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
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
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.