Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

“Come on, man. Guns, murderers and crooked cops? I was made for this, bro.”

Director: John Singleton
Actors: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Cole Hauser and Eva Mendes
Writers: Michael Brandt and Derek Haas

You could say that the first film was held up thanks to Diesel’s charisma and the car scenes. So maybe going ahead with a sequel and missing half that equation might seem like a big mistake. But none the less we shall forge on without Diesel. I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong.

So without Vin Diesel most of the heavy lifting has to be done by Paul Walker. Unfortunately for us he’s still the same wooden presence as before. While I acknowledge that I give him a lot of crap, I think it’s mainly because he’s capable of being a good. Watch Running Scared and be amazed. Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce is interesting enough and I kind of liked him, but he needs a stronger lead to bounce off. Eva Mendes is fine enough as the love interest but doesn’t have much to do other than look pretty. Yet again I think it’s a shame as she is a capable actor. Where things really pick up is in the villain department, Cole Hauser is a menacing presence. Carter Verone is actually a sleazy, cold character that really does give the movie a good focus unlike the first one. Oh and I really liked Ludacris’s character Tej. Wish there was more but I’ll take what I can.

This sequel tries to ramp up the action, but it commits one of the greatest sins, it goes too CGI. In the case of a racing action movie, I believe the audience needs to have a sense of reality when it comes to driving. When the cars look too fake it destroys any excitement that can be gained. Thankfully not everything is over done and there are still some great set pieces. There is a certain rush to all these movies that comes from the speeds and crazy twists and turns.

Plot wise we actually have two hero’s against a credible villain and as such it does create a certain pace that was lacking in the first film. Where it all falls apart is the dialogue, which goes to some cheesy levels. There is also a smattering of bro’s, dudes and other such names that make me feel that this was written by a surfing guy. While there is better focus, there are still plot points that just make me scratch my head. At one point our pair of heroes is driving to audition for some crime jobs, which they are doing to help the FBI. The FBI is tracking through tracers on their cars and when they see the cars speeding away they assume that they are running away. Why? They’re doing exactly what you want. It’s just a way for them to create false tension during the scenes. Thank about it too much and the movie comes crashing down.

I can see why people think this is the worst of the Fast and Furious movies. The absence of Vin Diesel is notable, and even with the addition of a good villain and a more focused plot, the movie is totally undone by a boring main lead and a story that just has plot points that are stupid if given too much thought. However if you really want to see some good car action here, then I can’t fault you for trying this movie out, but better stuff is in the future of this franchise.

0.5 cars out of 1 
If you like the Fast & Furious formula there are some nice set pieces.
0 cars out of 1
Stupid plot points. 

0.5 cars out of 1
Boring lead actor but some side characters make up for it.
0.5 cars out of 1
While the overall product isn't great there is some excitement to be found.
0 cars out of 1 
CGI cars are horrendous.

1.5 cars out of 5 
Car movie that stalls too often. 

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