25 June 2001 | baumer
There's something about Vin
Every summer a film comes around that takes everyone by surprise. Last year it was Scary Movie and I'm sure in 1977 it was a film like Star Wars and then in 1981 it was Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now I am not saying that The Fast and the Furious is in the same class as Raiders and Star Wars, just that it surprised everyone on the same level. F&F is short on plot and dialogue and even some of the acting is lame, but what it is oozes is testosterone. It pumps your blood, increases your adrenaline and attacks you with fast cars, sexy women and that one invariable that I think it has going for it... Vin Diesel. There is just something about the guy, something that you really can't put your finger on, but he just has it. Maybe it is charisma, maybe it is charm, maybe it is just that he resembles some of the action heroes from the 80's with his chiseled triceps and his slabs of pecs. Maybe it is all those things and maybe it is none of those things, all I know is that F&F is exactly what I had hoped it would be and nothing more. This is the summer movie that I have been waiting for. It's not that the films that have been out so far aren't that great because some of them are, it's just that this is the one that epitomises what summer as a teen ager is all about. It is no wonder that exit polls for this film were around 65-70% under the age of 21. And maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much. I am pushing 30 but isn't it cool to lose yourself in a film that reminds you what it was like to be in highschool. And isn't it cool to watch street racers break 140 miles an hour wile they shoot NOS through their vehicles? Well isn't it?
F&F doesn't contain any machinations similar to a film like Mission Impossible and it doesn't dazzle us with special effects of impending doom like Armageddon did, but it takes us into a world where people live life "a quarter of a mile at a time."
Vin Diesel plays Dominic Toretto, a massive, bald mechanic that owns a garage but street races on the side to make some extra cash. Paul Walker ( The Skulls, Varsity Blues) plays Brian Spindler. He is a cop that has infiltrated the street gang to find out who is highjacking trucks and stealing all their merchandise. There are about four rival street gangs in L.A. and one of them is pulling this off. He has to figure out which one. Of course along the way he seduced by the life, but that is not what we really care about. All we want to see is lots of racing, a few crashes, some fights and some sex. F&F doesn't disappoint. If what you have seen in the trailers of the film excites and entices you, then you know exactly what you're in for. This is not going to win any Oscars for anything but what it will do is entertain you. It will expedite you for 90 minutes into a world where Honda's are souped up to look like Dragons and junkyard scraps are rebuilt from scratch to be better than they were before, better, stronger and faster. If this film appealed to you in the commercial, it will appeal to you on the screen.
And of course there is Vin Diesel. He first made a name for himself in Saving Private Ryan where he played Capparrzo. Then he jumped onto the scene with his excellent and grandiose turn as Riddick in Pitch Black. I think this is the film that got him noticed because no one had even heard of him before this. Then he did Boiler Room and he showed a different side to him. But F&F is all muscle and sheer bravado. I think Vin is going to do great things in the years to come. He is not a nobody anymore. This film will take care of that. And face it, isn't it cool to see the genesis of a new action hero?
8 out of 10- The ultimate summer rush!