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The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Live life a quarter-mile at a time.

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


Paul Walker stars as Brian O'Connor, an apparently ordinary young man who is into fast cars and street racing. However, in reality O'Connor is a cop working undercover in the street racing scene – if he can perform well here he has a chance to progress his career into the FBI. He is trying to discover the identities of a gang who have been hijacking trucks full of electronic goods using modified Japanese supercars. It is clear that the gang are street racers, but O'Connor finds that there are a variety of possible suspects and it isn't easy to discover the identities of the hijackers amongst the many street racers.

As O'Connor gets close to top street racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) he starts to make friends within the street racing community and falls for Dominic's younger sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). But Dominic and his friends are amongst the prime suspects and may be the hijackers he is looking for. To make matters worse, the truckers are starting to arm themselves and there is the possibility that the next hijack may end in disaster. Ultimately, O'Connor will have to decide whether his loyalties lie with the police and FBI, or with his street racing friends.

This is hardly deep-thinking cinema, but is in no way lessened because of that. Full of high-octane street racing scenes and plenty of automotive eye-candy, the excitement rarely lets up. The characters are not deep, but are appealing nonetheless and some development is apparent. Paul Walker looks almost too clean-cut for the role of O'Connor, but pulls it off with some flair. Vin Diesel is the actor of note in this film however, giving Toretto plenty of appeal and authenticity. This is a film about cars and street racing at the end of the day, and in that sense it doesn't disappoint.

It's Got: Great cars and fabulous street racing.

It Needs: More depth and complexity of plot.

DVD Extras The Superbit DVD release comes with no extras but offers a high bit-rate digital transfer that optimises sound and video quality. Extras: None. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10


Hardly the deepest plot ever seen, but plenty of exciting automotive action and attractive cars.