Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Fast and the Furious (2001)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Director Rob Cohen's mindless but thrilling and sleek crime film was another copycat example of a guy film with booming explosions and pyrotechnics, loud car stunts (races, chases, flipping vehicles and wrecks), heists, and fast women provided for eye candy. The exploitational cult film's drag-racing authenticity was enhanced by technical-sounding car terms such as NOS ("Nitrous Oxide System") and Motec exhaust systems.

The success of the film led to a media franchise of Fast and Furious films - 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), F9 The Fast Saga (2021), and Fast X (2023).

In this first of many spin-offs about illegal and underground street racing, the film opened with a high-speed chase and hijacking conducted on an LA area freeway, between three modified black Honda Civics (with a green glow underneath and Mashamoto ZX tires) and a Rodgers semi-truck filled with millions of dollars worth of electronics equipment from China recently picked up in shipping containers. Shaved-head, muscle-bound LA auto-body shop mechanic, ex-con and 28 year-old street-racing leader Dominic "Dom" Toretto (new action hero Vin Diesel), who was recently released from serving a term of two years in Lompoc, was suspected of being the hijacker.

Dominic "Dom" Toretto (Vin Diesel)

Dom's Pretty Younger Sister Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster)

LAPD Undercover Cop Brian O'Conner/Spilner (Paul Walker)

Gang Leader Johnny Tran (Rick Yune)

Handsome 26 year-old LAPD officer Brian O'Conner/Spilner (Paul Walker) was tasked with investigating the series of highway heists, and opened his case by working undercover at a high-performance car parts store known as Racer's Edge, for the store boss Harry (Vyto Ruginis). He questioned Dom's 23 year-old sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), an innocent female gang member who managed and worked at the Toretto's family store - Toretto's Market & Cafe, and was confronted by Dom's loyal gang members, Vince (Matt Schulze), Leon (Johnny Strong), and ADHD afflicted, technical mechanic Jesse (Chad Lindberg). The suspicious and jealous Vince engaged him in a fight shortly later, broken up by Dom.

To infiltrate further into Dom's racing crew and gang, Brian joined a dangerous and illegal street drag race in South Central Los Angeles organized by Hector (Noel Gugliemi), where he competed in a lime-green 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS (with a NOS system) against Dom (in a red 1993 Mazda RX-7). "Dom" put up $2,000 to buy into the race, while Brian wagered his Eclipse. The two were driving against Edwin (Ja Rule) (in an Acura Integra), representing rival Vietnamese gang leader Johnny Tran (Rick Yune), and Danny Yamato (R.J. de Vera) (in a white Honda Civic). Dom masterfully won the race (Danny 2nd and Edwin 3rd place) - with girlfriend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) as his prize trophy, when Brian overloaded his NOS system and blew up his engine's manifold going at 140 mph, and his car came to a halt and started smoking. Even so, Brian boasted that he almost beat 'Dom", but was mocked and criticized for his poor racing abilities and loss:

"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. 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."

When the LAPD arrived to break up the scene, Brian picked up Dom (who had stashed his car in a parking garage and was on-foot) in his Mitsubishi and helped him to escape, but they were shortly later ambushed in Little Saigon by Tran's threatening, gun-wielding biker gang members and his cousin Lance Nguyen (Reggie Lee). They admired Brian's car - and then reminded "Dom" of next month's desert races - and said they had a surprise.

The gang sped off, but then returned and raked Brian's Eclipse with machine-gun fire (it exploded into flames due to its NOS canister system). Soon after, Brian brought a rusty MK4 Toyota Supra to Dom as a replacement for the Eclipse - and it began to be restored.

While continuing to investigate "Dom" and Tran's finances, and also involved in a tentative dating relationship with Mia, Brian was shown evidence that Tran's gang was NOT conducting the truck hijackings (DVD players discovered in their garage were legally purchased). After becoming closer to "Dom" and his family, Brian was questioned about his camaraderie, loyalties and allegiances, and was suspected of going "native" and adopting the urban and macho drag-racing lifestyle and culture. He also learned that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were beefing up their involvement.

At the same time, he began to have growing suspicions that Dom was behind the truck heists. He was able to keep Dom from becoming suspicious by claiming that he was spying on their competition in anticipation of an upcoming race.

At the legal, competition-styled Race Wars in the desert's summer heat, the surly but sexy Letty won her race against a Rasta Racer (David Douglas), but Dom's gang member-friend Jesse lost (in his father's white 1995 MK3 Volkswagen Jetta) in a race against Tran (in his Honda S2000), but afterwards refused to pay up with the car's pink slip. Afterwards, a bitter brawl erupted between "Dom" and Tran (who had just been the subject of a police raid), who accused Dom of getting him into trouble with the authorities, and for selling him out as an informant and disrespecting his family.

Jesse (Chad Lindberg) Foolishly Betting in a Race Against Tran

Tran Before Winning His Race Wars Contest Against Jesse

Although Brian was targeting Tran, he was shocked to realize that Dom was conducting the late-night heist raids. After the Race Wars, Brian confided in Mia about his true identity and his worry about her brother's safety.

To help out, Brian and Mia drove to the scene of the fifth and botched hijacking of a semi-truck near Thermal, CA. At the scene, they found that Vince had been critically wounded by a trucker's gunshot and pinned against the truck's front right door. Brian saved him by having them both jump back into his orange 1995 Toyota Supra being driven by Mia parallel to the truck. They also found Dom's sexy girlfriend Letty who had been run off the road and had rolled her car.

Mia and Brian Arriving On the Scene of Dom's Truck Heist

Saving Vince's Life With His 1995 Toyota Supra

Brian Blowing His Cover to Dom When Phoning For Medical Assistance for Vince

As Brian called for medical assistance for both of them, he deliberately unmasked himself as an LAPD officer. Dom was incensed to learn that his friend was a cop.

As the film was concluding, Jesse (in his father's white Jetta) was pursued by Tran and his dirt-bike gang for not paying up, and was gunned down in a drive-by shooting by the machine-gun wielding bikers after he drove up to Dom's house.

Both Dom (in his father's black 1970 Dodge Charger R/T) and Brian (in his restored orange 1995 MK4 Toyota Supra) joined together to chase after Tran and Lance on motorcycles. It ended up with Dom side-swipping and forcing Lance to run off the road and to sail down a steep incline. Meanwhile, Brian caught up to Tran, shot him in the abdomen and caused him to flip over and lethally crash into a wall. Dom fled and Brian took off in pursuit.

To end the film, Brian and Dom challenged each other to race a quarter-mile toward a railroad crossing. Both took off when the stoplight turned green, and both cars were able to beat and evade an approaching train on the tracks. But then, Dom glanced over at Brian and was unable to avoid hitting the front of a green semi-truck pulling into the street, causing him to barrel roll over Brian's Supra and then flip a few times.

Brian declined to arrest the slightly-injured Dom, and fulfilled his earlier promise at their first race to give him a 10-second car. He handed over the keys to his rebuilt Toyota Supra. The two parted amicably. In the film's epilogue after the end credits, Dominic was in Baja, Mexico driving a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.

Hi-Jacking of Semi-Truck by Three Honda Civics

First Nighttime Street Drag Race

Paul in His NOS-Powered Green Mitsubishi Eclipse

"Dom" in Red Mazda RX-7

Street Race Loser Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker)

"Dom"'s Put-Down of Brian For Losing the Street Race

Brian's 1995 Mitsubishi Ambushed by Tran's Biker Gang After Street Race

Brian's Mitsubishi Exploded

Competitive Race Wars in the Summer Heat in the Desert

Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) In the Driver's Seat Before Winning Her Race Wars Event Against a Rasta Racer

Jesse Shot Dead by Tran on a Bike in a Drive-by Shooting

Brian Vengefully Shooting At Tran on a Motorbike and Killing Him

Dom and Brian Racing
to a Railroad Crossing - With Train Approaching

Dom's Spiraling Roll After Crashing Into a Green Semi-Truck


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