Is there a series of movies as bat-shit insane as this franchise? If there is I don’t want to know about it. I’m going to watch all 6 of the currently released movies and chronicle the epic journey here in an attempt to find the method to the madness.
The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Aka Fast One
I’ve seen this movie several times but it wasn’t until I was trying to explain the concept of it to someone who was unfamiliar with the earlier films that I realized that Fast One is actually a total rip off of Point Break. Like seriously, I’m not fucking around here, Fast One is Point Break with cars instead of Surfboards. Here’s the plot synopsis for both movies pulled from imdb:
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 enamoured 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
In the coastal town of Los Angeles, a gang of bank robbers call themselves the ex-presidents. commit their crimes while wearing masks of ex-presidents Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson. The F.B.I. believes that the members of the gang could be surfers and send young agent Johnny Utah undercover at the beach to mix with the surfers and gather information. Utah meets surfer Bodhi and gets drawn into the lifestyle of his new friend.
It’s so crazy how similar these movies are I don’t how they got away with it, there have been successful law suits for less than this. Paul Walker IS Keanu Reeves and Vin Diesel IS Patrick Swayze. Now obviously there are differences but compared to the amount of overwhelming similarities it’s staggering. Keanu/Walker is a young hot shot cop trying to crack his first big bust he goes undercover to take down a crew who they know nothing about other than they are involved in the street racing/surfboarding scene. Keanu/Walker meets and kinda falls in love with Vin/Swayze and basically goes all Dances with Wolves on us. Then there’s the other bad boy crew of surfers/Asian bikers who Walker/Keanu thinks are the crew he’s after but then it turns out it’s not them and it’s been Vin/Swayze the whole time even though he’s such a cool bro?! And then at the end Walker/Keanu let’s Vin/Swayze get away because he loves him so much. Oh and also there’s the scene where Vin/Swayze gives a moving monologue explaining to Keanu/Walker why he lives his life a quarter mile at a time/chasing the waves.
Anyway now that we’ve exposed this mind shattering fact we can really jump into this movie and let me just start by saying what the actual fuck? Ok so in terms of the over the top insane action that the series has come to be known for this first instalment is pretty mellow by comparison but you can see where the seeds were planted here. One direct reference which I had previously overlooked is the first appearance of the spear gun which will return in part 7 to great effect, which brings me to the actual plot of this movie. So in Point Break Swayze is robbing banks for millions of dollars in cash, in Fast One Vin is knocking over trucks…..for DVD players. Yeah that’s right, we’re led to believe that every law enforcement agency in the state is after these guys, for DVD players? Ok and the way they do it is even more fucked up. So they all drive up to the trucks in black Honda Civics instead of their colourful tricked out super cars to avoid suspicion, smart right? Sure except for the fact that all the cars have green neon lights under them! How many black Honda Civics do you see with green neon lights? How many cars period? Why was it so important for them to have neon on their cars?? It makes no sense.
Also the movies leads us to believe that underground street racing is incredibly popular with the kids these days, so much so that literally hundreds upon hundreds of people turn out to watch and all of them bring their cars. And we’re also to understand that Vin Diesel is like the Tony Hawk of the street racing world, guys I’m pretty sure this is not how street racing works. Also apparently these guys drive so fast (and furiously) that they literally defy the normal laws of reality. These guys drive in a fucking straight line, like 100% straight, not even a hint of a turn yet when the race is over they are right back where they started the fucking race?? What is going on in this movie! All the guys who were hanging around at the start of the race are now just here at the finish line. How am I supposed to reconcile this? Did everyone watching just get in their cars and drive to finish line? And if they did how did they get here so much faster than the guys who were in the actual race!!! Come on how did they miss this?
Fire shoots out of their exhaust pipes, like a fucking flamethrower. Who made this movie, cause that’s something I would think was cool if I was 8 years old. If fire comes out the back of something it makes it go way faster, we all know this to be true. Even more fucked up than this; Buffalo Bill is in this movie. He’s a real actor, and he’s killing it in this movie, they should totally bring him back for Fast Seven.
Now here is where the movie starts to fall apart for me, so at one point in the movie Vin and Paul Walker are scoping out bad Asian dude Johnny Tran and witness him sexually assaulting a gas stop attendant or something and Walker notices a shit load of DVD players in this dudes garage, like dozens. Ok so case closed right, this guy is 100% the guy right? Wrong. But the movie never explains why Johnny Tran feels the need to store all these ‘legally purchased’ DVD players in his garage? What is Johnny Tran doing that he requires this many DVD players? Does he just have very reckless movie watching behaviours?
My last point about this movie is this, as far as I’m aware Dom is pretty much indestructible. We’ve witnessed him pull off some pretty impressive feats in these flicks, from getting tossed through brick walls by The Rock to flying through the air and catching motherfuckers midflight at 100mph speeds and then shielding them from impact with his powerful spine, but in this opening chapter we see Dom bleed, does it then follow that Dom can be killed?
Next up: 2 fast 2 furious aka Fast Two
EDIT: Ok so just as I was researching this article I learned of the tragic death of Paul Walker. I would just like to say that although I really rip on these movies I do really enjoy them a lot and it’s incredibly sad to hear of his passing.