The Fast and the Furious: The First Day
“Have any brew you want, as long as it’s a Corona.”
— Dominic Toretto
Who’s fast? 🏃️💨
For those of you unfamiliar with the 12th-highest grossing film of 2001, here’s a brief synopsis.
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is king of the street racers in LA. He uses Honda Civics to perform high-speed heists of semi-trucks. Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) is an undercover cop sent to take him down. Brian gets tight with Dom’s team,* falls in love with Dom’s sister, Mia, and ultimately Dom as well. Brian blows his cover and lets Dom get away.
*Brian asks if they’re a gang, and Mia says they‘ a’re a team. She does not say that they’re a family. My understanding is that this will change in subsequent films.
Who’s furious? 😡
Basically every character, car, concept and organization in the film.
- Dom vs. Brian
- Dom and the people of California vs. the state of Arizona. Brian is supposed to be from Arizona, and this is something he has to make up for.
- Vince vs. Brian, because Vince likes Mia
- Mia vs. Vince, because Mia likes Brian
- Street racers vs. police
- Ordinary LA drivers vs. street racers
- Truckers vs. heisty Civics
- Truckers vs. FBI, because they’re taking too long to crack the case
- LAPD vs. FBI
- Brian vs. FBI and his LAPD colleagues
- EVERYONE (Italians, Blacks, Hispanics, generic whites) vs. the Chinese. I didn’t realize The Fast and The Furious would be so current in 2020— even down to the week! It’s the Americans who have Coronas, but the Chinese are still the villains.
- Cars vs. motorcycles
- Exploding nitrous oxide (NOS) vs. cars
How fast? 🏎⏲️
Brian complains that his car topped out at 140 mph, and we later see him get it above 150. But the movie is obsessed with attaining a 10-second Car, meaning that the car can complete a quarter-mile race in that time. Dom claims that his dad’s car was a 9-second Car.
For a few seconds, Dom tries to outrun cop cars on foot. He is not fast enough. Luckily, Brian picks him up, and they get away from the cops.
At the end of the movie, Dom and Brian race each other across a train crossing just in time to beat the oncoming freight train. That’s pretty fast.
How furious? 🌡️
The first fist fight of the film occurs at minute seven.
The climax looks like it’s going to be an event called Race Wars. Given the anti-Chinese sentiment, it’s probably a good thing that the plot took a turn and the climax focused on Dom vs. truckers and Dom vs. Brian.
What I learned today
I should drink Corona, Snapple, Coke, Red Bull and wear Von Dutch.
Your car is your personality. The characters are introduced with close-ups of their cars. In the credits, the actors’ names are displayed by outlines of their cars. As a New York City resident, I do not own a car. Ergo, I cannot be a character in the Fast & Furious universe.
NOS is everywhere, and I am NOS. The abbreviation for nitrous oxide, the special stuff that makes the cars go real fast, happens to be the same as my initials. So, although I cannot be a character in this universe, I will be a background presence throughout the films — from this day forth.
Standout quotes with no context
- “Street’s closed, pizza boy. Find another way home.”
“Goddamn street racers!”
- “You can find anything on the web. Anything about anybody.”
- “You can’t detail a car with a cupholder.”
- “Ted, kiss my shoes.”
- “You want time, buy a magazine! We don’t have time.”
- “You break her heart, I’ll break your neck.”
- “I live my life one quarter mile at a time.”