It’s been twenty years since the original Fast and Furious film was released, and upon learning this, I now feel extremely old. The film revolutionised the motoring industry when it was released in 2001, bringing the underground world of street racing to the big screen, albeit dramatised to a rather high degree.
The Fast and the Furious starred the late Paul Walker as undercover cop Brian O’Connor, who was thrown into the world of street racing as he tried to track down the gang behind a number of truck hijacks. Vin Diesel played the film’s muscle Domonic Toretto, street racer extraordinaire and the man behind these hijackings. But maybe, more importantly, the film starred a bright orange Toyota Supra, a green Mitsubishi Eclipse, and a red Mazda RX7 along with a number of other iconic Japanese tuners.
Eventually, Brian was drawn into the world of street racing upon learning why Vin Diesel chose that way of life, and quickly that first film spawned a story that would still be unravelling over the next twenty years. It wasn’t easy, though.
A number of the films weren’t huge successes at the box office, with the third instalment Tokyo Drift barely even making it to cinemas. But the first trio of films became legendary over time, with many petrolheads linking those films to their love of cars now. The new films may have lost their underlying touch of racing, but this hasn’t seemed to affect the bottom line with The Fate of the Furious grossing $1.239 billion in the box office worldwide.
Fast 9 is set to release over the next couple of days depending on whether you live in the UK or US, and I’m pumped for it.
Recently, I interviewed Fast 9 director Justin Lin alongside actor Sung Kang on the film, and the podcast has been released today. He discusses potential spinoffs with Sung’s character Han, and the films following the ninth instalment. Listen below!