The fact that The Fast and the Furious is Point Break with cars was first brought to my attention by my dad. It was one of those “why didn’t I see that?” moments, because this is so obviously Point Break with cars. Both are the story of an undercover cop who must infiltrate a local sports world in order to catch thieves. Unfortunately only one of them has Patrick Swayze… so yeah, this movie blows.
OK, maybe “blows” is a bit harsh. For a street racing fan I’m sure this is a fine film, but it just doesn’t draw me in because I’ve never cared about cars. Automobiles are there to get me from point A to point B in the absence of reliable public transportation. I derive no joy from owning, driving, or riding in one. So while the action sequences are well choreographed and the stunts are great, I just can’t get that excited about it all.
The same can be said of the cast. They’re all good and likable enough, but again, I was never into them. Plenty of my high school friends were in love with Paul Walker, I just never saw the appeal. Vin Diesel always seemed like the poor man’s Rock to me, and Jordana Brewster is largely forgettable here. The only person who really stood out was Michelle Rodriguez, but on further review I’ve realized she always plays the same hard-ass with a chip on her shoulder character. Also, in case you forgot that this was made in the early 2000s, Ja Rule is thrown in to remind you. (The real question is: where is Ashanti?)
Anyway, I’m not particularly looking forward to watching more sequels of this, even though Ben keeps insisting that the fifth installment is the best (I can’t believe this spawned so many sequels). These reviews are also going to be odd because we do not own the second or third in the series. Hopefully I don’t miss any important plot points…
So I never really saw the appeal of these films. They are basically Point Break with cars. I’ve never found cars to be that interesting, I earn my masculinity points by liking sports. It wasn’t until the fifth movie in the series where I was thoroughly entertained. I’m not sure how often it is that the fifth movie in a series is BY FAR the best one, but it must be rare. Anyway, because I liked Fast Five so much, I decided to give the rest of the series another chance and add them to my collection.
The Fast and the Furious introduces us to Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), an undercover cop trying to bust a group of thieves who use fast cars to pull off their crimes. Brian must engross himself into the street car racing world and hopefully become accepted as one of their own if he is to catch the thieves. One of the most respected people in the fast car world (can’t believe that’s a thing) is Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian latches on to him and asks him to show him the ropes in this new world. Brian also develops a crush on Dom’s sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster). As Brian moves further into this dark world, he finds it more difficult to tell the good guys from the bad. He eventually uncovers who the thieves are, but because he has become a part of this world, he finds it hard to bust them. This all happens with lots of fast car antics.
This movie is ok. There are hints of what the series would one day become, Walker and Diesel have terrific chemistry together. Diesel is great as the hardnosed car junkie, but I just felt a bit bored watching this film. I’ve seen it before when Point Break came out. The series improves as it goes along, but this first instalment just seems like a generic action film. There are some fantastic action set pieces and the car chase stuff is done really well, but other than that, there isn’t much here.
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