The Fast and the Furious
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) enjoys the adrenaline of street car racing and his fans treat him like a rock star. After a blazing encounter with the ruthless Johnny Tran, Dom decides to take Brian (Paul Walker), a newcomer to street racing, under his wing. Dom's sister Mia sees something she likes in Brian, too. Trouble is, neither of them realize he's an undercover cop, and Dominic and his rival Johnny Tran are both the prime suspects in a case involving dirty money and big-rig hijacking.
Release Date: June 22, 2001
Writer: Erik Bergquist, David Ayer, Gary Scott Thompson
Director: Rob Cohen
Producer: John Pogue, Doug Claybourne
Cast: Chad Lindberg, Rick Yune, Johnny Strong, Ja Rule, Thom Barry
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Among the many mistakes made by "Gone in Sixty Seconds" and "Driven" was the fact that they didn't show enough of the main attraction racing cars and luxury automobiles. To its credit, "The Fast and the Furious" at least gets that part right . . . not that this racing thriller is any better than either of those. To be completely honest, "The Fast and the Furious" is one of the funniest movies of late though that's not intentional. See if you can keep a straight face through all of the howlingly bad dialogue, the ludicrous plot holes you could drive a semitruck through and the Z-grade acting. And no, you wouldn't be wrong to think that the rather sketchy storyline resembles a little too closely that of the 1991 Keanu Reeves-Patrick Swayze dud "Point Break" . . . assuming the Keanu role here is bleached-blond Paul Walker, who stars as high-speed enthusiast Brian Spillner. Brian is desperate to break into the world of street racing, so he puts up his car as the stake in a particularly heated contest with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Though he loses the race, Brian does manage to earn Dominic's respect and falls in with his crew, which includes the mechanically savvy Jesse (Chad Lindberg), Dominic's girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), who falls hard for Brian. Together, this motley crew starts preparing for Race Wars, a high-stakes contest in the desert that brings out the area's best racers. As it turns out, though, Brian is actually an undercover cop who's trying to nail the street racers responsible for a series of diesel hijackings. And his prime suspect appears to be Dominic, who is beginning to fully trust the newcomer. OK, the whole concept for this film makes no sense, but director Rob Cohen ("The Skulls") does get some mileage out of the premise thanks to several exciting stunts (though some of them photographed in a way that makes it hard to tell what's going on). However, the screenwriters and performers don't give him much to work with. To be more specific, the blank-eyed Walker makes a very bland lead and has little chemistry with Brewster. You have to wonder what talented up-and-comers like Diesel and Rodriguez (so impressive in last year's "Girlfight") are doing in a project this dumb. "The Fast and the Furious" is rated PG-13 for violence (gunfire, fistfights, automotive mayhem), occasional profanity (including one utterance of the so-called "R-rated" curse word), simulated sex, brief gore, a scene of torture, brief partial female nudity and use of racial epithets. Running time: 107 minutes. E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgJune 22nd, 2001 · Details
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