A.J.'s Rating: 3 Stars - 100% Pure Acceleration, Dude!
The Fast and the Furious
Directed By:  Rob Cohn
Written By:  Ken Li (article),Gary Scott Thompson
Starring:  Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune,
Mike White, Beau Holden
Rated:  PG-13 (Violence / Language / Sexual Content)
Running Time:  100 Min.
    The fast and furious are Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and their many friends and foes, who live to race high-tech hot rods on the mean streets of Los Angeles.  Thanks to Hollywood's B-Movie gods, the legendary California car-culture gets a 21st century update with this wild action extravaganza.      
    The Fast and the Furious was inspired by a magazine article, which I suppose dealt with illegal street racing.  However, that doesn't explain why this film is virtually a frame by frame remake of the movie Point Break, which used surfing, an equally legendary California pastime, to tell its adrenaline drenched story of crime and counterculture.  The Fast and the Furious doesn't merely borrow a few aspects from Point Break, it follows the plotline exactly.  Believe it or not, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
    Like Point Break, which starred the multi-untalented Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, The Fast and the Furious is a frenetic thrill ride with incredible visuals and absolutely no substance whatsoever.  Once again, there are worse things that could happen.  The acting is awful, the story makes little logical sense, mindless vehicular carnage dominates everything else, and the entire mechanized monstrosity still manages to be immensely entertaining!  In other words, it's chock full of all the Hollywood excess that summers are made for. 
    I must mention a standout performance, which is due less to acting ability than to sheer screen presence.  I was very impressed with Vin Diesel's character in this movie.  He was quite believable as Dominic, the imposing tough guy who lives life a quarter-mile at a time.  While watching this film, with no distracting thoughts about plot or meaning, it occurred to me what a perfect James Bond villian Vin Diesel would make.  If that role is in Vin's future, it's gonna rock!
   In addition, as a devoted car nut and native Californian, I must also mention the most unbelievable part of this movie; that Hondas were actually shown to be competitive street machines!  Hahahahaha!  That's some funny stuff right there!  Hoo... boy, that's comedy.  No disrespect intended, but Hondas just don't go!  (To those now wishing to 'race' me with their Hondas, as soon as I decide to buy one of those nifty little Mini-Coopers, I'll consider your challenge worthy.)*
    Yes, for a couple hours of frivolous, lead-footed fun, The Fast and the Furious delivers the goods in style.  And no, for once that isn't sarcasm.  If you're into fast cars, amazing thrills and incredible high-speed action, then go for it!  If you're not, then go get the Honda detailed instead.  And lastly, don't think during The Fast and the Furious, just sit back, put your brain in neutral, and enjoy the ride!
*Like the film Pearl Harbor, all comments regarding the Honda Motor Company are
meant in the spirit of harmless fun, and are in no way intended to offend the Japanese.
Review published
June 26, 2001
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