Netflix’s animated spinoff series set in the Fast & Furious universe is fun from start to finish.
Boasting an array of cute and lovable characters, Fast & Furious: Spyracers uses what made fans love about the franchise in the first place (fast cars and thrilling action) to maximum effect and it works.
Tony Toretto (voiced by Tyler Posey) and his group of teenage friends are enlisted by the government to infiltrate a crime outfit masquerading as a racing league.
The name of the shady organization is SHIFT3R and it’s headed by the young and charismatic Shashi (Manish Dayal), an influential racing fanatic who has a hidden agenda and is far more discerning than he seems.
As Tony and his pals manage to enter into Shashi’s world, they find themselves drawn into his schemes and must stay steps ahead of him before he realizes that they are actually spying on him.
Tony himself starts developing feelings for Shashi’s right-hand crony Layla, and things begin to get complicated. Before long, they engage in more and more dangerous stunts, leading to the ultimate goal of what turns out to have worldwide implications.
Some of the character designs were great while others were not so good. The best thing about the series is the cars and how the animators are able to use life-like physics in showing how they are driven. It works so well that the real fun begins when the rubber hits the road.
The character of Tony Toretto is not static (thank God!) and undergoes some subtle changes. His friends (especially the 13-year-old tech/computer genius named Frostee (voiced by Luke Youngblood) are all worthy distractions. They all contribute meaningfully to the plot and never seem out of place or underused.
Layla as Shashi’s main confidant is the series most unpredictable character and this makes her all the more appealing. She also begins to get attracted to the hero and in the end, is faced with a choice that will define her.
Shashi is undoubtedly the most interesting individual. The more he is seen, the more you get the feeling that there is more to him than meets the eye. Slowly but surely, he begins to reveal himself as someone that ought not to be toyed with. When the reason for his quest is brought to light, it’s one that is understood.
They say a hero is only as good as his villain. If that is true, then Shashi’s villainy effectively compliments Tony’s status as the protagonist. They are not so different underneath; it’s just what drives them both that pits them on opposite sides.
With its well-placed humor and entertainment value, Fast & Furious: Spyracers should be renewed for a second season as viewers would want to see more of the adventures of Dominic Toretto’s cousin and his friends. Oh, and before I forget, fans will want to watch out for a major cameo in the first and last episodes (that’s the only spoiler I will reveal).
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