2 Fast 2 Furious Review

by Steve Rhodes (Steve DOT Rhodes AT InternetReviews DOT com)
June 5th, 2003

A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes
RATING (0 TO ****): ***

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, a sequel to -- what else? -- THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, is the first popcorn movie of this summer season. A satisfying adrenaline rush, it is a mindless bit of escapism that speaks to the inner teenage rebel in us all. It again features fast and colorful street racers. What it doesn't have is Vin Diesel, a.k.a., Mr. XXX. But he isn't missed since Paul Walker's costar this time is Tyrese. Together they make funnier and better buddies. The original film was a lame action flick, but the sequel really sizzles, thanks to a director upgrade from Rob Cohen (THE SKULLS and DAYLIGHT) to John Singleton (ROSEWOOD and BOYS N THE HOOD). Singleton even manages to make the story's cardboard characters worth caring about.

The film's opening illegal street race -- the ending credits admonish not to try this on our local lanes -- feels at first like a pedestrian rehash of the last picture. The race organizer, Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges), taunts one of the sexy contestants, Suki (Devon Aoki), with double entendres. "When you gonna pop clutch?" he kids with her. The stunt drivers, who really shine, get their warm-up exercise in this scene. The better ones will come later in demolition derbies on the highways and in a spectacular, budget-busting finale.

Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Roman Pearce (Tyrese), keep competing with each in great, good-spirited fashion. Oh, I forgot to mention. They end up breaking the law in order to help the law. The Feds hire them to drive undercover for drug dealer Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). This plot makes no sense but is fun nonetheless

Set in south Florida, the movie is breath-takingly beautiful. My favorite part of the movie? I know I'm showing my age, but my favorite was the pair of seventies muscle cars that almost beat our guys' neon-lit, super fueled cars. If they had just used a 409 -- my big-engine auto in high school -- I would have been in hog heaven.

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS runs 1:34. It is rated PR-13 for "street racing, violence, language and some sensuality" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it ****. He thought the street racing and just about everything was better this time, including a much better villain. He especially liked the big ending twist.

The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, June 6, 2003. In the Silicon Valley, it will be showing at the AMC theaters, the Century theaters and the Camera Cinemas.

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