Smoke ‘Em: ‘The Fast and the Furious’ at 20

The Fast and the Furious is an incredibly unlikely franchise starter. These days, we know the various productions as the movies with flying cars and unconvincing government espionage. Back in 2001, however, director Rob Cohen simply wanted to showcase the super-cool Los Angeles street-racing scene. The resulting movie is niche and self-contained, making it kind of difficult to imagine how it could have inspired eight further installments (F9 drops this month). And yet, there’s a fizzy, exciting, almost illicit energy to The Fast and the Furious that’s irresistible. Sure, the members of the central gang are bad people, but they're not terrible. Plus, they’re all such great drivers that it’s easy to let all the other stuff go --
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