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2 Fast 2 Furious (PG-13)
Universal Studios
Official Site
Director: John Singleton
Producer: Neal H. Morit
Written by: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Cast: Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser

Rating: out of 5


2 Fast 2 Furious is more like a film in the same genre as the original The Fast And The Furious than a direct sequel. The only sense of continuity comes from the fast cars and actor Paul Walker, who portrays Brian O’Connor. The name and the actor are the only similarities borne by the Brian O’Connor character between the two films. It is as if the movie has entered an alternate dimension from the original The Fast And The Furious, in this case the alternate dimension is called Miami.

2 Fast 2 Furious starts with a race down the streets of Miami, allowing the reintroduction of former LAPD officer and now full-time speed racer, Brian O’Connor. Too bad for Brian the cops crash the party and use futuristic electro-magnetic pulsing rifles (!) to disable his Nissan Skyline and bring him out of retirement. The customs department needs him to aid agent Monica Fuentes (Mendes) in infiltrating a drug empire run by Carter Verone (Hauser). Surrounded by totally incompetent federal agents, Brian turns to former convict and childhood friend Roman Pierce (Tyrese) for back-up.

The criminals conscripted into crime fighting works much better than the undercover cop/divided loyalties angle of the original movie. Also it allows the movie to keep moving along without any of the embarrassing acting attempts from the cast which plagued the last production. None of the actors seem to have more than one facial expression, especially Paul Walker, who sports a pseudo-Zen surfer look all movie. The wardrobe department must not have been paid any money because Brian constantly appears dressed like a high school student.

2 Fast 2 Furious follows the KISS rule of filmmaking—Keep It Simple, Stupid—with an emphasis on the stupid. There are no attempts to use car racing as a metaphor for how to live your life or any of that nonsense; just lots of car chases, often for the most frivolous of reasons. The cars are in and of themselves things of incredible beauty, but the car races could have used a little improvement. They don’t have enough point-of-view camera shots, instead opting for close-ups of the drivers’ squinty eyes and clips of their feet as they shift gears. This is not exciting. It’s somewhat incredible that people would carry on any sort of conversation while barreling down the road at 100-plus miles an hour, but the bad dialogue without the distractions of car racing is the far inferior alternative. John Singleton wisely fills the screen with eye candy at all times, either in the form of Eva Mendes or any other of the Miami bikini babes in skimpy outfits, and Tyrese takes his shirt off at least once.  With its PG-13 rating, the car chases and stunts feel cribbed from “The Dukes of Hazzard” or The Blues Brothers, where people have terrible car crashes and then walk away completely unscathed.

Director John Singleton said he had wanted to make a lightweight, popcorn-munching movie and without a doubt this is lightweight. 2 Fast 2 Furious raises the question, “How light is too light?” If your brain is turned off for too long will it be able to be turned back on without any negative consequences? This movie is lighter than air, lighter than helium, lighter than the very particles of ether that float through space. With a featherweight plot and horrible ethnic stereotypes for supporting characters, by the time 2 Fast 2 Furious reaches its predictable conclusion (at least it has an ending unlike the first movie) we are 2 Bored 2 Care.

—Woodrow Bogucki

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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