The movie that started it all follows a pretty generic plot and doesn't have the best action or acting, but is a passable film to build a franchise off of. Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) is an undercover cop trying to infiltrate a gang of street racers led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Brian flirts with Mia (Jordana Brewster), Dom's sister, and clashes with the gang of street racers, especially Vince (Matt Schulze). The rest of Dom's gang including Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Jesse (Chad Lindberg), and Leon (Johnny Strong) are more accepting of Brian's presence in the group. Brian loses a race to Dom but helps him elude the police to gain his trust.
Owing him a car, the two work to build a new car as Brian investigate a string of truck robberies. He suspects that the criminals are led by a rival racer Johnny Tran (Rick Yune). Sgt. Tanner (Ted Levine) and Agent Bilkins (Thom Barry) push Brian to look at Toretto as his bond with the team grows. They build a fast car that they plan to use in the upcoming street racing competition know as Race Wars.
Torn between his growing fondness for Mia and Dom, Brian continues the investigation even after Tran is proven innocent. Race Wars do not go well for Dom and his team. Jesse loses to Johnny Tran but drives off before he can exchange his car. Angry, Tran accuses Dom of snitching on him, which results in a brawl. That night, Dom leaves as Briand looks on watching Mia cry. Brian finally admits his true identity and track down Dom knowing that the truckers have weapons to defend against highjacking.
Probably the best action scene in the first film is the early morning truck jacking. Vince gets stuck on the front of the truck as the driver shoots off shotgun blasts. Letty tries to swoop in help but flips her car so Leon has to turn off and help her. Dom tries to swerve over and help Vince but can't get close. Brian, with Mia riding shotgun and taking the wheel, flips off the hood of the car they build and saves Vince's life right before a shotgun blast nearly takes off their heads. Brian has to reveal his identity to Dom in order to call an ambulance for Vince.
Back at their home, Jesse is attacked by Johnny Tran in a drive-by shooting. Brian and Dom put aside their differences to chase after the motorcycle murderers. Brian shoots and kills Johnny Tran while Dom runs his partner off the road in his dad's muscle car that he was always too scared to drive. Brian and Dom face off in a final quarter mile street race before an oncoming train blocks the tracks. They both make it but then Dom flips when hit by a truck. His muscle car is totaled and sirens grow louder in the distance. Brian gives up his car to let Dom escape, making him a criminal too. It's an alright beginning, a fun silly action film with a little bit of heart that doesn't know how large it will grow in the future.