2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) Movie Review

“2 Fast 2 Furious” was not made for critics. Its story is bland and uninteresting and its characters are poorly constructed, terribly written, and badly portrayed by the actors. The only thing that saves the piece (and the presence of salvation depends on the individual viewer, natch) is the all-out vehicular action sequences as choreographed by director John Singleton (“Boyz in the Hood”) and cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti (“Mortal Kombat 2”).

Paul Walker, the pretty boy Keanu Reeves clone, returns as Brian O’Conner, the undercover cop from the first “The Fast and the Furious”, who has since been stripped of his badge for letting Vin Diesel’s character escape in the other film. Now a professional street racer, Brian is once again conscripted by the feds, led by the antagonistic (and not surprisingly, not so bright) Markham (James Remar), to infiltrate drug dealer Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) and bring him down. Aiding Walker on the assignment is childhood pal and fellow street racer Roman Pearce (Tyrese) and undercover agent Monica (Eva Mendes), who has been entrenched in Verone’s operations for a year now. Gee, I wonder if Monica and Brian will fall madly in love at first sight?

If it’s not already apparent by the movie’s flashy and loud 30-second ads, “2 Fast” is not a very good narrative film. In fact, it’s a poor film in most respects, from the idiotic screenplay by Brandt and Haas to the wooden acting by leads Walker and Mendes. The only good thespian of the bunch, surprisingly, is model-turned-actor Tyrese, who manages to elicit a number of chuckles with his bad boy role. Cole Hauser (“Pitch Black”) has little to do, and I’m hardpressed to recount what the feds were after his character for; he’s just not there long enough to matter.

Like the original, “2 Fast” understands that its story takes a backseat to the street action. As a result we get plenty of vehicular action involving heavily customed foreign imports and old fashion American muscle cars. The street races are well done, with Leonetti and Singleton constantly shifting from actual location filming to inserting bluescreen effects and CGI work into the flow of the races. Singleton also keeps jump cutting to close ups of the faces, hands, and feet of the individual racers. This could have been a bit distracting, but I found it to be quite interesting.

You cannot possibly think that “2 Fast 2 Furious” is a movie for the brain, did you? The writing achieves a 5th grade level competency, if that. There are so many holes in the script that it boggles the mind. And the acting, as previously mentioned, is amateurish. I’m still astounded that someone saw enough “talent” in Paul Walker that they would give him a speaking role in a movie. As for the sex, there isn’t any. Because of the kid-friendly PG-13 rating, “2 Fast” teases, but never shows.

Regardless, “2 Fast” is a high-octane action film, completely mindless in every way, and if you were to waste time taking its narrative seriously you would be baffled by how ridiculous it all is. Needless to say, only action junkies need apply. It should be noted that “2 Fast 2 Furious” is definitely the type of movie that needs to be seen on the big screen. If I had seen the film on TV I’m not sure if I could justify the extra star in the movie’s grade. This is one movie where a giant theater screen and loud speakers matter.

John Singleton (director)
CAST: Paul Walker …. Brian O’Conner
Tyrese Gibson …. Roman Pearce
Eva Mendes …. Monica Clemente
Cole Hauser …. Carter Verone
Ludacris …. Tej
Devon Aoki …. Suki

Buy 2 Fast 2 Furious on DVD