Friedberg and Seltzer at the Movies Part 9: Superfast! (2015)

With over 11 films and multiple spin-offs, it is hard to understate the popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise. Its appeal is with fast cars, and cool customers shirking the laws but obeying their strict code of family and honour. Turns out it is a winning equation the world over, though its convoluted attempts to ramp up the car-based action brings glee to its biggest fans and its biggest detractors. In 2015, Friedberg and Seltzer beget their latest attempt at parodying the behemoth with a full octane spoof of the criminal car-based creations, in Superfast!

With jabs aimed at the tropes of the franchise, Friedberg and Seltzer’s humour returns to some familiar roots.

When undercover cop, Lucas White quickly envelops himself into the heart of an illegal racing syndicate, his quick wits and driving ability making him friends and enemies inside the circuit. As he gets deeper into the criminal enterprise, pressure is on him to earn the crew’s trust and to maintain the law. When the only other officer who knows White is a cop is killed, White’s old life dies with him. Now White has little choice but to go in with Serento et al. against an evil criminal kingpin, Juan Carlos de la Sol.

Dale Pavinski et al. really up the ante on parodying the Toretto circuit…

As someone who has not watched a Fast and Furious film in 20 years, Superfast! captures the recognisable details well. Identifiable tropes are proudly parodied, and silly sights played straight, are splashed across the screen. I, for one, got a particular laugh from Curtis constantly getting in White’s face. The exaggerated caricatures do help Superfast shine, Particularly the relationship between White and Vin Diesel, or should I say Vin Serento. As you can see, the character names give the audience a great guide as to who they are parodying. E.g., You will have a character like Detective Rock Johnson, a deliberate calling out of a certain wrestler turned acting superstar. These also include well-known rappers that enjoy cameoing with a character called Rapper Cameo. Along with the franchise’s habit of hiring glamorous models looking to cement their filmographies with a character called Model Turned Actress. The broad collection of sight gags and jokes will probably be as funny now as it was back then, or in the future, when the final Fast and Furious has long since been released.

…However, I liked Omar Chaparro’s Juan Carlos de la Sol, who feels like a serious character trapped in a parody film.

A familiar return to the duo’s recognisable brand of comedy after the experimental approach of Best Night Ever. Although I would say that a lot of the jokes are goofier and less gross-out than before. Suffice to say it would help to have some prior knowledge of the Fast And Furious franchise. Then again, the franchise is so recognisable the layman will be able to navigate this film with relative ease. Its goofy approach is almost endearing and a slight departure from the more extreme humour that Friedberg and Seltzer made their names with. Superfast is also particularly meta with characters calling out non-diegetic sounds and directly the conventions of the Fast and Furious series, offering a forward-thinking step in Friedberg and Seltzer’s brand of comedy.

I wasn’t joking about how literal some of the jokes are.

It has almost been 20 years since Friedberg and Seltzer’s debut, and during that time we have seen titans of media rise and fall, properties being conceived, obsessed over, and forgotten. Yet their brand of comedy lives on, willing to adapt and delight fans. Superfast is a tale about evolving, adapting to circumstances in a way that mirrors their career. While the gags, pointed observations and goofy send ups, carry on the legacy of wacky humour that Friedberg and Seltzer built their reputation with. While it is true that it is usually good to quit while you are ahead, Superfast shows it might be way too early for Friedberg and Seltzer to drive off into the sunset.

It wouldn’t be a Friedberg and Seltzer film without some classic puns.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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