DWANE JOHNSON BILLY BOB THORNTON OLIVER JACKSON COHEN
From Soul Food to Men of Honor, director George Tillman Jr. seems to take whatever directing job is open at the moment. Faster isn’t at all a step away from the usual type of movies we see from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. While the WWF star hasn’t improved with his acting skills or done anything of real merit, his sustained presence in the acting world must be recognized. I will say this: Johnson’s bad movies are much easier to watch than those of Ben Stiller, Nicholas Cage or Will Ferrell. Faster’s real key interest is the return of shamed actor Billy Bob Thornton, whose radio rant a couple of years ago has kept him out of the acting field. Even the trailer to this film barely showed the Oscar winning actor.
After doing ten years in prison, a man known as the Driver (Johnson) is hell bent on avenging the death of his half brother, who was murdered in front of him after a heist went bad. Driver has spent the last ten years making a list of the people in the room that murdered his brother and left him for dead. Now with an army of hate and a metal plate in his head, Northern California will become a connect-the-dots of murderous revenge. A washed up cop (Thornton) has specifically asked to work on this case with Detective Cicero (Carla Gugino), even though he seems to be in all the right places at the most unusual times.
Most of the script doesn’t add up in the end, when everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow. This is especially true for the character Killer, played by Cohen, who is the most interesting character in the script; his presence just doesn’t make sense. It’s typical of the movies Johnson stars in to be focused on everything but making sure the script works, acting, and originality. Compared to The Scorpion King, The Game Plan, Gridiron Gang, etc., Faster slightly stands above those and it might be due to the fact that Johnson speaks very little throughout the entire movie. His blank but intense face when he is about to kill someone is a SNL parody waiting to happen, however.
Faster is one of the poorest openings and overall box office flicks for Johnson, who has only dabbled in comedy and action genres throughout his career. A decline in interest in seeing the meat-head like star on the big screen could result in Johnson finding alternative employment. Even in motion pictures, the failure to reinvent or re-market yourself ever so often can spell early retirement. Faster feels cheap compared to what we normally see Johnson in and that might just be because he isn’t the investment he once was.
Final Thought – Nothing more than a TNT rerun movie of the week.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody