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June 22, 2001

The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 action film directed by Rob Cohen from a screenplay by Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, and David Ayer, with the story credited to Thompson. It is the first installment in the Fast & Furious franchise and stars Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, and Ted Levine. In the film, Brian O'Conner, an undercover cop, is tasked with discovering the identities of a group of automobile hijackers led by Dominic Toretto.

Preparations for The Fast and the Furious began after Cohen was introduced to illegal street racing in May 1998,[citation needed] with the screenplay originally developed by Thompson and Bergquist; Walker and Diesel were cast in late 1999, and Diesel contributed to script rewrites with Ayer as the rest of the cast was finalized. The production attended illegal street races, and is notable for its inclusion of street racers. After setting an initial release date for March 2001, principal photography began in July 2000 and lasted until that October, with filming locations including Los Angeles and southern California.

The Fast and the Furious was theatrically released in the United States on June 22, 2001, by Universal Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom praised the performances of Walker and Diesel and the action sequences, but criticism for its storyline and the ending. The film grossed over $200 million worldwide, becoming the 19th highest-grossing film of 2001. It launched a franchise starting with the sequel film 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), which then led to an industry of tie-in products, including video games, amusement park attractions, and spin-off works, and merchandise including toys and clothing. The Fast and the Furious was reissued in a limited release in June 2016, to commemorate its fifteenth anniversary.

Storyline

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) enjoys the adrenaline of street car racing and his fans treat him like a rock star. After a blazing encounter with the ruthless Johnny Tran, Dom decides to take Brian (Paul Walker), a newcomer to street racing, under his wing. Dom's sister Mia sees something she likes in Brian, too. Trouble is, neither of them realize he's an undercover cop, and Dominic and his rival Johnny Tran are both the prime suspects in a case involving dirty money and big-rig hijacking.

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