Karen Valby
January 08, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Fast and the Furious

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
140 minutes
Wide Release Date
06/22/01
performer
Jordana Brewster, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Thom Barry, Beau Holden, Ja Rule, Reggie Lee, Ted Levine, Chad Lindberg, Vyto Ruginis, Matt Schulze, Johnny Strong, Mike White (Actor), Rick Yune
director
Rob Cohen
Producers
Original Film
distributor
Universal
author
David Ayer, Erik Bergquist, John Pogue, Kario Salem, Gary Scott Thompson
genre
Mystery and Thriller, ActionAdventure

We gave it a C-

There’s something to be said for good trash — the kind of movie that’s so bad you want to pull the Dumpster lid over your head and just wallow in its good-natured stink. The entire first five minutes of dialogue in the street-racing flick The Fast and the Furious concerns a tuna fish sandwich. That early layer of rot paves the way for a scene in which a character snarls at two halter-topped women hanging on her boyfriend: ”I smell [sniff sniff] skanks.” Despite these early moments of shameful fun, the goods soon go bad.

With the slack mug and meathead appeal of a young Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel is a ball of hammy fury. But his pit-bull routine is paired with Paul Walker’s catalog-boy posing. The bland actor, playing an undercover cop who infiltrates Diesel’s crew of speed freaks, has all the vroom, vroom of a windup toy. And Michelle Rodriguez, who floated and stung her way through ”Girlfight,” flounders as ”the girlfriend.” Ultimately, though, the actors are just chauffeurs for the real stars, the wheels. An unapologetic showcase for souped-up cars, with no pretense of story or message, the movie has one redeeming quality: its honesty. But honestly, it’s garbage.

WHAT WE SAID THEN: ”…a logy crime-bust melodrama — ”Point Break” on hot wheels.” C (#602/603, June 29/July 6, 2001) — Owen Gleiberman

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