2 Fast 2 Furious Review

by John Ulmer (johnulmer2003 AT msn DOT com)
October 27th, 2003


Verdict: 1.5/5 stars


I wasn't a big fan of 2001's "The Fast and the Furious," a movie about the ups and downs of street racing, as well as the in betweens. But it was a hit--and there were rumors of a sequel afoot for a year or so until the film's original director, Rob Wilkes, decided not to return. And after his announcement to leave the series, Vin Diesel went ahead and dropped out, too.

Two years later. "2 Fast 2 Furious" is out, directed by John Singleton and starring the first film's co-star, Paul Walker, in the spotlight, as Brian O'Connor, the cop from the original who went undercover in the street racing circuit in hopes of being able to convict Diesel's character of illegal activites. In the end he was fired for letting Disel go, or so we learn in the sequel, which has our character sneak into the Miami street racing circuit in hopes of earning his badge back again.

The movie is fast, and the movie is furious, and in that way it lives up to its name. But it is also too fast and too furious, as the title implies, which can be a good thing in some cases and a bad thing in others. This is the bad outcome. Paul Walker as Brian O'Connor is flat, and we couldn't care less about his character nor his outcome. Replacing Vin Diesel is Tyrese, a rapper with a mean attitude, and he stands almost no ground against Diesel, who at least had a sort of underlying charm about him. Tyrese is just mean, gruff and quite unempathetic. We should we feel for him when he obviously could not give a hoot for anybody else?

This is nothing more than a summer blockbuster with intentions of income. At least with a sequel like "Terminator 3" we feel as if it has been somewhat crafted for the many fans of the first two in one way or another, and that the sole idea was not just for profit but out of honorable intentions. This doesn't have to be the truth, of course, as it rarely is, but if a film can make us feel that way then it's a winner.

There weren't a whole lot of fans of "The Fast and the Furious"--it did well at the box office and received warm receptions from car geeks and testosterone junkies, but there wasn't any sense of extreme loyalty or even love. It was just another action flick that was a good deal better than some other action flicks in cinemas at the time--at least in some people's minds (though I beg to differ that "The 6th Day" is one of the best action films of the past few years).

But it wasn't given enough time to grow in our environment. In four years I believe that there could be more fans waiting for the release of this sequel. But the execs didn't wait--they put this baby into production almost as soon as they got the numbers from the box office regarding the first film. Greedy film executives is nothing new, of course--just look at Griffin Mills--but to work up some sense of patience for the sequel would have resulted in much more respect for both the film and its makers. This is a typical sequel cash-in. There's nothing I despise more than immediate sequels. I can forgive them if the film itself is good--I'm open to anything and everything--but "2 Fast 2 Furious" is little else than a showcase for rough rappers to get their names on the film's soundtrack. This movie makes "The Fast and the Furious" look like a masterpiece. And I didn't think that there would ever be a movie that would make me say that.

- John Ulmer
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