Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Go To

The Fast and the Furious is the first installment of the The Fast and the Furious franchise. Starred Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, was directed by Rob Cohen and released in 2001.

Brian O'Conner (Walker) is an undercover LAPD officer looking into a string of highway semi-truck hijackings, which he suspects is linked to ex-convict Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Diesel) and his car shop crew. Brian works to get into their inner circle and comes to respect Dom for his sense of loyalty, which causes problems when his superiors start questioning where Brian's allegiance lies.



  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Dom explaining the significance of his car, and what happened to his father.
  • Badass Boast:
    Dom: "You almost had me? You never had me. You never had your car. Granny shiftin', not double clutchin' like you should. You're lucky that hundred shot of NOS didn't blow the welds on the intake. You almost had me? Now me and the mad scientist gotta rip apart the block and replace the piston rings you fried. Ask any racer, any real racer. It don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile; winning's winning."
  • Book-Ends:
    • The truck heist in the climax reveals which characters did what during the truck heist in the opening scene. Dom drives in front of the truck. Vince fires the harpoon to break in the cab and knock out the driver. Leon and Jesse surround the truck, preventing it from moving. And Letty drives under the trailer bed to distract the driver.
    • Advertisement:
    • Before the second heist, Dom tells Letty that he had a dream where they were in Mexico. The post-credits scene reveals that Dom's dream did come true, just not in the way that he envisioned it. He arrives in Mexico as a fugitive.
  • Chest Insignia: One of the few examples of a car variant of this trope. Each member of Dom's street team has a unique livery depicting a flaming robot character on the doors of their personal cars.
    • Dom's RX-7 has a flying robot with an armada of spaceships.
    • Letty's 240SX features a robot knight jousting on a comet.
    • Jesse's Jetta exhibits a robot knight jousting on a rocket.
    • Vince's Maxima depicts a robot shark.
    • Leon's Skyline showcases a robot knight wielding a great sword.
    • Mia's Integra sports a winged robot angel.
    • Brian's Supra brandishes a robot knight throwing a javelin.
  • Darkness = Death: Dom's monologue about his dad's death makes it very clear that his Charger was originally supposed to represent this.
  • DVD Commentary: The commentary by Rob Cohen goes to show the depth of insight a director can have about hidden aspects of the movie. Oh yeah, and he likes to blow stuff up too. And he loves pounding cars.
  • Driven to Suicide: Quite literally in this film. After Brian blows his cover, forcing Dom's family to flee, and indirectly causing Jesse to die, Dom, now with nothing but the knowledge of his impending arrest, opts to kill himself by racing the quarter mile one last time, planning to get hit by a train that awaits him on the other side. In the very same car his father died in, no less. It doesn't work, obviously.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Dom drives import cars (the Madza RX-7 and the Honda Civic) for most of the film, but starts driving muscle cars as his vehicle/s of choice for the rest of the series.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Brian's Mitsubishi is blown up by a barrage of bullets from Tran's crew. Plus, pretty green emit from the car probably from all the nitrous he put in the car.
  • Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: Excuse is the street racers are hijacking shipment trucks to fund their activity and a cop goes undercover to infiltrate the group.
  • Fanservice: The two girls making out during the party Vince and the crew throw while waiting for Dom to return.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Foreshadowing: One of Brian's bosses mentions that truck drivers are arming themselves in response to the threat of robbery. Sure enough, a pivotal scene involves Dom's team trying to rob an armed driver.
  • Gangland Drive-By: Near the end, after the heist scene, the crew returns to Dominic's house but Tran and his cousin zip by on motorcycles, spraying bullets, and killing Jesse.
  • Gunman with Three Names: Referenced when Dom checks Brian's wallet.
    Dom: Brian Earl Spilner. Sounds like a serial killer.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted; Johnny Tran's crew use suppressed Micro Uzis as their Weapon of Choice, but the guns are still very loud.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: The Tran family are inferred to be Vietnamese-Americans due to their surnames (Tran and Nguyen). They are played by the Korean-American Rick Yune and the Filipino-Chinese Reggie Lee.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: Dom spent two years in prison for assault and tells Brian that he'd rather die than go back.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dom is prone to this. The film reveals how much of a "model of self-control" he is by showing pictures of a guy Toretto nearly beat to death with a three-quarter inch torque wrench in an act of personal revenge. Dom admits this to Brian himself without prompt, and it's heavily implied he harbors remorse for permanently disabling the guy.
  • Racing the Train: Brian and Dom do this at the end while also drag-racing against each other. They both make it.
  • Reality Ensues: As stated in the Badass Boast above, Brian's modifications to his car (specifically the NOS) nearly break his car during his race with Dom, as he didn't bother to actually think about what went in his car, just caring to go fast enough to beat Dom.
  • Recycled Premise: Point Break (1991), except with car racing instead of surfing.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Played with; Brian was an undercover cop while Dom, Letty, Leon, Vince, and Jesse were professional thieves.
  • Sour Prudes: Dom's girlfriend Letty temporarily uses this position (without seeming to have it as an integrated part of her personality) as she chases off two girls hitting on Dom at the first race.
    Letty: I smell [sniffs] skanks. Why don't you ladies pack it up before I leave tread marks on your faces?
  • The Stinger: Dom is driving along a beach in Mexico.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Dominic Toretto, already the most badass character in the movie, manages to take yet another level after Brian rescued Vince from the truck and revealed that he's a cop. Dom used to be primarily an import racer and scared of his father's supercharged 900hp Dodge Charger streetmachine. But when he sets out to find Jessie before Tran does, he has overcome his fear of the black Mopar brute (which is the only car available to him anyway) and changed into the American muscle aficionado of the sequels.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Brian reveals himself to call for a medical helicopter to save Vince's life.
  • Under the Truck: The climax sequence mirrors the opening sequence, revealing each character's role in Dom's heists. This scene implies that this was Letty's signature move.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Dominic's Dodge Charger (which was built by his late father and is revealed midway through the movie to be some sort of intimidating uber-car) getting completely pulverized by a semi truck in the movie's last drag race is the most remembered instance of this in the entire series.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Bryan gives Dominic a Toyota Supra that was probably intimidating at some point, but now looks like a building fell on it. The interior machinery, however, is all intact, so an impressed Dominic and crew immediately get to work repairing the outer damage.


Example of: