Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Faster
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 00:00

The Rock actually is cooking. He’s whipping himself up a big batch of acting chops and trying to rectify a career that was going a little too pre-school. I’ve always kind of liked this charismatic wrestler-turned-actor – more for his affable off-screen presence than for his talents as an actor. In Faster, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t exactly avoiding typecasting, but he is trying to bite off a bigger piece of emotional drama than usual.

The film starts out in very cheesy territory when a tough-guy named “Driver” is released from jail. He walks out without so much as a change of clothes, runs through the dessert for a bit and locates his new ride – a 1970’s Chev the roars to life and peels out of that junkyard like nobody’s business. I always wonder why action heroes never seem to get pulled over for speeding…

The rest of the movie moves along just as fast, and gradually picks up steam and story on the way. Driver is out for revenge on a hit list of criminals who were involved in the murder of his brother and he ticks them off like Santa Clause checking it twice.

To make things a little more difficult Driver is being pursued by a hit man aptly named “Killer” (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). In a silly side-story, Killer is torn between well, killing, and wanting to start a family with his girlfriend (Maggie Grace).

The other major presence onscreen is Billy-Bob Thornton in a decent performance as a drug-addicted cop on the verge of retirement. He’s spending his last days on the force tracking down Driver by his trail of bad-guy bodies.

Everyone in this movie seems to be facing personal demons, and the story twist toward the end actually elevates a very mediocre film into something that could have been great but never quite gets there.

INFOKERNALS:

Directed by George Tillman Jr., Starring Dwayne Johnson and Billy-Bob Thornton

The Rock will be starring with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast Five, yet another sequel to The Fast and the Furious.

You can watch Billy-Bob Thornton in the perennial holiday favorite Bad Santa; just don’t make it a family movie night.