FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “2 Fast 2 Furious,” which stars Paul Walker (Brick Mansions, Running Scared), Tyrese Gibson (Baby Boy, Transformers ), Eva Mendes (Hitch, The Other Guys), Cole Hauser (Good Will Hunting, Dazed and Confused), Ludacris (Crash, Gamer), Thom Barry (Independence Day, Space Jam), James Remar (Dexter [TV series], X-Men: First Class), Devon Aoki (DOA: Dead or Alive, Sin City), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break [TV series], A Good Day to Die Hard), Michael Ealy (Barbershop, Takers), and Jin Au-Yeung (The Man with the Iron Fists, Gallants). It is directed by John Singleton (Four Brothers, Shaft) and written by Michael Brandt (The Double , Chicago P.D. [TV series]), Derek Haas (Chicago Med [TV series], 3:10 to Yuma ), and Gary Scott Thompson (Hollow Man, 88 Minutes). Brian O’Conner (Walker) is brought back into the police force to go undercover as a drag racer to get close to a dangerous criminal in order to bust him; however, he’ll need to seek help from an old friend.
Back into the world of “Fast and Furious” with a title unlike any other: “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Geez guys, I wonder how hard it was to come up with that name; you all must’ve been pondering for days on end to come up with something as frivolous a sequel title as “Die Harder.” Then again, we all know what we’re getting from a feature like this. Fast cars, loud music, and plenty of dialogue that looks to be coy. You could say that it’s the same way I described “Baby Driver” last week, but I wouldn’t jump on the gun too quick. It’s been a while since I saw the first installment of this franchise. “The Fast and the Furious” was actually entertaining and had a solid story to keep things interesting. Sure, it didn’t scream legendary as the performances were only as good as the dialogue (which wasn’t astounding and often predictable in structure), but at least it held rewatchable value. I’ve seen it two more times since reviewing it because it holds everything an action flick with some substance should. Now, if you strip away the bit of substance the first had, you’ve got “2 Fast 2 Furious.” If this release didn’t resemble a cash cow, I don’t know what does. Granted, the cars are faster, louder, and shown in a more music video nuance, but something is lacking. Where did that bit of substance go? I think when ninety percent of the original cast left. Brian O’Conner was the leading man of the predecessor to this flick, but it was his dilemma with Vin Diesel’s Dom and tightrope walk over his role as a police officer that made things interesting. You can’t have only cars and women; you gotta have some solid characters with solid development. Did we get that? No. Joining Paul Walker in this release is Tyrese, who plays an old friend of O’Conner’s that hates his guts now. The two must work together to take down a drug boss in order to clean their slate with the law. Pretty simple, but the execution couldn’t be more lifeless. Most of this movie is absorbed by Ludacris music and drag races/racing, utilizing visual effects that follow the action close as characters are driving at top speed. Also, we have several inserts of our characters making “comedic” remarks at every turn. I couldn’t tell you how annoying it got (to the point of hilariousness) to see a race going and it cutting to either Brian, Roman, or any of the other drivers saying “not this time,” “see yah sucker,” “my turn,” or some other crap like that (don’t take these quotes as actual ones, I made them up to resemble what’s in the movie). It was a tough hill to climb and as time goes on you soon realize that this is all “2 Fast 2 Furious” is. The friendship between Brian and Roman is rather flat; I found more chemistry between them in the outtakes than on-screen. This may be due to the fact that the acting is abysmal. It’s as if no one’s having fun except Roman, who’s pictured to be that stereotypical loud black guy who’s got issues with authority. I couldn’t latch onto any of these characters, having to settle for the action and whatever that offered. Everything was underdeveloped, from our heroes to our villains, to the story structure. Some aspects of this movie were worse than others, like the romance that was supposed to happen between Brian and Monica, played by the beautiful Eva Mendes. She deserved a better role than what she was given, having to settle for an awful will-they-won’t-they with Brian that culminated to nothing. Seriously, what was the point of her role? What was the point of this movie? These questions aren’t given clarification. Honestly, if you were to walk away from the movie for twenty minutes and come back, you’d be watching the same thing, whether it be a car chase, drag race, or Brian and Roman talking about authority. Please people, we’re better than this. At least in the first flick we had heists and an undercover agent conspiracy! I’ve seen the villain so many times in other movies that it can’t stand to be original. But, what do you expect from a picture with a title like “2 Fast 2 Furious”? If there’s anything I liked about it, it would be the action sequences. They were well done outside of the awkward inserts of characters saying one-liners, and there were a few moments of coolness. It tries to exude the same atmosphere as the first, and while they achieve the racing, they lose the substance. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you were doing a marathon of some kind (even then I wouldn’t know how vital it is to the entire franchise… doubt it is). FINAL SCORE: 59%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: