Did you all know that F9: The Fast Saga (that’s Fast & Furious NINE- and it’s a GOD DAMN SAGA!) was supposed to come out LAST YEAR? The COVID-19 pandemic definitely plunged the world into chaos and effectively shut down Hollywood, but for all the Marvel movies we missed out on or the final Daniel Craig James Bond film that’s been delayed three times it was the 9th Fast & Furious film that I missed the most while the world went into apocalypse mode. But huzzah! F9 is on pace to finally be released in June, and the wonderful marketing folk at Universal Pictures have concocted FAST FRIDAYS in which every week up until F9’s release they will screen a Fast Saga (SAGA) film FOR FREE! Yeah suckas! You can visit www.fastfridays.com to check availability in your local area.
I love the Fast & Furious films, but it hasn’t always been that way. Let’s go back into our NOS-fueled DeLorean and revisit the original Fast film from 2001 directed by Hollywood bad boy Rob Cohen, Or something like that.
Spoilers for this movie and all the other FAST movies as I work through my train of thought re-watching this cinematic masterpiece.
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001)
AKA CAR POINT BREAK
Directed by Rob Cohen
Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster, NOT John Cena, and a bunch of other dudes
0:00:10- The UNIVERSAL LOGO washes across the screen, and I’m reminded by the fact that I didn’t see The Fast and the Furious in theaters, and it wouldn’t be until the 4th film’s soft reboot in 2009 that I would see a FAST film in theaters.
0:01:00- Our quick look at the precious cargo that hinges on the entire plot of this movie– PANASONIC TV/VCR COMBO PLAYERS. Holy shit. Sure the series would go on to make DA’ FAMBLY into international superspies but this heist of VCR combos is still the most insane thing about this series. There’s a strong chance that Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson go into space in F9 and this is still the most unbelievable thing from all 9 movies, 1 spinoff, and one animated Netflix show.
0:01:41- We’re not fucking around, IT’S THE FIRST HEIST! Precision drivers using their Honda Civics with GRAPPLING HOOKS to hijack the tractor trailer truck like they’re VCR pirates. I mean the grappling hooks are a good puzzle piece, definitely makes it easier to connect Dom’s latest exploits.
0:03:22- LIL’ GREEN SPORTS CAR is here, and we meet our Keanu Reeves for this story, Brian (undercover as Spellman?) O’Conner (dirty Irish) a good man with a good heart with his only vice being fast cars, the beautiful woman who makes him tuna without crust like he’s a four year old, and bromances with aggressive bald warriors also with their own heart of gold.
0:04:32- TORRETTO’S! I would love a spinoff of just the FAST Fambly running Torretto’s Restaurant when they aren’t partaking in high tech espionage while driving sports cars. Brian lays it on thick with Mia, who isn’t playing that……. YET.
0:05:00- We get to see the beautiful bald head of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Torretto, the coolest and sexiest dude who ever did cool stuff while being sexy.
0:06:00- We meet the rest of the crew! Letty! Vince! Uh, nerd kid! And umm, Leon? I had to look up the other guy’s name. It’s Leon. Man how much must you suck that Leon never got a shot at reuniting with DA FAMBLY for a sequel? I mean pretty much everyone has come back. At least Jessie has a good reason to sit out the sequels (SPOILER: Cuz he dead).
0:06:15- First mention of NOS, establishing a dynasty that would last twenty years.
0:07:30- Vince calls Brian a faggot. It was 2001. I’m not excusing it, I’m just saying it was a different time.
Dom says Brian is fired from his undefined job at the car store. Dom is so cool and sexy all the kids drive what he drives and fucks what he fucks (Letty?) NOS what? He NOS!
0:10:40- FIRST STREET RACE IN A FAST MOVIE! “Rollin'” is blasting on the stereo. It was 2001, it was a different time. We’ve also got some Ja Rule blasting through the woofers, but mainly because it’s blasting from Ja Rule’s car. Yes, Ja Rule is in this film.
PIZZA HUT DELIVERY DRIVER: God damn street racers!
That poor guy, he’s gonna lose out on his tip.
0:17:28- What if they used NOS on the surfboards in Point Break? That totally would have changed the game.
0:18:11- Are they just waiting for MURDER to happen before they can race? Wait, are they CAUSING THE MURDER in order to race? This movie just took a much darker edge than I remembered.
0:19:30- Ja Rule needs to be brought back into the series as ‘Guy Who Keeps Losing Out on Threesomes’, Him and Tyrese can be funny together. “MONICA!”
0:22:00- Car talk in these movies is like the techno-babble in Star Trek. Is it legit? Maybe? Is it bullshit? Probably. But if we don’t quantify and reverse polarity we’ll never be able to slingshot around the sun in FAST 10: The Voyage Home.
0:23:00- COPS! SCATTER
0:25:00- Brian earns Dom’s trust by saving him from the cops. A bromance is born.
0:26:00- Dom recently discovered the world wide web, and he can find anything about anyone on there. Plus this great file sharing site called Kazzaa where you can download any song. Dom also promises to die before ever going back to jail. I hope that specific character flaw doesn’t come back to bite him later on.
0:27:00- INTRO TO ASIAN STEREOTYPE RED HERRINGS
Man, the Trans were pretty cool. They need to make a comeback in a Fast spinoff.
0:29:00- That little green sports car was one day away from retirement.
0:30:00- Mia fixes dem titties when she spots Brian arriving with Dom.
0:31:00- DA’ FAMBLY is turning this party from House Party into House Party 2!
0:32:01- “CUZ THE BUSTA KEPT ME OUTTA CUFFS!” Dom lays down the law to the other Mickey Mouse Club Kids, and also introduces Corona into the FAST universe. Not Coronavirus, just the delicious piss warm taste of a Corona w/ Lime.
0:33:00- Letty wants to fuck, so Dom is out. Good luck Busta! Hope Vince and Company don’t kill you while I’m getting my dick wet! Man, Dom is so cool. He definitely couldn’t be stealing VCR/TV combos.
0:35:10- “Was she a great big fat person?” Welcome to the movie Buffalo Bill! It’s at this point in the movie we get the ultimate betrayal.
Not only is Brian not a Spellman, not only is he a dirty Irishman, not only is he working with Hollywood great Ted Levine and Dexter’s Dad, but HE’S A COP! Point Break didn’t wait until a half hour in the movie to reveal Keanu was a cop. Were people watching this in 2001 shocked by this reveal?
00:36:40- We learn that “THE GANG” (not DA’ FAMBLY) has stolen $6 Million dollars in merchandise. That goes far beyond TV/VCR Combos. We’re talking VHS-C video cameras, pet rocks, Game Boy Colors, WebTVs, and some Sony Walkmen.
SURLY DETECTIVE: “You want TIME? Find a magazine.” This is a superior burn in 2001 people, since TIME was a predominant cultural magazine that helped guide society before Twitter.
00:38:50- Our first reference to JAPAN in a FAST film. Subtle nod to Tokyo Drift? You would think it’s impossible but everything gets called back in these movies. Except for Dom and Mia’s little brother we’ve never ever heard about. We also get our first reference Race Wars, which like… I guess is important to the FAST universe? Eventually Dom reveals he created it. Wut?
00:41:00- You know here’s the thing. Vince is 100% right.
IT’S OUR FIRST FAMBLY PICINIC YA’LL, break out the Corona and the first person to grab meat says Grace.
00:44:00- Mia cucks Vince. Man that guy sure gets the shaft.
00:46:00- Remember Hector from the first street race? He’s our new Red Herring.
00:47:00- Brian finally does some police work, badly.
Vince has a shotgun on Brian’s head, and we get our first “Is Dom evil?” moment. We already know he’s cool and he’s sexy and he has a bald heart of gold. But at this point it should be very clear by how bad Vince wants to kill him for being a cop that these are the bandits. Like, come on Brian. Some techno-babble saves him.
00:53:00- Ted! My man’s got some balls for stealing Johnny Tran’s engines (instead of his transmission) right before Race Wars. They need to bring my man Ted back for FAST TENOUS (working title).
To Brian’s credit, he’s not ready to move on Tran quite yet. In Point Break Keanu immediately dismissed Swayze as a suspect and focused in on fucking Lori Petty. Which I mean, I get it but come on man. You nearly got Gary Busey killed!
00:50:00- We learn that Dom only lives his life a quarter mile at a time. I’m not quite sure what kind of gas mileage that gets you, but I assume why Dominic Torretto went bald at 16 years old.
00:57:00- Dead Dad Origin story which also doubles as “Why I went to prison and I’m not a complete POS who beat a guy with a wrench it’s because I miss my Dad” but like, where is Dom’s Mom? And what about a younger brother who would grow up to become a Super Assassin who looks just like John Cena.
01:01:00- We get the origins of DA’ FAMBLY. Uh, Jessie, Leon, and Vince just grew up with Dom and Mia. And Letty was the hot bitch on the block. And I guess that means they all knew Jacob Torretto AKA JOHN CENA! But never mentioned I guess. I still love this franchise.
Brian got too close! Now he’s banging Mia! And he tells the Cops to move in on Tran!
01:02:00- Butt grabs for everyone! Dom and Letty get it on as the calm before the storm gets super sexy.
01:04:30- Tran was legit! He wasn’t the guy! Well I guess his story ended pretty well all things considered.
01:06:45- FAST V. Ferrari
Yeah so I pretty much expected Dom and Brian to start hardcore making out to outplay Fabio.
01:08:00- Brian wants in on whatever Dom’s got going on behind the scenes. He’s playing his ace a little late in the film, but props on calling out Dom’s failing family restaurant as an awful cover for his insane amounts of money spent on cars.
01:10:00- RACE WARS!
Jessie don’t bet your Dad’s tricked out Jetta! I feel like there’s an alternate timeline where Jessie is played by Giovanni Ribisi. Was he too big at this point to play a Jessie role? Get me the non-union equivalent of Giovanni Ribisi! Stat! Says super director Rob Cohen.
Yeah so Jessie loses the race to PISSED OFF JOHNNY TRAN, and runs away like a little bitch. Real bad move kid.
01:15:00- Race Wars is just an excuse for a 2001 party rave, and I respect the hell out of it. According to dispatch we’re also close by to Coachella, so that tracks.
01:16:00- “I’M A COP!” Oh, crap B.
01:18:00- “WHAT’S HIS CELLULAR TELEPHONE DEVICE NUMBER MIA???” Man, 2001 was weird. I didn’t even get my first cell phone till the end of 2002. Playing Snake on my Nokia was awesome.
01:21:00- Yo they’ve got really cool masks like they’re in a MAD MAX movie. Not quite Ex-Presidents level cool, but they really should have shown a few more heists with these ultra cool masks.
Vince, who right up until the heist began told Dom it was a bad idea to go through with it without Jessie, does not listen to Dom and grapple hooks off the car and onto the truck with a driver shooting at him.
01:27:00- Brian saves Vince because it’s the right thing to do.
I have a hard time driving with a coffee in my hand, but these precision drivers and shotgun wielding truck drivers.
01:28:00- COP. BRIAN IS A COP. DOM CANNOT HANDLE THIS INFORMATION AND WISHES HE HAD A WRENCH RIGHT NOW!
01:30:04- The gang got stuck in rush hour LA traffic. Oops.
01:31:16- Dom’s spidey-sense kicks in, but not quick enough to say Non-Giovanni Ribisi’s life. Gone too soon Jessie you dumb piece of shit. First soldier down, besides Vince’s arm.
01:32:00- Torque vs. FAST. Hey remember the hit motion picture Torque?
01:34:40- Oops, Tran is dead. Never mind, I guess he can’t be in the sequels.
01:35:30- The final race! Brian v. Dom.
01:36:20- Train’s coming through! And crap Dom’s car starts shitting the bed. Huh, the car that hasn’t been driven in 20 years craps out almost immediately. I’m not a car expert but that feels like an oversight on Dom’s part.
01:04:30- Brian loves Dom!
“I owed you a 10 second car.” Man, you can see the bond form, a real love that’s far greater than Keanu and Swayze in Point Break. I mean sure Keanu let Swayze go multiple times, but in the end sent him to his death on the waves.
Brian let’s Dom escape, and we’ll probably never see him again.
POST CREDIT SCENE- Baja, Mexico
IT’S DOM! We’ve seen him again! He definitely won’t bitch out on the sequel with Rob Cohen to make an X GAMES JAMES BOND SUPERSPY instead. We’ll definitely see him in The Faster and the Furious!
The first FAST movie is not a classic by any means, but as a pure rip off of Point Break it does the job and sets up the world of high octane racing and FAMBLY bonds. It’s what comes next that’s important.
3.5 out of 5 NOS cans
UP NEXT: 2 Fast 2 Furious and TYRESE IS HONGGGGGRYYYYYYYYY!
The Fast and the Furious is currently streaming on HBO MAX.