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. C-

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

The Fast and the Furious
  • Movie
  • 140 minutes