The Fast and the Furious (2001)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good sound, some high energy races

Visuals are hit-or-miss, Diesel, Walker, and Rodriguez couldn't act their way out of a bag

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Fast and the Furious

Studio:  Original Film

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 22, 2001

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Ok…which of you is the worse actor?

A series of semi robberies are being committed by professional drivers in Los Angeles. Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) has been sent undercover to infiltrate illegal street racer gangs and finds himself a member of a gang led by Dominic Torentto (Vin Diesel). With eyes on Dominic’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), Brian is distrusted by Vince right-hand man (Matt Schulze). Now, must uncover if Dom is really part of the robbers before he gets pulled in too deep and the violence starts to escalate.

Directed by Rob Cohen, The Fast and the Furious is sometimes called The Fast and the Furious: The Original duet to The Fast and Furious 4’s title of simply Fast & Furious. The movie was based on an article called “Racer X” by Ken Li about street racing. It took its name from the Roger Corman penned film of 1955 (but not the story).  The movie received mixed reviews but was applauded for its sound and effects.


Give me all your loot!

I saw The Fast and the Furious when it first came out on DVD and wasn’t that impressed. I’m not a fan of any of the actors in the film…Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Michelle Rodriguez have always been very wooden actors to me who only work in minimal roles. The story also was rather predictable, and when I was expecting a twist, there wasn’t one.

I kept thinking there was going to be more to the story, but Vin Diesel and his gang was robbing trucks. While it can be a “twist” that the would-be hero is actually a criminal, the writing of the film doesn’t make this enough of a shocker. The death of the “good kid” Jesse (Chad Lindberg) just feels like A Rebel Without a Cause with the death of Sal Mineo or even Boyz N the Hood where if you are innocent or have a future you’re doomed to die.  When Jesse showed his potential as a mechanic he might as well have been an a war film and said he had a girl back home that was waiting for him…he was dead meat at that point.


It’s easier if you ride inside of the car!

What Fast and the Furious does succeed in is some cool cars and great sound effects. The racing isn’t very realistic, but not much in the movie is realistic. It is good that the movie just decides to have fun with the action (I still don’t see why someone just doesn’t throw on the brakes when the cars all attack the semi.

The Fast and the Furious started a franchise. If the movie had a bit better writing or story, I would maybe enjoy it more. The high octane style of the film does a lot to overwhelm the lack of much story or acting ability…it does a lot but doesn’t succeed. The Fast and the Furious was followed by 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003.

Related Links:

The Fast and the Furious (1955)

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift (2006)

Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast Five (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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