Some movies you go to see because you’re expecting a film with good acting, good directing, good story, and something that will make you walk away thinking. Other movies you go to see because you expect them to be mindless fun and entertainment. Faster is one of those movies. I had very little expectation from this film, other than to walk away from it being entertained. It’s flawed, and has a lot of holes in the story, but truth be told, I walked away enjoying the time I spent watching this film. It’s mindless fun and the action on screen is enjoyable.
The story is quite simple. The main character is called Driver (Dwayne Johnson). Upon being released from prison where things have been rough and he’s earned his fighting respect, he sets out to seek revenge on all those responsible for killing his brother. His brother was killed years ago after they robbed a bank. At their safe house they were ambushed by another team where everyone but Driver was killed. Driver now wants to inflict the pain he has lived with in prison on these individuals.
Surprisingly in a film like this there are a lot of interesting characters. They include a hit man played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. This is a man who made a lot of money early in life and got bored. He switched careers and took on the job of a hit man. He now finds himself bored as he’s been offered no real challenge. Is he a thrill seeker? No. Just a man that needs excitement and once he masters something he grows bored with it. When asked to kill Driver, he finally sees a challenge and his adrenaline gets pumping.
Two characters intent on finding Driver include Detective Cicero (Carla Gugino) and one identified as Cop (Billy Bob Thornton). Thornton’s character is flawed and a drug addict. As is typical with these types of characters, he’s set to retire in just a couple days. The chemistry between Thornton and Gugino is quite good and the two plays off each other well.
The film is directed by George Tillman Jr. He does a good job keeping the pace moving. The story has a lot of holes. People get shot and seem to live. I won’t get into the holes, but you’ll certainly see them. It’s fairly predictable but again, this is a movie that you see because you want to see some action.
It is good to see Dwayne Johnson back in an action role. It seems as though it’s been forever and we’ve been seeing him in family films so that he can branch out and become more appealing to a wider audience. His core audience will always be individuals who appreciate action. He does an excellent job portraying a character who is one not to be messed with. I would not want to be in his way. He’s tough, says little, and lets his demeanor do most of the talking. Is it a great performance? No. But it works in this film.
Typically considered “popcorn” films, this one works. It’s not great, but not bad. It’s fun, and when you’re at the theater paying the ridiculous ticket prices, you want to be entertained. Expect to be entertained with this one. Just don’t take it too seriously and you’ll leave the theater with a smile on your face.
FINAL GRADE: B –
TRR Movie Revue by Bill Ayres