The Fast and the Furious (2001)


The Fast and the Furious (also known in Japan as Wild Speed (?????????)) is a 2001 car film starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. Directed by Rob Cohen, The Fast and the Furious was the first mainstream film to feature the Asian automotive import scene in North America. It is the first film in The Fast and the Furious film series. The concept was loosely inspired by a Vibe magazine article about street racing in New York City.


Brian O'Conner (Walker) is a police officer tasked by an LAPD/FBI joint operation with infiltrating the Los Angeles street racing scene, suspected to be the origin of a string of high-speed truck hijackings perpetrated by a trio of black '95 Honda Civics with green neon lighting under the chassis. Brian gets a job at a local shop and works his way up until finally getting an opportunity to compete against elite street racer Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and two other contestants at a large, late-night event. Brian barters his way into the race with the title for his '95 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS. O'Conner appears to be ahead in the race, having equipped his Eclipse with Nitrous Oxide tanks for an edge over his competition. However, after using both tanks while in the race he damages his intake manifold, resulting more severe damage to his engine. He loses the race, but gains Toretto's respect when he tracks he arrives in time to prevent Torretto from being collared by the LAPD after their arrival on-scene to break up the race. After losing the police, the duo accidentally venture into Little Saigon area of southern California, and encounter a rival gang led by DK (Johnny Tran) (Yune). After a brief discussion over territory, the gang seems to depart, but Tran and his cousin Lance (Lee) return and open up in a barrage of gunfire with Uzi submachine gun fire on the O'Conners Eclipse, the gunfire ruptures the Nitrous Oxide tanks and the ensuing explosion wrecks the Eclipse, leaving Torretto and O'Conner to complete the rest of their journey home on foot. The next day, O'Conner is "arrested" by his superior (and handler) in the LAPD, Sgt. Tanner (Levine). They arrive at the operations headquarters, a repossessed home said to have been originally built for Elizabeth Taylor by Eddie Fisher. Once inside, Sgt. Tanner and Special Agent of the FBI Bilkins (Barry) voice their suspicions that Toretto may be the perpetrator of the hijackings and caution Brian to keep an appropriate distance so his judgment is not clouded. Since Brian's first encounter with Toretto, the duo become close friends, provoking the jealousy of Dominic's long-time best friend Vince (Schulze). Simultaneously, Brian becomes romantically involved with Toretto's sister Mia (Brewster). Since the Eclipse that Dominic won the title too was destroyed, Brian saw to it that Dominic be repaid appropriately, and so managed to present Dominic with a totaled '94 Toyota Supra to use as a blank canvas, and offers his talent as a driver to repay his debt. While on his own, Brian investigates the other participants in the street racing crowd and discovers a cache of electronics hidden in the back of Tran's auto shop including 3 Honda Civics with no engines, and agrees to the police and FBI to raid the garage and Tran's house believing them to be the perpetrators of the hijackings. However, a connection is not found, as the electronics were legally purchased by Tran. Tanner and Bilkins again express their belief that Toretto is behind the hijackings and informs him that truckers all over the state are preparing to take up arms against the hijackers. Seeing his opportunity to break the case slipping away, Brian directly confronts Toretto about how he gets his income. Toretto agrees to reveal the source as long as Brian proves himself at the upcoming Race Wars, a legitimate closed-track event for auto enthusiasts held at a closed United States Air Force Base. Early on at Race Wars, Toretto's friend Jesse (Lindberg) races his imprisoned father's '95 Volkswagen Jetta against Tran's '00 Honda S2000 for pink slips and loses. In a state of panic, Jesse hastily flees the track instead of surrendering his car. Later that night, Toretto and his gang go out to do another hijacking. Brian, now feeling out of time, confesses to Mia that he is an undercover cop and tells her that the truckers are now armed. He convinces her to come with him to save her brother and his friends. Mia reluctantly relents, and goes along with Brian to find Dominic and the team. Mia informs Brian that Dominic stashes the Civic's outside of Thermal. Brian then dials an operator service and gives his serial number to verify his claim as a police officer. He then hands the phone over to Mia who gives Toretto's cell phone number to track him down to where the Civics heading outside of Coachella. During the hijacking, member Vince is severely injured after the trucker pulls out a shotgun and shoots him in his side and the grappling wire to which he was connected becomes tangled around his arm. The other team members attempt to help, but are thwarted by the trucker, who causes Toretto's girlfriend Letty (Rodriguez) out of control and crashing off the embankment on the side of the highway. Brian comes arrives, rescues Vince with Mia's help, and jumps off the truck just before the truck driver fires out of the window after reloading. Dominic arrives on-scene to find Brian and Mia crouched over Vince out in the field to which they pulled off the highway in, attempting slow the bleeding from the lacerations on his arm. Brian makes the difficult decision of blowing his cover wide open by phoning in for a medivac, revealing his status as an undercover officer in Dominic's presence. Dominic is visibly enraged, but contains his anger and after Vince is airlifted from the scene, forces Mia to return home with him, Letty and Leon. Dodge Charger '70 Back at Toretto's house, Brian attempts to confront Toretto, who is out to look for Jesse before Tran's gang does. Just at that moment, Jesse shows up. Tran and his cousin suddenly appear and perform a drive-by shooting at the house, killing Jesse. Brian and Toretto go after them, with Toretto using his late father's prized '70 Dodge Charger, a treasure that Dominic revealed to Brian in an earlier scene, letting Brian in on the secrets of his past. Brian maintains close pursuit of the Tran and Lance, though Lance pulls off the road in an attempt to flank Brian. Just as Lance is about to open fire on Brian from behind, Toretto appears and forces the cousin off a road embankment while Brian shoots Tran, killing him. Brian and Dominic then engage in an impromptu street race, narrowly missing a passing train. Toretto, however, is injured after he sideswipes a passing semi-truck, sending his Charger up in mid-air before crashing violently. Instead of arresting him, Brian hands the keys of the Supra they built together over to Dominic, and lets him escape, recalling how desperately Dominic wishes to avoid prison time again. After the end credits, Toretto is seen driving through Baja California in a '70 Chevrolet Chevelle SS and his voice can be heard saying, "I live my life a quarter mile at a time, nothing else matters. For those ten seconds or less.... I'm free." — recalling a crucial line from an earlier scene when Brian and him are in his home garage where Dominic revealed the Dodge Charger (and the story behind it) to Brian.