Vin Diesel is gone, but The Fast and the Furious has returned, this time titled 2 Fast 2 Furious for some God-awful reason. Luckily, this one is a little better than the original; unfortunately, that doesn't say much.
Most people know that I consider The Fast and the Furious a terrible movie and one of the dumbest to ever grace the big screen. There was nothing going for it, yet millions of people loved it for some odd reason. It didn't even have that much action. So, let's just say that I didn't hold high expectations for the sequel, even though there was a director upgrade to John Singleton...
Paul Walker returns as Brian, the cop who at the end of the first movie let his mark walk away. That having happened, he is now a fugitive on the run from cops and is involved with street racing in Miami. After he is picked up by the feds, however, he agrees to go undercover to clear his record. It's a simple plot, but no one should expect anything more.
Walker, who has not impressed many people with his acting, is absolutely terrible here. That being said, everyone does a pretty bad job, mainly because of the script. Walker and his co-star, Tyrese Gibson, exchange cheesy line after cheesy line, which usually end with either "Bro" or "Cuz." Walker's character also for some reason has a huge disrespect for the law, even though he used to be a cop and is no longer one because he "just" let a guy go; he wasn't absolutely corrupt or anything. Of course, dialogue or plot was not strong in the original, either...
Despite its flaws (a.k.a. similarities to the first movie), 2 Fast 2 Furious is a little less tedious to watch. The movie makes a little more sense and the dialogue is a little cleaner. It also has a little more action, and the beautiful Eva Mendes.
Unfortunately, John Singleton has no sense of capturing speed. The race scenes are loud but do not even begin to give off a sense of speed or tension. The cars seem to be able to go ever faster, as the characters are always able to shift gears up one notch (for the twentieth time in a single race) to catch up yet again. Singleton also employs computer graphics quite often (something that the original was proud of not to use extensively), and the graphics are quite bad. Worse yet, every time one of the characters hits the nitro, he or she acts as though it has never happened to them before... and the background speeding by turns to a blur as if the Starship Enterprise is going to warp speed. Last time I recall, going at speeds of just over 100 mph does not cause the surroundings to blur.
For the many fans that were somehow fooled into believing that the original Fast and Furious was good enough to warrant a sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious may be worth the rental price. After all, it overall is a better movie. Still, the most central part of the movie - the racing and special effects - are definitely inferior.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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