When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
Los Angeles street racer Dominic Toretto falls under the suspicion of the LAPD as a string of high-speed electronics truck robberies rocks the area. Brian O'Connor, an officer of the LAPD, joins the ranks of Toretto's highly skilled racing crew undercover to convict Toretto. However, O'Connor finds himself both enamored with this new world and in love with Toretto's sister, Mia. As a rival racing crew gains strength, O'Connor must decide where his loyalties really lie. Written by
It begins with a spectacular action scene where three Honda Civics execute a high-speed highjacking of a cargo truck, and from there, the action never stops. With The Fast and the Furious, director Rob Cohen seeks to capture and thrill the audience with a booming soundtrack and non-stop action, and he seems to have succeeded.
The film follows officer Brian O'Connor as he infiltrates a street-racing gang in order to capture the drivers of the three enigmatic Hondas, which have been terrorizing truck drivers in Los Angeles. The gang is led by ex-racer Dominic Toretto. Toretto immediately takes a liking to O'Connor, while his gang seems a bit skeptic. Toretto's right-hand man Vince is O'Connor's main problem, as he suspects the truth about his identity from the very beginning.
The plot is slightly dry, as the movie incorporates many typical aspects of other films of the genre. For example, there's the fact that Toretto is the only one to trust O'Connor. The rest of his gang except for, of course, Vince, quickly follows him. Then there's the whole falling-in-love-with-the-sister-of-the-guy-I'm-about-to-get-arrested subplot. And then there are your typical problems from rival gangs and the hero's attempt to prove himself by striking against them. Yet despite the many stereotypical aspects of the script, the well-developed characters and interesting relationships save the movie from becoming just another heap of typical Hollywood sensationalism.
The movie features strong acting, as the actors work well together and compliment each other's performances. This is only Michelle Rodriguez' second major performance since her film debut in the independent drama Girl Fight, which was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Not just another bad girl, Rodriguez shows a strong acting ability, which is apparent in her portrayal of Lena. Vin Diesel is also a fairly good actor who seems to be climbing through the ranks of Hollywood. Best known for his role in the failed science-fiction thriller Pitch Black, Diesel sports a memorable attitude and strong screen presence that promise to make him a contender for future stardom. Opting to cast less known, yet strong actors instead of more commercially viable ones, Rob Cohen has created a well-rounded cast, which gives the movie its fresh attitude and memorable mood.
Yet it is the action scenes that are the real stars of the movie. Featuring three races and four equally spectacular action sequences, the movie delivers fast and furious action from beginning to end. Accompanied by a rocking soundtrack, the action sequences are put together by flawless editing and elaborate stunts, effectively creating a maddening adrenaline rush in any viewer.
A long time producer and Harvard graduate, Cohen has achieved success a director, with movies such as Dragonheart, The Skulls, Daylight, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (which he also wrote and starred in) and several episodes of the series Miami Vice. He is also a screenwriter and has had small roles in some of his movies. He plays a pizza delivery boy in The Fast and The Furious.
Although the slight semblance of a plot does not make this something for the serious moviegoer, the relentless action more than makes up for it. Not too long and filled with fantastic cars and non-stop entertainment, The Fast and the Furious will leave you dazed and breathless.
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