Sam Strange Remembers: THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS

Hollywood legend Sam Strange recalls when he lived his life a quarter mile at a time.

When you get old, it’s easy to think your generation had all the balls and kids are just a bunch of wasted idiots. You look at the video games, the horrible music, the wacky clothes, and you just give up on youth altogether. This kind of thinking is a trap designed by God to out you as an asshole.

Kids are smart. I get sick of people constantly ragging on kids for being stupid, so I hooked up with NO5 Systems and made a series of films about how smart they can be. It’s called The Fast and The Furious. Through street racing, it highlights the kind of superior knowhow about inferior things that allow young people to be smart without old people ever knowing it. It’s also features a post-racial America that most old people are too stupid to enjoy. I got so into young people while making these films that I’m not even white anymore.

So the films are all about street racing culture. It’d be helpful if I explained this a little. Street racing revolves around these crazy gay-looking import cars. The cars themselves can be pretty cheap, but all the stuff under the engine is horrifically expensive and complicated. As a result, street racing has two very strict requirements: 1) You need a shit load of money, and 2) You need to be a NASA level mechanical genius. Any of you old farts NASA level mechanical geniuses? Besides Neil Armstrong? I thought not. Stay proud of your analogue watch while your grandson enjoys time-travel LAN parties, guys.

Let’s skip that for now, though, and talk about the actual races. Basically, any number of cars line up and go as fast as they can for one-quarter of a mile. It’s a straight line, so good driving isn’t all that important. To win the race, your car just needs to have a red button. This button unleashes NO5 into your engine. NO5 is basically a form of car spinach that can briefly send your car into a wormhole, the math of which is all worked out beforehand by beer-swilling bodybuilders. Maybe more than one car has a little red button. In that case, you just need to be the LAST guy to do a NO5 boost. There are NO5 limits, however. For one, it’s highly explosive nature makes it dangerous. Plus, the wormholes occasionally send users to the Planet of the Apes. But more than that, its kind of hard to find since it’s only available in stores.

The movie opens with three cars taking a $6m payload of DVD players, cell phones, Nintendoes, and other youth-friendly electronic craps from a semi truck. Because they’re young and exxxtreme, it’s more fun for them to unload the truck at 200mph. They do this by setting up zip lines with harpoon guns and pushing their red buttons with great expertise. The truck drivers don’t suspect anything until it’s too late because the person climbing into their front seat is a Mexican lesbian, which usually indicates Lot Lizard.

This is one of a series of robberies, and the police are eager to stop them because they will eventually inspire truckers to buy guns as protection from theft, and no one wins in a world where truckers have guns. So the cops send their youngest/mechanical geniusest/best driverest stud in as an undercover street racer. His name is Paul Walker (played by Sideshow Luke Perry).

To underline Paul Walker’s skill as an undercover cop, I made sure his character was fundamentally different in each movie. In this one he’s young, inexperienced, and eager to be accepted by everyone. But one thing which defines him across the series is his weak spot for bald, racially questionable, muscle men. Unluckily for the cops, the main suspect fits just that description.

Dom “Touretto” DeLuise is the charisma engine driving this series. As such, he’s got enough NO5 under the hood to classify him as “flaming.” He’s also got generational credentials as a racer. His father, Dom “Captain Chaos” DeLuise used to street race with Burt Reynolds. The actor playing Dom, Van Gasoline, is sort of this hulking force of nature, so masculine that the strength of his tongue alone discourages communication. It’s no wonder Paul Walker falls for him instantly.

Dom and his crew rob trucks to keep them racing, which is their lifeblood. Most of his crew are just genius rednecks, but there is one special lady close to his heart. Letty, the Mexican lesbian, is his best friend in the world, and the two share everything. You wouldn’t think it, since he’s gay and she’s a lesbian, but their bond is so strong that sometimes they cuddle and even have sex. Everyone lives together in the same house along with Dom’s Sister Eloise DeLuise, played by post-op superstar Jordana Brewster (formerly Jordan Brewski).

Paul Walker worms his way into the gang by racing Dom and losing, something Dom really respects. Once he’s in, the two start spending lots of time together, working on cars and talking about how to rob trucks. As he and Dom get closer, his loyalty to the police grows thin. Instead of pointing the cops at Dom, he gets the cops to raid a bunch of Asians. When that doesn’t work, he has the cops raid a bunch of Mexicans. When that doesn’t work, he has the cops raid a bunch of black dudes. When that doesn’t work the cops no longer care because by this point they’re owned by Jackie Chiles.

Pretty soon, a big race war called “Race Wars” comes up. It’s a big deal. Basically, every race picks one representative to find out once-and-for-all which person color is superior. See, you old people have wars. Kids these days solve their problems by having fun together, and hashing their shit out on

To compete, the crew will need a hefty amount of NO5, so they’ll have to rob another truck. Unfortunately, the truckers have finally armed themselves. One of Dom’s guys gets shot and, just when he no longer cares about being a cop, Paul Walker must blow his cover to call in a medical helicopter. None of the medic cops think to arrest Dom’s crew because they’ve never seen a gunshot wound before, and it just floors them mentally.

Dom and his low-tempo broken heart flees Paul in anger. Paul and his frantically earnest heart pursues Dom in panic. The two rip through the streets of Los Angeles in one long straight line, pushing their red buttons with abandon and almost getting hit by trains. The race ends when Dom makes his car do a “wheelie” and gets hit by an airplane.

The cops are coming quick. All Paul Walker can do for Dom is doom his own career by giving Dom his car so he can represent N/A in Race Wars. The film ends here, with Dom driving off into the sunset and Paul Walker weeping in the darkness left behind in his absence.

But the story is not over for either of them. In fact, the Fast and Furious saga has only begun. It is a story spanning time and space, told one quarter-mile at a time…

(three stars)