2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) Movie Review

image of 2 fast 2 furious movie scene

Title: 2 Fast 2 Furious
Year: 2003
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Play time: 1h 47min
Director: John Singleton
Screenwriters: Gary Scott Thompson, Michael Brandt
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Cole Hauser, Eva Mendes

“You see that blonde sitting with that gentleman over there? Five minutes of her time and she can get anything she wants from him.”

2 Fast 2 Furious Title is a Marketing Pitch

2 Fast 2 Furious?! Not only is that title awesomely lame, but it also makes absolutely no sense: too furious for what, exactly? So absurd is the name and the marketing pitch (“2Cool”) that I have yet to meet any civilian who will admit to actually wanting to see the film. It is also inspiring vicious parody everywhere one looks, with the best one I’ve heard being “2 Fat 2 Fornicate.” I’m sure there will be more. Man, is this movie going to take a beating. And, despite its predecessor’s surprise success, it will drop fast at the box-office. It’s just… lame.

I guess it’s only appropriate that the title makes no sense, because the movie doesn’t make much sense either. The Fast and the Furious had a mildly entertaining story and a corker of an antihero in Vin Diesel. The sequel’s blandness could have been forgiven if the car races and chases — its sole selling point — were something spectacular to look at.

They’re not; the direction by respectable filmmaker John Singleton is competent but hardly outstanding. How hack artist Rob Cohen managed to make a better movie within the franchise than Singleton is beyond me.

Aside from blowing up some cars real good, the first film managed to, in its own half-assed way, introduce us to a world where street racing was a way of life, and Vin Diesel got to say things like “I live my life a quarter mile at a time.” 2 Fast 2 Furious has nothing to show us.

Plot, Cars and… Fury?

There’s a new conflict, for sure, something about Paul Walker’s Eric O’Conner and his childhood buddy having to infiltrate the inner ranks of a supercriminal (Cole Hauser), but it’s just an excuse… for what? I expected to say “spectacular stunts and action set pieces” or something to that effect, but there aren’t enough of those for it to qualify.

The actual plot involves the two protagonists making a pick-up and drop-off for the villain. Apparently they have to pick up the parcel in one place and then race somewhere else to leave it there. The bad guys arrange a fifteen-minute police window in which they will be able to speed down the highways unhindered.

This brings up a question: wouldn’t it attract far less attention if the delivery boys were to drive slowly with the parcel in a run-of-the-mill SUV rather than go 150 miles per hour in souped-up Mitsubishis? Also, if the police already have an informer )Denise Richards + Jennifer Lopez = Eva Mendes) who can tell them the details of the operation, why do they need undercover drivers?

I could have forgiven most of this had it at least been delivered with some conviction. Unfortunately Paul Walker makes a not-very-triumphant return. Now, I understand that Walker carries with him a certain draw of the female moviegoing contingent. But is that worth letting him sabotage the entire project? The man is a walking disaster. Every line out of his mouth inspires a laugh or a sneer. He gets to repeat the words “bro” and “cuz” roughly a hundred times, and it’s just awful. I know that I’m abandoning all critical faculty here, but that’s really the only way I can think to describe it. Horrible.

Stars Deliver

The film itself is not nearly as bad as its star, actually. There are a few redeeming factors: Cole Hauser gets to leer and writhe as the villain. Tyrese delivers a respectable follow-up to his acclaimed performance in Singleton’s Baby Boy, which I haven’t seen; his energy is a saving grace next to Walker’s impossible woodenness.

And there is a climactic stunt that I thought was pretty damn cool, in the way that the boat crashing into the harbor in Speed 2 was cool. In fact, what Paul Walker needed was a stunt double. To stand in for him the entire movie.

Seeking in movies meaning and reflection in real-time. On the look out for biography, thriller & drama best pieces.

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