racers and Bed, Bath & Beyond gift-card counterfeiters.

Alex Ashbaugh appears to be channeling Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber” mode throughout most of the movie as White wins the confidence of Vin Serento (Dale Pavinski), the bald and burly gang leader; Michelle (Andrea Navedo), Vin’s main squeeze, whose sexual ambiguity is intended to be screamingly hilarious (but isn’t); and Jordana (Lili Mirojnick), Vin’s sister, a fuzzily defined character that barely passes muster as caricature.

The filmmakers come up with the mildly amusing idea of filling out the gang with generic types identified only by their labels: Cool Asian Guy (Chris Pang), Rapper Cameo (Rogello Douglas Jr.) and Model Turned Actress (Chanel Celaya). And to give credit where it is due, supporting players Dio Johnson and Omar Chaparro warrant an approving smile or two for their industrial-strength overplaying as, respectively, a well-oiled hardass cop named Rock Johnson (get it?) and a Hispanic crime boss with anger-management issues.

Time and again, however, “Superfast!” takes aim at easy targets, and misses by miles.

Film Review: 'Superfast!'

Reviewed at AMC Gulf Pointe 30, Houston, April 4, 2015. Running time: 99 MIN.

Production: A Ketchup Entertainment release of a 3 in the Box presentation of a Safran Co. production. Produced by Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer, Peter Safran. Executive producer, Hal Olofsson. Co-producers, Sanford Hampton, Dan Clifton, Kenny Yates.

Crew: Directed, written by Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. Camera (color), Shawn Maurer; editor, Peck Prior; music Tim Wynn; music supervisor, Jojo Villanueva; production designer, Jodi Ginnever; costume designer, Maressa Richtmyer; sound, Zsolt Magyar; assistant director, Michael Etheridge; casting, Lauren Bass, Jordan Bass.

With: Alex Ashbaugh, Dale Pavinski, Lili Mirojnick; Andrea Navedo, Omar Chaparro, Dio Johnson, Shantel Wislawski, Gonzalo Menendez, Chris Pang, Rogello Douglas Jr., Chanel Celaya.

More Film

  • Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as

    Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as CEO of VFX Firm Foundry

    Jody Madden has been upped to CEO at U.K.-based VFX outfit Foundry. She steps up having been chief product officer and replaces Craig Rodgerson, who joined the company in late 2017. Foundry was bought by U.S. tech firm Roper Technologies earlier this year in a £410 million ($509 million) deal. The London-based business provides software [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

  • Beyonce poses for photographers upon arrival

    Beyoncé Releases Music Video for 'Spirit,' Her 'Lion King' Soundtrack Contribution

    Beyoncé fans are stampeding across the web veldt to get a look at her just-released music video for “Spirit,” the original song she co-wrote and sang for the “Lion King” soundtrack. The track is also included on the companion album she executive-produced and will release Friday, “The Gift.” Clips from the computer-animated film are interspersed [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Jennifer Lopez Takes Down Wall Street Crooks in New Trailer for 'Hustlers'

    According to Jennifer Lopez, basic pole dancing movements all revolve around a few foot positions. But as she tells her stripper student Constance Wu, it’s not just about the dancing. In the new trailer for “Hustlers,” Lopez and Wu swindle a number of high profile Wall Street clients in an effort to bring their white [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Leaders Warn Members About Contact With Fired Agents

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are warning members about being contacted by their former agents — asserting that such efforts are an attempt to undermine the WGA and its members. The missive, sent Tuesday from the WGA negotiating committee, came with the guild in a bitter three-month standoff with talent agents that appears [...]

  • Apollo 11

    Film News Roundup: 'Apollo 11' Re-Release Set for Moon Landing Anniversary

    In today’s film news roundup, Neon is re-releasing “Apollo 11”; “Sesame Street” gets moved; “Supersize Me 2” is set for Sept. 13; Will Ropp gets a “Silk Road” deal; and Apple makes a movie deal. RE-LAUNCH Neon will re-release Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary “Apollo 11” in theaters on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Michael B. Jordan's 'Just Mercy' Moves to Awards Season Slot

    Michael B. Jordan’s upcoming legal drama “Just Mercy” has been shifted forward three weeks from Jan. 17 to Dec. 25 for an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release. “Just Mercy” is based on the case of Walter McMillan, an African-American death-row prisoner who was exonerated in 1993 after being convicted five years earlier for a 1986 murder in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content