Déjà Viewing: Are You Fast and Furious? Well, both Ricky Bobby and the Hulk would also appreciate 1974′s ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’
Vin Diesel takes the wheel, yet again, in 'Fast & Furious 6' (Photo: Universal Pictures)
An important antecedent to the series highly worth checking out, however, is "Gone in 60 Seconds." No, no, no… not the 2000 remake starring Nicolas Cage before he lost his battle with hair plugs and Angelina Jolie before she became more fully stabilized, but the original 1974 film from multi-hyphenate H.B. Halicki, which laid waste to almost 100 vehicles over the course of its sprawling centerpiece car chase. If the "Fast & Furious" franchise has been employment heaven for the small army of sound mixers, digital effects compositors and, yes, stunt drivers who help breathe life into its most gloriously over-the-top moments, Halicki's movie is a throwback to the days of leaner, meaner, hands-on destruction — before genre cash-dashes became Hollywood studio tentpoles.
'Gone in 60 Seconds,' 1974 (Photo: Everett)
Yet there's a wild, careening joie de vivre to "Gone in 60 Seconds," most especially in a wild 35-minute sequence that spans almost 10 miles of freeway and city streets. In the end it's about little more than the mesmerizing spectacle of wanton material destruction (almost all of the many dozens of vehicles demolished, including a garbage truck and three fire engines, were bought cheaply at auction), but Halicki's movie would prove there was a massive audience for such creative and cathartic vehicular obliteration; its $40 million box office gross as an independent film upon its release would correlate with roughly $113 million today.