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The Fast and the Furious
Review written by: Alex Sandell


"Alright, who slipped the
Viagra into my front suspension?" 

What's the story?:

Essentially a remake of 1991's Point Break, a cop named Brian Spindler (Paul Walker) goes undercover to find out who's responsible for recent truck hijackings, where loads of expensive electronics equipment are being ripped-off by one or more rival gangs of street racers.  When Spindler meets up with, and befriends, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), leader of the most powerful gang of racers, he quickly becomes involved in this underground world of hot cars, big money, and scantily clad women.  Things get further complicated when Spindler falls in love with Toretto's sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), causing him to feel a strong kinship with this gang of motorheads, and possibly hijackers, that he is supposed to be investigating.

So, how is it? (Get to the point, already.)

If anything is to be said about the summer of 2001, it would be that it's the summer of Bruckheimer.  Sure, uber-producer, Jerry Bruckheimer was too busy working on his "masterpiece," Pearl Harbor to be involved with this racing film, but, as with Driven, Tomb Raider and Swordfish before it, The Fast and the Furious has all of the traditional trappings of a Bruckheimer film stamped all over its ugly mug.  A raging rock and roll soundtrack, teetering testosterone levels, MTV style directing, formula romance, ultra-fast machines, and a nicely recycled plot.  Luckily, though, Bruckheimer wasn't behind this film, which saves it from being a total wreck. 

If you sit back, and let that patented MTV style directing flow over you, you can attain the same visceral thrill you might get from watching MTV's Spring Break, or at least VH1's Behind the Music.  You have the bad rock and roll, the guys without shirts, the girls in bikinis, and the hot cars to ogle over.  This is thee definitive movie for the car-obsessed populace to relish in.  Along with your shirtless guys, girls in bikinis, and hot cars, you've got your macho-posturing, your redneck-lingo (the least they could have done is offered subtitles for the auto-impaired), and your racing scenes.  

The racing scenes, amazingly enough, are what ended up saving this movie from being the total disaster that Bruckheimer would have created.  If you thought the car races and chases in Bruckheimer's own, Gone in 60 Seconds were good, your head is going to explode at least 5 times during this movie.  When this film hits the gas, it moves fast, and doesn't put the breaks on for nobody!  The races are loud, and full of fury.  The director (Rob Cohen) knows how to put on a good show, when it comes to automobiles, and he'll have you feeling like you're right in the driver's seat, next to the idiots who actually do this for a living.  

Sadly, the movie is more than racing, and every other aspect of the film is crap.  The acting is nearly unbearable, and the script, lifted from Point Break, is dumber than your average Confederate Flag flying Daytona fan.  The characters, bad acting aside, come off about as real as Angelina Jolie's bouncing rubber ball boobs in Tomb Raider, and they aren't half as interesting.  The tension between the rival gangs is played up as a modern day West Side Story, but a boxing match between Barney and Elmo would be more intense.  The romance is about as limp as Bob Dole without Britney Spears and a bottle of Viagra, and the one-liner's would embarrass Steven Seagal.  One day, it would be nice to see a great movie wrapped around a couple of excellent car races, rather than an epic dud wrapped around a few pretty cars.

What does it make you feel like eating?

Jerry Bruckheimer.  Finally turn him into the piece of shit that he is.  (I guess I'm being pretty harsh on the guy, being that he had absolutely nothing to do with this movie.)

What are you selling us here???

TONS of Product Placements.  Outside of the cars, you've got a REALLY obvious Pizza Hut placement, a placement for Corona beer that makes you so nauseous you feel like you just drank 12 of them, one for Panasonic, and a bunch of others that I can't remember.

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Special achievement award to Jerry Bruckheimer for creating a movie he didn't create" - The Fast and the Furious

On a scale of 1-10?

4

Agree? Disagree? Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com

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Text (Copyright) 2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll edit out the race scenes, and make you watch The Fast and the Furious 500,000 times, with no breaks in the middle to let you go pee!

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