If you only paid attention to the examples of ZAZ-style spoof media inflicted upon the world by Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, it’d be understandable if you thought the format dead & worthless. For every brilliant spoof movie like Spy & Walk Hard, Friedberg & Seltzer have released a slew of awful garbage fires like Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, and Vampires Suck. The duo have an incredible talent for sucking the humor out of even the silliest of genre films under the guise of “making fun”. Their films suffer from something I used to call Mad TV Syndrome (back when that was a relevant reference): the subject they’re parodying is always more amusing in reality than it is in the spoof.
Even though I knew that I had very little patience for Friedberg & Seltzer’s brand of subpar spoof comedy, I was still morbidly curious about their Fast & Furious parody Superfast!. What was most interesting to me about the film was the timing. First of all, it seems strange that they waited until seven films into the franchise to spoof it, but even stranger still is their decision to make fun of Paul Walker so soon after his tragic death. Superfast! is not funny. It’s not clever. It boasts no commendable performances or standout gags. It’s not even particularly knowledgeable about the target of its “comedy”. It is, however, a fascinating exercise in bad taste. Reducing a beloved & much missed action movie star to a punchline in a movie meant to wean scrap change off the release of his final film was ill-advised at best & repugnantly cruel at worst.
Within the film, Walker’s surrogate, Lucas, is dumb & Californian. That’s essentially the extent of the film’s humorous insight into his seven-film stretch as an undercover cop turned international criminal with a heart of gold. Lucas isn’t bright & he sounds like a surfer. Boy, did they get him good. They really showed his recently-deceased ass who’s boss. To be fair, Superfast! also makes time to poke fun at the supposed low intelligence of Vin Diesel & The Rock (who are, by all accounts, intelligent & kind human beings in real life) and at the very least they didn’t name the character “Paul” (despite other characters being named Vin, Michelle, and Jordana after the real-life actors who play their counterparts), so it easily could’ve been worse. That still isn’t much a consolation, though, considering the nature of Walker’s death & the timing of the film’s release.
The film isn’t completely devoid of insightful jabs at the Fast & Furious franchise. It picks up on a lot of the same rapper cameos, car parts gibberish, and Corona ad-placement elements that I poked a little fun at in my own tour through the series. It just feels like it’s at least four or five films into the franchise too late, considering the kind of jokes it’s making at the film’s expense. Despite the inclusion of a The Rock stand-in, almost all of the film’s humor is based on the first three Fast & Furious movies, a major mistake considering that the franchise didn’t culminate until its own unique property until almost five films into its run. There wasn’t even a single reference to Vin Diesel’s longwinded rants about “family”, which have essentially become the heart of the franchise. At this point, it’s been so long since the series’ trashy lowpoint beginnings that titles like Tokyo Drift play much more humorously than any jokes about the movie ever could. Combine Superfast!‘s too-late 12 year old boy humor with the porn-quality production, an extended reference to Minions (a vile offense, that), the misguided belief that it’s just hilarious to suggest that Michelle Rodriguez is homosexual (she’s bi), and the cringe-inducing mistake of poking fun at a recently-deceased actor and you have one terrible film that I’m already actively trying to forget.
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