We’re doing something a little different this summer for #WayBackWednesday! I asked the Fangirlish staff to tell me their favorite summer flicks–films they associate with summer, be that a film set in the summer, a film that was released in the summer, or a movie they spent a summer watching. Each writer will tell you why they chose their movie and I’ll be reviewing their film recommendations during June, July, and August. This is our Summer Vacation series! Pour yourself a glass of Kool-Aid, make some ramen, and find out how we spent our summer vacations each #WayBackWednesday.
I’ll admit it; I have always been a bit reluctant to watch The Fast and the Furious and its seemingly infinite number of sequels. Fast cars, drag racing, shootouts? Not really how I want to spend my summer vacation. I will also confess that I was not at all interested in any project Vin Diesel was involved in. Hate all you want, but at the time, from all I could tell, the man played the same role in every one of his movies. Twenty years later, my opinion of him has changed, largely due to his love of D&D, his ability to say, “I am Groot” in the most charming way possible, the way he warms my heart as the Iron Giant in The Iron Giant, and that he seems to be a fun and kind person off-camera.
That being said, I’ve still never bothered to watch any of the Fast movies, save for the second, which my high school best friend and I took our sisters to see in the theater because they wanted to see it and couldn’t drive yet. Fangirlish Managing Editor, Lyra picked this week’s film, the OG of the franchise–The Fast and the Furious–breaking my Fast fast.
Were you into the Fast franchise back in the day? Check out the trailer for The Fast and the Furious, then we’ll find out why Lyra thinks this film is a great way to spend your summer vacation this #WayBackWednesday.
Here’s why Lyra thinks The Fast and the Furious (2001) is a great summer vacation flick.
“The Fast and the Furious is absolutely a summer-worthy movie because of fast cars, crazy stunts, and the beginning of a family that spans 20 years. The film is fun, has its serving of serious moments, and also gives you a couple of OTPs that stand the test of time. Also, it’s the perfect movie if your mind needs an escape from the sun and fun of summer, especially if you’re an introvert like me and being around people leads you to need recharging. Let this movie accompany you during those moments!”
If you’re like me and have somehow not seen The Fast and the Furious before now, here’s a quick synopsis.
Undercover cop, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) infiltrates a street-racing gang (Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez) funded by the liquidation of stolen cargo. O’Conner becomes increasingly torn between the world of street racing and his mission to bring the gang to justice. What will Brian choose? You’ll have to watch The Fast and the Furious to find out.
Why does this franchise and particularly this film persist? Here are a few reasons you might want to check out The Fast and the Furious.
2001 Cultural Pantheon
The Fast and the Furious had a major impact on popular culture in the early 2000s. I remember guys in high school, ones who were already tricking out their cars, taking their cues from this film. I saw more than a few spoilers, shiny rims, big stereos, and heard engines rev in the parking lot. While I had never seen the film, I could see its influence.
There’s also something that is distinctly early 2000s about the film. The Fast and the Furious’s flashy cars and club music score, all echo the early 2000s for me. Honestly, there were several times when I was watching the car chase scenes when I felt like I was watching cut scenes from an early 2000s video game (albeit much higher quality) because of the music. It definitely made me laugh! If you’d like a flashback to the early aughts, you should definitely check out The Fast and the Furious.
While I have already spoken about my initial reticence about the franchise, by the time I got to the end of the film it became clear to me why people enjoy these films so much. The cast is very endearing. Paul Walker is as charming as he can be as Brian. He really makes you root for him. Vin Diesel as Dom is both fun, funny, and surprisingly sincere. I really enjoyed Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, with her tough-as-nails demeanor and take-no-prisoners attitude. There’s a lot to like with everyone in the cast. If you enjoy movies with a great cast, check out The Fast and the Furious.
Despite The Fast and the Furious not being my kind of movie at all, I was shocked by how much fun I had watching it. While it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, The Fast and the Furious is wildly entertaining, making it a perfect summer popcorn movie. With crazy car chases, exciting fights, and hilarious banter, The Fast and the Furious is the very definition of a summer flick. If you enjoy a lot of action where you can just turn your brain off and enjoy, The Fast and the Furious is the perfect fit for you.
Thanks very much to Lyra for pushing me out of my comfort zone with The Fast and the Furious. Lyra is our managing editor here at Fangirlish and contributes in a variety of ways here on the site. Her weekly column, Queerly Not Straight, goes up every Tuesday where she puts the spotlight on the LGBTQ community. Lyra has written recently about all of the Vin Diesel memes, Fear Street, Motherland: Fort Salem, Kevin Can F**k Himself, Batwoman, among other topics. If any of that sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out her work.
If you prefer to take life a quarter mile at a time, check out The Fast and the Furious. It’s the definition of a great summer flick.
The Fast and the Furious is streaming now on HBO MAX.