After watching the short film Los Bandoleros, I’m now moving on to the next feature film in the Fast and Furious franchise which is confusingly called ‘Fast & Furious’. This is the one film from the whole series that I really couldn’t remember much about at all, so I was looking forward to watching it again. Let’s continue my deep dive into the #FastandFuriverse.

I should mention again here that I’m watching the movies in chronological order rather than production order. I’ve, therefore, skipped over Tokyo Drift for the time being. So the first time we actually get to meet Han, is in the Los Bandoleros short and then in this film, Fast and Furious.

What do you think of the name ‘Fast & Furious’? I do find it slightly confusing and you sometimes have to specify with people when you say ‘Fast and Furious’ that you don’t mean the first movie. Maybe they didn’t want to stick a 4 on to the title because it’s kind of the second movie with this cast. After the 2 Fast 2 Furious title I would have loved them to call this one ‘Fast & FOURious’. Sadly that didn’t happen.

It’s so weird thinking that Vin Diesel wasn’t in a Fast and Furious movie for 8 years, and he missed two movies (although he had a bit part in Tokyo Drift).

Here are my notes whilst watching this movie.

  • We are in the Dominican Republic (this location was setup in Los Bandoleros)
  • The last time most people saw Dom was when he escaped at the end of the first movie 8 years ago
  • This is also the first time most people met Han, if they hadn’t seen the short
  • It’s a pretty cool cold open with the gas truck robbery. They’re hitting us with a crazy stunt in the first 7 minutes, with Dom driving under the gas truck
  • This is the first F&F movie with the original cast that is directed by Justin Lin. He did Tokyo Drift, this one and goes on to do the next two as well. And he’s coming back for 9 and 10
  • When Dom says Han should leave, Han says “I heard they’re doing some crazy shit in Tokyo”. Obviously referencing his later move to Tokyo and appearance in Tokyo Drift
  • Letty says “I hear Rio’s nice this time of year”, which is a possible future reference to their location in Fast Five
  • Brilliant introduction of Brian into the film, chasing the bad guy, and I love the ‘Downtown Los Angeles’ appearing on screen as the window is smashed. Very nicely done.
  • Contender for best haircut so far for Paul Walker too!
  • So Brian’s a cop again? I had forgotten about that. This guy flip flops more than… a pair of flip flops
  • Has to be said but the street chase is very reminiscent of Point Break, don’t you think? Yet another, slightly tenuous this time, similarity to Point Break
  • Crazy tackle by Brian. Did he know the car was down below to break their fall?!
  • Dom’s in Panama now. This is a very international movie
  • “Torreto’s been spotted. I’m going to bring his ass in.” “Not in your car you’re not”. Contender for quote of the movie
  • I really don’t remember watching this movie the first time around, but it must have been pretty shocking and unexpected when Letty died
  • Great to hear Run DMC playing in the garage when Dom goes to get information from that guy
  • Mia explains that it has been 5 years since the events of the first film
  • Mia – “Maybe you’re the bad guy pretending to be the good guy. Do you ever think about that?”. Brian – “Every day.” Yeh, us too Brian. Us too
  • There is another totally crap response from Brian when asked why he let Dom go (similar to his crap response to Bilkins in the deleted scene from 2 Fast 2 Furious. In that scene he said “You wouldn’t understand”. In this one he just says “I don’t know”.
  • Brian’s boss tells him the difference between a cop and a criminal is “one bad judgement”. Obviously they are once again sowing the seeds for Brian possibly turning. Not sure if this is meant to be subtle or obvious, but it’s pretty obvious.
  • Brian must be a kid in a candy store when he gets to choose a car from all the impounded vehicles that the police have.
  • This is pretty much Gal Gadot’s first big movie. Obviously she went on to great things with Wonder Woman etc in the future
  • It’s a pretty great street race that Dom and Brian are involved in. One of the better street races in the series
  • Dom orders a Corona at about 47 mins in. I think Brian has one too
  • Another possible Point Break reference! Gal Gadot says “Vaya con Dios”. Not once but twice. This series is totally an homage to Point Break, right?
  • Some elements are a bit similar to the plot of 2 Fast 2 Furious, with the race to get the chance to become a mule for a drug lord
  • Another Corona moment when Dom forgets to say grace when he, Brian and Mia are having dinner
  • Brian finally gives a decent answer about why he let Dom go. “In that moment I respected him more than I did myself.”
  • Good fight scene between Dom and Brian. I always like when someone rings an unknown number from a mobile and then someone unexpected’s phone in the room rings
  • Not sure why Brian gave Dom the car key right before the drug lord arrives. At least he handed it to him a normal way this time.
  • I like how it was done when we find out Braga’s identity
  • I’ve heard negative things about Mia’s acting in some of the movies, but I thought she was good in this
  • The whole tunnel driving scene is pretty cool and I liked how Dom ditched his car and jumped into the F-Bomb car while they were both moving
  • Pretty gruesome/cool way that Fenix dies
  • I LOVE when we’re watching Dom’s prison bus, with sad music playing, right after Dom gets sentenced to 25 years in prison, and we’re thinking about how Dom vowed to never go back to prison, and then all of a sudden, in a really cool shot, the cars come speeding into shot up the highway on their way to break him out! And one of them is Brian! Great ending.

Deleted scenes
I couldn’t find any deleted scenes online for this one. Perhaps there are still some on the DVD?

Main characters
Han (was in Los Bandoleros)
Rico Santos (was in Los Bandoleros)
Leo Tego (was in Los Bandoleros)
Gisele (Gal Gadot) – new

Corona references – 1
Corona appearances – 2

Most memorable scene

  • The whole robbery of the gas truck at the start is very memorable. Just not the cliff, explosions and bouncing trailer at the end, but the whole way they orchestrate it.
  • The guy hanging out the window being held by his ankle, asking if Brian and Dom could catch up later certainly sticks in the mind, a bit like the rat scene in 2 Fast 2 Furious
  • All the cars driving across the desert and through the tunnels is pretty cool and unique for this movie. It would say they are definitely memorable scenes that people will associate with this film
  • The final scene were Brian, Mia and co. come to rescue Dom from the prison bus is great. Maybe it was telegraphed but I didn’t actually see it coming, it’s really well done, and it’s just great when you realise that Brian has turned again and is coming to rescue his future brother-in-law. This scene really is the catalyst for the whole rest of the series, and for that I’m going to pick it as my most memorable scene.

Best stunt

  • Fenix busting out of the tunnel whilst driving into Brian’s car was pretty cool, and very well done. It’s definitely a contender
  • But for me the gas truck scene has to win this. As a visual spectacle it’s pretty great, let alone with Dom timing his car to drive underneath a bouncing gasoline trailer. Pretty bold move, Dom.

Quote of the movie
“Sorry car” – this made me smile
“Torreto’s been spotted. I’m going to bring his ass in.” “Not in your car you’re not.” – this made me smile too. Classic F&F burn.
But I think the winner has to be “Vaya con Dios”. It’s said twice for some reason, and therefore I feel must be a homage to Point Break. So it’s the most memorable quote of the film for me.

Score – 7/10
This film is ok. It’s certainly very watchable and it’s still a very good action movie. It just doesn’t quite have the spark of the other movies. It doesn’t grab me. There is something missing in Brian and Dom’s characters. Maybe something in the plot, their script or their acting that just doesn’t have the normal energy, I’m not sure. Some of it does just feel like a rehash of part of the 2 Fast 2 Furious movie. I also found it weird that Han is hardly in it, especially considering how much he was in Los Bandoleros.

The Fast and the Furious – 8.5/10 
2 Fast 2 Furious – 8/10 
Fast & Furious – 7/10
Los Bandoleros – 3/10 
Turbo-Charged Prelude – 2/10