BelFast and Furious

‘I live my life a quarter mile at a a time’

Since the first Fast and the Furious film vroomed onto screens way back in 2001 (feel old yet?) the franchise has brought together car enthusiasts. A lot of us went to see them on first dates, watch them over again on DVD when there’s nothing to do and have grown up quoting them. We drank Corona and worried that we might blow the welds on the intake racing to the bridge after the Belmont. We all dreamed that one day we would smoke smug Ferrari drivers in a car worth a quarter of the ‘retail’ (I know a certain Golf owner for whom this a reality!)

Their influence on car culture is undeniable. All right, so we’re not all street racers but most modifiers owe a little something to the ideas brought into the mainstream by the first few films. The bright colours, graphics and bodykits are now considered OTT and old fashioned, but the fact that we refer to OTT mods as ‘a bit fast and the furious’ shows how the films have got inside our heads! Of course they’re cheesy as hell, unrealistic and do very little for our ‘boy (and girl) racer’ image with the public but hey, we all have a special place in our hearts for them anyway.

So when the latest installment, Fast and Furious 6, was announced we were all keen to see it as soon as possible. Luckily Autolifers (you may remember their feature on the Shed from a few months back) decided to organise a premiere night for all the local enthusiasts to go together. Held in the Movie House on the Dublin Road in Belfast, we had been allowed the top two levels of the adjoining multi-story to park and have a little get together afterwards. The small private screening with around 100 fellow ‘car people’ created a great atmosphere – there were collective laughs and groans at a lot of moments.

The film itself brings together the same crew from the last film with a strong theme of ‘family values’ and a lot of the action takes place a little closer to home than usual in ‘Landan.’ The acting is as wooden as ever, the continuity terrible as always and everything else is unbelievable and OTT but it is a great couple of hours entertainment, even for non-enthusiasts, if you can turn off your brain and go along for the ride. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, even the ‘Superman’ and worlds longest runway scenes!

After the film we retired to the roof for a bit of a catch up with old friends. The height of the car park proved a major talking point, none of us could quite believe there was somewhere in our wee country with 15 floors, but the views and photo opportunities with the skyline (buildings and whatnot – not the Nissan) and sunset were excellent.

All in all, a great nights craic – a massive thanks to Autolifers for a really well organised event. You can see their own coverage (and much better photos!) on their website.

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Lee

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