The Fast And The Furious
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez
Director: Rob Cohen
The film: This was a surprise packet, topping the box office in the United States on its first weekend of release and doing good business across the globe. At its heart, it's a 1950s-style good kids versus bad kids car flick - but with the added advantage of having some dazzling special effects. Director Rob Cohen has been making films since the mid-70s but is perhaps best known for his work on the hit TV series Miami Vice. And The Fast And The Furious has the same smooth feel. It's all set in and around the world of late-night street racing. There're fast cars, and very fast - and very dumb - dialogue. Paul Walker takes the lead as Brian Spindler, an FBI agent who goes undercover to bring down a team of truck hijackers. The bad dude is wonderfully hammed-up by Vin Diesel (right) and he steals the show. But you'll watch this film waiting for the car chases and Cohen doesn't disappoint: he lays them on constantly, and they're impressive. Among the most impressive are the fuel's-eye view of nitrous oxide being injected into a turbocharger and the last, long chase which will leave you panting. Nothing brilliant about the story, but there doesn't need to be when the cars are stealing the show.
The extras: It comes as a bit of a surprise there aren't more extras offered with a film that involves so much action. You get different camera angles of the final chase sequence, the usual 'making of . . .' featurette, and a thoroughly uninteresting piece in which the director and editor go through a few scenes to explain how they achieved a PG rating by keeping violence levels down. The DVD-Rom has three music videos of forgettable tunes.
The verdict: If you're in the camp of people who think this is a B-grade, car-crashin' classic, you'll love the film and be let down by the lack of quality extras. If cars leave you cold, don't bother.