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The Ending Of The Fast And The Furious Explained

There's this old theory that the best heroes are the ones who stand in the sociological no man's land between civilization and barbarians, capable of operating at the same level as the chaotic and untamed in the name of maintaining society. That's not really what The Fast and the Furious is about, though — in fact at the end of it, the cop gives the criminal a car and says "have at it, ya knucklehead."

On one hand, you've got Officer Brian O'Conner, played by Paul Walker, who is very much a police guy and consequently likes to stop crime from happening. At the other end of the aisle is Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, who drives his family a quarter mile to a barbecue in ten seconds or less at a time. In short, Dominic loves doing crime. There's no way that he and Brian could ever be family, not even for a quarter mile.

But life is what happens when you're making other plans, and Brian and Dominic are thrust together by a chain of destiny's merry japes — specifically when Brian takes an undercover assignment trying to infiltrate Dominic's crew of street racers-slash-highway heist developers.

But is it too fast? Too furious?

The plot beats in The Fast and the Furious are familiar — a cop gets tangled up in the sense of family that he finds in a criminal element and is forced to consider his place in the world. It's like Avatar but the blue guys are shorter and drive loud cars and the Unobtainium is a pile of DVD players.

What's interesting is the way that the film sets up for the ones that follow — or rather doesn't. The Fast and the Furious film was a bigger hit than anyone could have predicted. It was co-written by Gary Scott Thompson, the guy who penned K-911. And its director, Rob Cohen, had never helmed a picture as successful to that point, coming closest with Dragonheart five years earlier. Nobody was expecting a franchise that would stretch on for the next two decades.

There are a few plot points that dovetailed into the Fast and Furious's future. Brian and Dom's relationship was established, as was Brian's being all sweet on Dom's sister Mia. In a post credits scene, we learn that Dom is still driving places and still likes to take his life a quarter mile at a time. Most of the world building gets relegated to the Tokyo Drift denouement and the movies that followed. In the end, maybe the real takeaway from the first Fast and the Furious entry is that there was a period in consumer electronics history when you could fit $1.6 million worth of DVD players into a single truck.