The Fast and The Furious (2001) – Rob Cohen

 

The 101 Action Movies made me sit through this one. Pretty people (with questionable acting skills)  in slick cars, with a pulsing soundtrack and somehow this series is still going…

In a page stolen right from Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break but not as brilliantly executed, Paul Walker is undercover officer Brian O’Conner, who is working to bring down a street racing gang, led by Dom (Vin Diesel)  who is hijacking and robbing transport trucks. Things get complicated when loyalties become confused and Brian falls for Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster).

The film, whether it be the actors, the cars, or the racing sequences, are very pretty to look at, but the material never lifts itself above B-movie fare, despite pretending to be.

The race sequence, especially the first, done very nicely against green screen with augmented effects, works well, and the film itself moves along at a fairly brisk clip. But honestly, I just couldn’t get into it. I get the appeal for those people who enjoy souping up their cars, and speeding about the town, but for me, I just kept rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue and sequences.

I mean, Ted Levine is completely wasted in this film.

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For all that, it is a well-crafted film, making the best it can of its material, and obviously successful enough to create a number of sequels. Personally, for me, if it comes to fast car movies, Smokey & The Bandit will always serve nicely.

Still, there is no denying that it appeals to its target audience, and it is wrapped up in a shiny package.

With the young, sexy cast, including Michelle Rodriguez as Dom’s paramour, the film has not only launched a massive tent pole series for Universal, but reflects and inspires the world of street racing.

I can’t help but remember the first time I heard the movie, not saw, heard. I was at a staff party at one of the owners’ homes, and while my friend Dennis and I shot some pool, we could hear the movie, and the dialogue and its delivery was eye-rollingly bad. So having watched it, I can totally admit that it looks fantastic, but wow, is the script bad.

Still, that is one more title I can scratch off the 101 Action Movies, and from here on out, I think I own practically all of them, and there is some pretty sweet stuff coming up still.

Are you a fan of the series? Which is your favorite installment?

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