The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 action crime film directed by Rob Cohen, produced by Neal H. Moritz and written by Gary Scott Thompson and David Ayer. It is the first installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. The film stars Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, and Matt Schulze. The film follows undercover cop Brian O'Conner, who is tasked with stopping a group of unknown hijackers using high-performance racecars to hijack 18-wheelers. It is an international co-production between the United States and Germany.
Inspiration for the film was sought through a Vibe magazine article titled "Racer X", which detailed the illegal street racing circuit operating within New York City. Filming locations include New York City and New England, with a majority of the film being shot in southern California. The Fast and the Furious was released on June 22, 2001, grossing over $207 million worldwide from an estimated $38 million budget. It was later re-released on June 22, 2016, to celebrate its 15th anniversary. It has a 53% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which called it "sleek and shiny on the surface" in its critical consensus. The Fast and the Furious launched a franchise of seven sequels, starting followed by 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003.