The Fast and the Furious
Dir: Rob Cohen
Star: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster
Cert / Year: 15 - PG13 / 2001
Format: DVD R2

Brian Earl Spilner (Paul Walker) is an illegal street racer wannabe. He is desperate to join a team of racers lead by Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Vin Diesel). To do so he enters a race against Dom betting his car. He loses but rescues Dom from the cops, and in doing so joins his team. As he gains their trust he falls for Dom's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), completes against a rival gang, and finds out about series of daring truck highjackings committed by some of the racers. All of this adds up to some fast and furious high octane driving.

Last years Gone in Sixty Seconds was a bad film, wasting three quarters of its running length with too much talking, and providing only one highly computer generated chase at the end of the film. It was obvious that the budget was spent on big name actors and not on the car chases, not a good sign in a car chase movie. So why am I going on about this movie and not The Fast and the Furious. Well where Gone in Sixty Seconds got it wrong, The Fast and Furious gets it right. It is everything the former movie should have been and more.

The movie starts off in top gear with a spectacular truck heist by three customised Honda Civics (Yes I know your Grandma used to drive one, so stop laughing. I guarantee that it was nothing like these). It then drops down a gear while the principle characters are established. This part of the film is initially very confusing but bear with it things do get explained later. The action really starts to hot up though, when the cars appear and the racing starts.

So lets deal with the cars and the driving. The cars consist of a collection of the of the most extreme custom jobs ever to grace the screen. They are every boy racer's, and Max Power reader's biggest fantasy. They look fast, sound good, and have more body modifications than Pamela Anderson. Personally as an ex boy racer and custom car owner I think they look great (if not a little garish and over the top).

Do they go? Oh yes and how. Be prepared for some excellent car chases and races. So far car chases have either been filmed in the older conventional style (Ronin) or in a false CGI style (Misson Impossible 2), but here is something new. Director Rob Cohen has mixed both styles and added some unique and flashy touches himself. What we are left with is a real portrayance of speed, and some scenes that will make you go wow. In other words just the right amount of CGI has been added to some top stunt driving to give car cases that are nothing short of brilliant.

This would be wasted without decent story and acting. I am happy to say that acting is top grade, however the story is adequate if not a little cliched. I would be really happy for Vin Diesel to appear in nearly every action movie. He just gets better and better. He plays the tough bad good guy perfectly, and here he easily matches his excellent performance in Pitch Black. Paul Walker is not an actor I have come across, but based on this I can say he is very good. The rest of the cast are relative unknowns but each fills the roles well and display a good deal of acting talent.

It's not all perfect though. As I have mentioned the early part of the film is very confusing, and the plot does have some glaring holes. For example when Brian is caught breaking into a garage the excuse he gives Dom is so weak, any sane person would have shot him. The film also suffers from so rather blatant product placement (yes we all buy Panasonic and drive Hondas). But overall these do not detract from the action in a major way.

Not wanting to sound sexist but this is a bit of a blokes film. The Fast cars and male testosterone are right there on the screen for everyone to see. Boy racers in their Vauxhall Novas will wet themselves with joy and worship this movie. However this is a good film. Everyone can enjoy the chases and Vin Diesel is eminently watchable. In an era of big budget ridiculous, plot less blockbusters it is really refreshing to watch a film as entertaining and exhilarating as this. Like the hard-core sound track this film moves at one hundred and forty miles and hour.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Um Loverly
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 The sound is awesome
Features Commentary by Rob Cohen
Making of Feaurette
Racer X article that inspired the film
Deleted scenes
8 camera angle stunt sequence
Movie Magic interactive special effects
Storyboards comparison
Music videos
Verdict All in all a superb disc.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home