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FAST AND THE FURIOUS - DVD Movie
A guilty pleasure with excess horsepower, The Fast and the Furious efficiently combines time-honored male fantasies hot cars, hot women, hot action into a vacuous plot of crystalline purity. It's trash, but it's fun trash, in which a hotshot Los Angeles cop named Brian Paul Walker infiltrates a gang of street racers suspected of fencing stolen goods from hijacked trucks. The gang leader is Dom Vin Diesel, ex-con and reigning king of the street racers, who lives for those 10 seconds of freedom when his high-performance "rice rocket" a highly modified Asian import hurtles toward another quarter-mile victory. Racing is street theater for a lawless youth subculture, and Dom is a star behind the wheel--charismatic, dangerous, and protective toward his sister Mia Jordana Brewster, who's attracted to Brian as the newest member of Dom's car-crazy team.
Director Rob Cohen treats this like Roman tragedy for MTV junkies, pushing every scene to adrenaline-pumping extremes; when his camera isn't caressing a spectrum of nitrous oxide-enhanced dream machines, it's ogling countless slim 'n' sexy race babes. The undercover-cop scenario cheaply borrows the split-loyalty theme perfected in Donnie Brasco; a rival Asian gang adds mystery and menace; and digital trickery is cleverly employed to explore the fuel-injected innards of the day-glo racecars. It's about as substantial as a perfume ad, but just as alluring, and for heavy-metal maniacs of any age, Diesel's superblown '69 Charger proves that Detroit muscle never goes out of style. --Jeff Shannon