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The Fast and the Furious

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious

Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster
Director: Rob Cohen
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: June 2001
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Ja Rule, Ted Levine, Chad Lindberg, Rick Yune, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Hill Harper

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

Going into THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, about the world of illegal street racing, I was hoping for some trashy fun. Sometimes getting one out of two isn't good enough -- all I got was the trash. Perhaps it was the venue. I didn't see it at a drive-in, which is probably the only place that has any hope of doing this movie justice. As directed by Rob Cohen (THE SKULLS), it a made me yearn for another recent stinker, Renny Harlin's DRIVEN, which at least contained a little more stylish trash.

Made for young teenage boys whose interests are making the move from video games to fast cars, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS features automobiles that would be better thought of as street rockets than hot rods. Most of the cars have a button like those on video game controllers that blast the characters into hyperspace. In the movie, the super speed button causes the car to switch to nitrous oxide, which propels the driver ahead as fire shoots out the tailpipes.

Although the real stars are built of pure metal, the human supporting cast includes Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. Computer generated actors would have sufficed.

Everything happens to such a heavy rock beat that the film frequently feels like a long music video advertisement for some new cars aimed at the youth market.

At least the film never insults its viewers with any cheap moralizing. Think of it as the anti-message movie. Big bosomed girls hang around the races to offer free sex to the winners. The story has the kids engage in activities that are not only illegal but highly dangerous as well. How many people, for example, are killed every year trying to beat a train? One of the movie's key adrenaline rushes comes from a combination drag and train race. Oh yes, seat belts? Forget it. They're for sissies.

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS runs 1:41. It is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave it ***, saying that he liked the car racing and the music. He couldn't get to a racing video game fast enough after the movie.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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