The Fast and the Furious (2001)
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Review Date: June 20, 2001
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: G. Thompson, E. Bergquist, D. Ayer
Producers: Neil H. Moritz
Paul Walker
Vin Diesel
Michelle Rodriguez
A whitebread outsider joins a local LA street racing gang o' thugs and chicks, and falls for the sister of its leader. But it's all good, since the man in charge is now buds with the rookie as they race, drink and race some more. So what happens when someone from the crew is discovered to be an undercover cop? I'm sorry but you're gonna have to see the movie yourself to find that one out (giving you the minute spoiler-filled details of any film is obviously not my goal here...hehehe)
I already said this once in my review of PITCH BLACK, but I'll say it again here...Vin Diesel rocks! Phew...and now that I got that out of the way, allow me to introduce you to a film that is ideally made for the summer season. A hoppin' soundtrack, cool cars, fast races, hot chicks, Vin Diesel, bad dialogue, an okay story and some rockin' stunts all add up to mucho fun and butter all over your popped corn. Forget about the sub-par acting jobs by some of the thespians in this film, put aside the fact that there's a dinky romance going on, ignore lines like "...if you need more time...buy the magazine!" and strap your ass to your chair and prepare to have your eardrums and eye sockets blown to bits! There ain't too many feelings better than going to a movie, forgetting about your stupid relationship problems, your friggin' boss who won't stop giving you shit at work, and delving right into a blast on the big screen! If you're looking for an escape from the real world...you've come to the right place. This movie delivers just what you're looking for, if what you're looking for is a good time. Plain and simple. But get this...not only did the movie entertain me, it actually added to that by "teaching" me a thing or two about street racing. That's right...I actually "learned" something from a summer movie! Wow, what's the world coming to...?

Seriously though, I dug the whole "street racing" underworld thang with the bets, the pink slips, the gang mentalities and the NOS, baby...the NOS!! (you'll get what I mean when you see the movie...ooooooh yeah!!) But I can't complete my positive review of this film without discussing the man who kept the fort down in this picture. A man whose name alone scares the shit out of people and here he is, in all of his glory, skinned to the head, buffed to the tank-top and ready to charm the pants out of anyone who isn't a fan of his already...the one, the only...Vin Diesel! By the way, if you're not a fan of his yet, watch this movie twice and call me in the morning. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit, but Vin really did punch in yet another solid acting card here and certainly lifted the lesser talents of his surrounding players to a higher level. Sure, Michelle Rodriguez was also pretty good as the tough girlfriend with the attitude and some of the lines that these poor saps had to deliver were just awful, but all in all, I was still quite interested in most of the plights of these characters, and God knows, the stunts and car chases kept me rockin', so what else can I tell you...the movie entertained me, dammit!! I also liked the ending, some of the humor elements strung throughout the film, the camera tricks that Mr. Rob Cohen surprised me with and the scene where the two girls were making out at a party...oops, but that's another story altogether.

Actually, Dr. Drew, who joined me at this screening, noted that this film might've worked better if things had been moved into the world of the R-rating, and I must say that I agree with the man (he liked the film too, btw). A few swear words here and there, some gratuitous nudity and some of the "old ultra-violence" might've propelled this film directly into popcorn summer movie heaven, but alas, the film was still rock solid cheesy fun despite that. And by the way, I'm not "into cars" myself, in case you were interested, but damn, some of the stuff in this movie was just nitro without the seatbelts. So grab a cold beer, pump up your pecs before walking into the theater and don't forget to drop your brain off at the entrance. NOS, baby!! Oh yeah, and did I mention that Vin Diesel rocks!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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