Friday, February 11, 2011

I am fast, but he's FASTER !!!

I used to care about wrestling or The Rock, but since he switched to acting I've generally been more impressed by Dwayne Johnson. We can all agree material like Tooth Fairy is lame, but he was surprisingly solid early on in The Rundown and Walking Tall. The guy even out acted veterans like Travolta and Keitel in Be Cool. 

Since then he's turned in a number of good performances: Get Smart, The Other Guys, and now Faster. While he works in lighter genres like comedy, this man was made for a movie like Faster. He exudes a sense of dark vengeance. 

Johnson plays a man simply known to us as Driver. Driver has a serious score to settle with some guys, and fresh from a 10-year prison sentence, he's out for blood. Hot on his trail is Cop (Billy Bob Thornton). Also added to the mix is Killer, a professional hit-man hired by one of the men Driver's after. Killer is unessential to the story, but he's played surprisingly well, so it's hard to fault his presence. 

The movie has its share of action, but not the amount the trailer made it look to have. In fact, a scene that was featured prominently in ads was completely cut from the film. You may recall - Johnson and Killer play chicken with their Chevelle and Ferrari. Neither gives, and the two cars collide head on, sending the Chevy flying. 

I can't fault the filmmakers for this. They might have felt the confrontation to be superfluous, that the movie ended better without it. That's fine, and it did have a good ending, I was just expecting more and was very much let down when it went to credits. So that's my one beef, aside from a minor complaint about an unrealistic twist. 

But neither was enough to hurt the movie too badly. In fact, I was impressed at Faster's emotional core. Johnson isn't a robotic killing machine, he's a man with a soul. Some of the men he hunts aren't entirely soulless, either. Morality is very much a problem for Driver, and it's this that elevates Faster above mindless R-rated violence. It's good R-rated violence.

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