The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 action 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 follows Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), an undercover cop tasked with discovering the identities and stopping a group of unknown automobile hijackers led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). The film also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, and Ted Levine.
On the docks outside Los Angeles, a truck is loaded with electronics, and a dockside worker notifies an anonymous person about the shipment. On the road, the truck is approached by three modified Honda Civics with green underglow. The perpetrators then proceed to harpoon and board the truck, knock out the driver, and corral the semi allowing them to heist the electronics and escape into the night.
The next day, undercover LAPD officer Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) is assigned to find the gang responsible for the crimes. While visiting Toretto’s Market, he flirts with the shop’s owner Mia Torreto (Jordana Brewster), the sister of notorious street racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Dominic’s team, which consists of his friends Vince (Matt Schulze), Leon (Johnny Strong), Jesse (Chad Lindberg), and his girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), arrive. Vince, who has a crush on Mia, engages in a rough struggle with Brian, which Dominic is forced to break up.
Later that night during a street racing gathering, Brian arrives in his modified Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Dominic arrives in his Mazda RX-7. Dominic organizes a drag race with himself, Brian, and two other drivers. Brian, out of cash, wagers the pink slip for his car. During the race, Brian damages the intake manifold on his engine, handing the victory to Dominic. But as Brian prepares to hand over his car, the LAPD arrives, forcing everyone to flee. Dominic parks his car in a garage to limit suspicions by walking home, but is immediately spotted by a police cruiser. Brian arrives and saves him from the cops. The duo unknowingly venture into the territory of Dominic’s old racing rival, gang leader Johnny Tran (Rick Yune) and his cousin, Lance Nguyen (Reggie Lee). After confronting Brian and Dominic, Tran and Lance destroy Brian’s car. Afterwards, Dominic reminds Brian that he owes him a car as a price for losing the race.
Brian goes to Dominic’s garage, where he brings a totaled Toyota Supra as a replacement for the Eclipse. As Dominic and his crew begin the process of repairing the car, Brian begins dating Mia. Brian investigates Tran, convinced that he is responsible for the truck hijackings. One night during an investigation of a garage, he is cornered by Vince and Dominic, who demand an explanation. Brian lies about checking the cars of his rivals for the upcoming Race Wars, a street racing event in the desert. Brian, Vince, and Dominic then check out Tran’s garage, and while there, Brian notices a large shipment of electronics in the garage.
Brian reports the batch of electronics to his superiors, and they arrest Tran and Lance. The raid turns out to be a bust, however, as it turns out the electronics had been purchased legally, and despite his doubts, Brian is now forced to assume that Dominic is the actual coordinator of the truck heists. Brian’s superiors then give him just 36 hours to find the perpetrators, as the truckers are now arming themselves to defend against hijackings.
The next day, with the Supra restored, Dominic invites Brian to Race Wars, and he tells them that they will talk after Brian has proven himself. At Race Wars, Jesse wagers his father’s Volkswagen Jetta to Tran, but flees with the car after he loses. Tran confronts Dominic to claim the car, and accuses him of reporting him to the police. Outraged, Dominic attacks Tran. Later that night, Brian notices the crew leaving, and realizes that Dominic and his crew are the hijackers. He then reveals his true identity to Mia, who is infuriated, but Brian compels her to reveal the location of the vehicles and aid him in his plans.
Meanwhile, Dominic, Letty, Vince, and Leon prepare to hijack a semi-trailer truck, which is also to be their last heist. However, the truck driver is armed, and Vince becomes trapped on the side of the truck and shot by the driver, while the driver causes Letty to be run off the road. Brian soon arrives with Mia, who commandeers the Supra while Brian rescues Vince. When Dominic arrives, Brian is forced to blow his cover and call for a medical evacuation to rescue Vince. Dominic leaves with Mia and the rest of the crew after Vince is saved.
Brian arrives at Dominic’s house, and sees him pull his father’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T out of the garage. Brian confronts Dominic regarding Jesse’s whereabouts, pushing him to seek police assistance. Jesse soon arrives, apologizing for his actions, and pleads for protection against Tran and Lance. He is then killed in a drive-by shooting by Tran and Lance. Dominic and Brian pursue them, with Dominic ramming Lance’s bike off the road before Brian shoots Tran, who totals his car into a curb. Brian then sees and pursues Dominic, culminating in a quarter-mile drag race. The race ends as they barely manage to cross a railroad crossing before a train passes by, but Dominic violently crashes into a semi-truck. Instead of arresting Dominic, Brian gives him the keys to his own car, telling him he still owes him a ten-second car; Dominic is then able to escape. Brian then walks away, now a fugitive.
In the post-credits scene, Dominic is seen driving through Baja California, in a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.