It was starting to feel like something I was missing out on. It wasn’t until the sixth sequel was released until I found out this was a huge blockbuster franchise that people saw and talked about and shared opinions like, “Oh, it really doesn’t get good till the fifth one.” I wanted to have opinions like it doesn’t get good till the fifth one, too! And the more I heard about Fast and/or Furious the more I realized I needed to dive deep into this tritan of summer cinema nouveau (AKA Vin Diesel’s pecs) and rub my greasy pop culture addled op-ed (AKA my penis) all over it.
Day 1 – The Fast and The Furious (2001)
Going in I didn’t know much. I could tell that the cars went fast and that furious was personification. I knew Vin Diesel was in the series, and that he probably got the job based on his name alone. And I was pretty sure The Rock showed up at some point but I wasn’t sure.
The flick starts by reminding us it’s 2001 with flying chrome graphics and generic hip-hop. Every scene is bathed in reds and oranges, giving it that hottest day of the year vibe.
I previously knew Vin Diesel from The Iron Giant and Guardians of the Galaxy, where he shows off a specific set of acting skills, but The Fast and the Furious is where he sets himself apart, since every character is the exact same and he plays that character the best. Diesel plays Dominic Toretto (it should be the other way around, right?), a tough guy who loves street racing. There’s his sister is Mia, a tough girl who loves street racing. His girlfriend, Letty, is crazy about street racing, but watch out she’s pretty tough. His best friend is Jesse, he’s a street racer with a bit of a tough guy edge. And finally Brian, the undercover cop who knows a thing or two about racing cars, but can handle his own in this underground world of crime due to his overall tough demeanor.