199 words about The Fast & The Furious
How did this movie become ... this movie?
There's a point early in The Fast & The Furious where Paul Walker (RIP) is listening to DMX (RIP) before being interrupted by Ja Rule (RIP, pretty much) and you (me) get whiplash, high on NOS-talgia, like: My best friend when this movie came out worked at a movie theater (obviously) and we'd sneak into empty screenings, eating garbage bags of leftover popcorn, geysering Zima into the empty rows up front (it was not a good theater). Outside, the stupidest people we knew stood around their butt-tier Miatas, feeling ICP. Half totaled their cars within five years (RIP) or are into QAnon now (RIP, pretty much), but we had one thing in common, besides the inevitability of death: this movie, crackling with still-unlikely energy, an eleven-figure megafranchise latent within. And I mean unlikely unlikely: Timothy Olyphant almost starred, and they almost called it Race Wars. It instead landed as it did in this time-space continuum, a logistical yarn ostensibly about shipping containers but dilating with religious ecstasy when a pagan drug called NOS bends outer-L.A. industrial sprawl into long lines of garish fluorescence. Time melts, and a moment is captured: an odyssey through the space of 2001, if unintentional.