It’s hard to objectively review a film like Faster. It’s the type of movie that after watching the trailer and seeing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson knife fight another dude in a men’s public bathroom, you are either marking your calendar to remember the release date or you have no interest in ever watching it. If you are the type of guy that saw the ads and thought, “I can’t wait for that to come out,” congratulations, because the best action film of 2010 has finally hit theaters.
The plot of the film is simple and it gets moving quickly: Johnson plays “Driver”, finally being released from prison after serving 10 violent years behind bars for a bank heist. Before getting arrested, his crew was set up and ambushed by another group of criminals, resulting in the loss of both the heist money and his brother’s life. Now Driver is out with only one purpose: to kill everyone responsible for his brother’s death.
Much of the pre-release buzz had to do with Johnson finally making a movie that wasn’t a Disney, PG rated, kiddie flick. One thing I can promise you, this ain’t Disney. I am someone who tries not to speak loudly during movies, but even I had to yell out, “Damn!” once or twice during this movie. I have seen very movies drive strangers to high-five each other in the theater, but this was one of them. The fight scenes in this were some of the best choreographed I have seen in a long while.
Billy Bob Thornton also does a wonderful supporting turn as “Cop”. First seen scoring dope in a Mexican restaurant and ten days away from retirement, Thornton hasn’t been cast in a role that actually required him to act in quite a while. I admit, when I first saw that he was playing a cop in this I assumed it was your standard cop role and a waste of his talents. It turns out to be the best role he’s had since Friday Night Lights.
Director George Tillman Jr. really impressed me with this film. Helmer of the underrated B.I.G. biopic Notorious, Tillman and Johnson manage to mold a great flick out of a clunky script written by the Gayton Brothers. Tillman and Johnson are careful not to make it too much of a male Kill Bill homage. Also, if there is one thing that Hollywood can stop inserting into every movie, it’s 25 year old models that moonlight as assassins. Oh, and your lingerie model girlfriend is a weapons expert too? Of course she is.
Faster was the most fun I’ve had at the theater in months. After a summer full of movies that didn’t meet the hype, and a fall that has been disappointing so far, don’t you owe it to yourself to have some fun for once?