The Fast and The Furious (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and an anonymous reader

Based on the Roger Ebert premise that there can be no good movie with a hot air balloon, I would like to ask if there can be a good movie with the following scene:


A trained professional driver, who also happens to be an undercover cop, is driving about 130 MPH in pursuit of baddies. His girlfriend is in the passenger seat. In order to keep up with the baddies, who are also skilled drivers, he has to execute maneuvers that Evel Knievel would like look at and say "fuck that!". Of course, he plans to jump from his car to the baddies' vehicle, so he says to his girlfriend ......"

Brief pause for you to consider your answer and lock it in. Play Final Jeopardy music.

Move your mouse here for the answer.


It reminds me of the great scene in "Take the Money and Run", in which Woody Allen is asked by his parents, world famous surgeons, to try out a difficult surgical technique in the middle of an impossible operation. He's a petty thief at the time, and a high school dropout, but they always hoped that he would grow up to follow in their footsteps. "Here, son, just try it. How do you know you won't like it it if you don't try?" Of course, the Woodman was just kidding around, but the scene I described above is completely serious.

Let's just say this gearhead movie will require lots more suspension than the kind they use in their cars. Prepare to bring your suspension of disbelief as well. On the other hand, the action sequences are impressive in this film about street racing and hijacking, and the undercover cop determined to bring it to a halt. I don't think I have to tell you that the undercover cop falls in love with the sister of the ultrabad leader of the bad boys. You probably knew that if you ever watched an episode of Miami Vice, because Don Johnson did it every week. 


 There are certainties in this uncertain world:
  • Death
  • Taxes
  • Captain Kirk falling in love with hot alien chicks.
  • Sonny Crockett falling in love with the sister of a cocaine dealer.

These may be combined. Captain Kirk might have to pay a tax in the form of a dowry to the aliens, and Crockett's girlfriend may die. In fact, you can bet on the death of Crockett's girlfriend.

I think you can probably also guess that the cop's bosses in this film are unhappy with the lack of busts in the case, and give him an ultimatum that involves basically two choices:

Either stop all crime in the United States within 36 hours, providing hard evidence against all the criminals.

Or get ready to handle crossing guard duties at a Montessori pre-school.

DVD info from Amazon.

Commentary by director
Making of The Fast and the Furious
Racer X: The article that inspired the movie
Deleted scenes with optional director commentary
Interactive eight camera angle stunt sequence
Exclusive featurette on editing for the MPAA
Visual effect montage
Storyboards to final feature comparison
Music Videos (from Ja Rule, caddillac, Tah, and Faith Evans)
Widescreen anamorphic format, 2.35

Your reaction to the movie will depend on what you like. Use the following checklist.

1. Do you like great action sequences filmed innovatively and convincingly?

2. Do you like Vin Diesel?

3. If the action is cool, is it OK with you if the undercover cop is an exact clone of C. Thomas ("Soul Man") Ponyboy?

4. If the action is cool, is it ok with you if the plot is exactly the same as every other undercover cop movie or TV show you've ever seen?

5. Do you consider "loud" to be a movie positive?

6. Would you consider yourself a gearhead?

If you kept answering "yes", this is your movie. Big, loud, flamboyant, dumb. And lotsa fun, if you like that kind of stuff.

Hey Scoop, I don't know if you're at all interested (doesn't have much to do with nudity) but I just had to tell someone about this.

The Fast and the Furious is a re-make of Point Break (Keanu Reeves, Patrich Swayze). I figured this out, because I was listening and not really watching, and I thought Keanu was in the movie. I am sure the actor in FnF must have watched Point Break for acting tips. Then I got to thinking: Point Break, surfing.  FnF, street racing. Point Break, FBI trying to catch Bank Robbers. FnF, FBI trying to catch Truck HiJackers. Point Break, agent falls for surfer's old GirlFriend. FnF, agent falls for sister of hijacker.

They even had the same fight scene - nazi surfers on the beach in Point Break, nazi street racer outside of cafe in FnF. And the endings were the  same, agent befriends criminal and lets him go to his death in his own way (big wave in PB, crashing his Drag Racer into a Semi in FnF). I guess it's just too hard to come up with an original story these days.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and three-quarter stars. Ebert 3/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.5 
  • With their dollars ...A hit! $144 million domestic gross, on a $38 million budget
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Dumb movie, but might be your kind of popcorn entertainment. It is fast. It is furious.

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