The Fast and the Furious

  • Review Date: June 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Flashy street-racing movie with violence, profanity, sexism.
  • Review Date: June 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

At the beginning of the DVD, one of the lead actors delivers a "Don't try this at home"-style PSA regarding all the high-speed car races and chases. 

Positive role models

Gangs mostly divide along racial lines; strong female characters, but also many stereotypes. Though the movie tries to show depth to the characters -- one mourns the loss of his father, another suffers from ADD -- the time devoted to the unrelenting car races and chases prevents any further developments. 

Violence

Unsurprisingly, there are frequent illegal street races and car chases. Pictures of a man after he was beaten in the face repeatedly with a wrench. A man gets a nozzle shoved into his mouth and is forced to drink motor oil. This same man is later kicked in the head. A trucker fires a shotgun at drivers trying to hijack his truck. Machine-gun fire in a drive-by shooting. A character gets hit in the head with a baseball bat. A fistfight results in visible blood. 

Sex

Women serve as objectified eye candy in skimpy outfits around the cars and their drivers. A woman's breasts are shown through a wet shirt. A woman tells a driver at the starting line of a street race that if he wins, he gets to have a threesome with her and another woman. Men grope at women's breasts and rear ends. There are kisses between opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Language

The "N" word is used once. A character is called a "faggot." "F--k." In one scene, two women are called "skanks." "S--t." "Hell." "Bastard." 

Consumerism

Corona beer bottles prominently shown, product mentioned by name. Character drinks Snapple. Pizza Hut logo prominently featured on a pizza-delivery vehicle. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Beer drinking at a house party. Cigarette smoking. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Fast and the Furious is as close to an R-rated film as it can be and remain PG-13. It's very violent, with shoot-outs that leave one character dead and another seriously wounded. A character takes one risk that appears suicidal. Characters drink and smoke. Corona beer seems to be an especially obvious product placement, and giving someone a beer is a gesture of honor and acceptance. There are kisses between opposite-sex and same-sex couples, some very questionable behavior, and women in scanty clothing who are constantly objectified. A woman's breasts are shown through a wet shirt. A woman tells a driver at the starting line of a street race that if he wins, he gets to have a threesome with her and another woman. Men grope at women's breasts and rear ends. Characters use very strong language, including "f--k" and the "N" word and other racial slurs. Viewers see some gross photographs of an injured man. Characters are in extreme peril, both in racing and in shoot-outs. Robbing and shooting are sympathetically portrayed, and Brian's ultimate decision is a serious betrayal.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, Brian (Paul Walker) is a loner with a fancy race car who wants to get into the hidden world of street racers. He also wants to get close to Mia (Jordana Brewster), the pretty sister of the fastest driver of them all. The street racers take over a quarter-mile stretch for races that last less than 10 seconds, then disperse before the police catch up with them. Brian challenges Mia's brother Dom (Vin Diesel) and loses both the race and his car to the jeers of the onlookers. But he rescues Dom from the police and sticks with him through an encounter with a rival gang. Soon, he's a member of Dom's ragtag team of outcasts: mechanic Jesse (Chad Lindberg), brooding Vince (Matt Schulze), and tough girl Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). But after races and chases in various locales, it turns out that neither Dom nor Brian has been telling the truth and that both will have to put what they care about most on the line before it's all over.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Most people have low expectations for summer popcorn movies. The Fast and the Furious could have been a classic of this genre, but it turned out to be a numbing waste of celluloid, a bad, bad movie that can't fake authenticity. It's not about what's cool or what the people in the audience think is cool. It's about what people in Hollywood think the people in the audience think is cool.

There's a lot of posing and attitude, and nearly every line is a cliché, spoken without any sense of irony, tribute, or transcendence. There is some flashy photography, a lot of blasting faux-hip rap music, very fine cars, and sprays of automatic-weapon bullets that manage to miss all the main characters. The last 15 minutes is genuinely, deeply, infuriatingly stupid. Diesel and Rodriguez are talented and watchable, but this movie insists on interfering with our ability to enjoy them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way outcasts create families, such as when Dom presides over a barbecue dinner that looks like a cover illustration from Tattooed Biker done by Norman Rockwell -- and they even say grace.

  • How are women portrayed in this movie? 

  • What do you think is the appeal of movies in which cars are altered to go at very fast speeds and the drivers take outrageous risks? What are some of the stunts best filed under "Do not try this at home"? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 22, 2001
DVD release date:June 3, 2003
Cast:Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel
Director:Rob Cohen
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Thriller
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, language, and brief sexuality

This review of The Fast and the Furious was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
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  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byfoxirox March 23, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

good

ok so how can you think this is a bad movie. seriously? action packed series gives this movie quite an adrenaline rush
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN February 3, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Movie shows excellent rendition of street racing, though filled with inappropiate content for younger eyes and ears.

People say this movie is crappy, well you gotta cut it a little slack because it was made way back in 2001. So maybe the action level and visual effects weren't enough for some... I though it was a very well made movie. The camera really captured the nitty gritty side of street racing. There is a lot of language and violence though (oil is poured into a man's mouth and a main character is trapped against a moving gas truck, which is shown in great and bloody detail) the n-word and other language is also used. The casting was great, especially Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, Paul Walker as Brian O'Conner, and the extremely beautiful Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto. The language, violence, poor choices, and flashy cars will not mix well with those under 14 years old.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bykingster April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A great movie!

I love the car chases in this movie and the cars too! Paul Walker is really hot in this movie! Very entertaining!

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