The Fast And The Furious ***

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Who would of thought that “The Fast And The Furious” would turn in to a major franchise with multiple entries? It is strange to watch this film now, twelve years later, and feel nostalgia. This movie is like a relic from a former era. It is made with a totally different style and aesthetic than any of the films that followed it.

The look and feel of this movie are different from the way movies are made today. It seems very much like a distant cousin of the movie “Point Break”. Both movies were about under cover cops who infiltrate criminal gangs through extreme sports in L.A.

This time the police officer is Brian O’Connor played by Paul Walker and the criminal is Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel. When a series of semi-truck hijackings take place around the Los Angeles area, the FBI assume it is linked to street racers since the crooks are using souped up Honda Civics. O’Connor is tasked with going under cover and finding out who is responsible. He is immediately attracted to Toretto and his close circle of friends as well as the allure of pulse pounding street races

Now as fun as this movie is, it is no where near as absorbing as “Point Break” due to the fact that the police investigation is rather weak and the dialogue is pretty lacking. Amazingly O’Connor is caught by Toretto and his crew doing police work and manages to cover it with some lame excuses that they actually accept.

The performances though are solid. As Dominic, Diesel creates an iconic character he could play for years. His Toretto lives with a fierce code of loyalty to family. He sense something is wrong with O’Connor but he also senses someone who might be one of his own.

The action here is pretty awesome as well. There are a few exciting street races, as well as a gun fights and explosions. Everything comes together with a highway chase that owes a little bit to the ending of “The Road Warrior”.

I respect what Rob Cohen was trying to pull off here but it doesn’t quite reach the near perfection of “Point Break”. It is a fun film but it could have been so much more.

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