Two years ago, I went to see The Fast and The Furious the week it came out. Although there was no social merit to that movie, I walked away from it, hot for Vin Diesel and appreciative of the movie soundtrack.
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When I heard that a sequel was being made without my man, I was skeptical. Paul Walker - well - he's just a pretty blonde boy to me and not what I would call a hunka hunka burnin' love material. I hemmed and hawed all week and then decided that I would just GO and if it was horrible, I would write THE MOST scathing review about it.
Aside from some guy talking on his cell phone for almost the entire movie, and the pair of 3rd graders sitting behind me, chomping their popcorn, I have nothing scathing to report.
Hope that doesn't make you too sad.
Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) is a former cop turned extreme street car driver who has been recruited (against his wishes) by Customs and the FBI to set-up a dangerous kingpin who has alluded them for years. They tried to send in an undercover agent (Eva Mendes) to take care of things but after 11 months, she still hasn't been able to do it.
Brian enlists the assistance of his childhood friend, Roman Pearce (Tyrese), who is currently on house arrest for a past crime he committed. Ronan is not too thrilled about seeing his "old friend" Brian. The last time they met up, Ronan had been busted and sent to jail. Since that time, he has held Brian responsible for the arrest (even though Brian didn't know about it). Brian and Ronan agree to do the job in order to erase their criminal records.
The kingpin that they must set-up is Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). In Miami, he is known for laundering loads and loads of drug money. He's so slick that the government hasn't been able to catch him red-handed. The plan is for Brian and Ronan to go to work for him so that they can get the man caught.
Do the evil guys get theirs? Does Paul Walker get some nookie? Does Tyrese get his own nookie? This, plus lots of action and good music, can be yours if you go to see the movie.
You probably have heard all of the noise behind this sequel. Neither the lead actor (Vin Diesel) nor the original director (Rob Cohen) were a part of 2 Fast 2 Furious. Usually, the reason you make a sequel is all based upon the $$$. The $$$ is based upon sure things LIKE the original leading actor AND/OR the original director. I'm sure that Universal Pictures is waiting to exhale on this one.
I worried (partly) and hoped (partly) that the sequel would be just like the first. The good news - it was enough like the first in an outline form - good/bad guys get even with bad/evil guys while at the same time, living life fast/hard, accompanied by some neat music. The other good news - it was different enough from the first in that the dynamics of the actors, the camera angles, and the editing were much better.
The individuals who were employed to write the script were the writing team of Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. I must say - they did a decent job at constructing characters that were just what they should be. The girls were nice and shallow. The guys were nice and horny. Some of the jokes scripted in the movie were hilarious. I don't remember anything standing out as a stinker.
Kudos to director John Singleton. Who knew that he could take a sequel and make it more fun than the original?! Let me tell you what he improved on. First, the car racing scenes were SO much longer and more detailed than what was in the first movie. I'm not much of a car racing chick but still, I enjoyed the longer sequences. Second, Mr. Singleton's editing was TIGHT. Crisp, clean, accurate...there was no straying from the main focus of each scene. Third, he kept pushing the action straight forward. I didn't feel like there were any filler scenes - everything shown had a purpose to the rest of the story line.
I like Mr. Singleton :).
I don't want to kid you. The acting that occurs in here isn't Academy Award Nominee potential. With that said, the actors involved did a great job at what they were tasked to do. I'm telling you, movies like this have the potential to be completely cheesy in a bad, smelly way. The guys and gals (some of them) pulled it off.
Let's start with Paul Walker. Of course you know that he scored major points with me when he sported a face full of scruff. Considering the shoes he had to fill (Mr. Diesel), he wore them well. I was thrilled that he didn't try to over-Diesel anything. He was his own man. Props to you bro. :)
Tyrese - I think I just fell in love with him. Tyrese was hilarious and gave a lot of credibility to the friendship that was supposed to exist between his character's and Paul's. I give HIM the credit for the chemistry that existed between him and Paul. Tyrese just looked like he felt comfortable in his character's skin.
I love Ludacris's music and I loved seeing him in his pimped-self role. Ludacris was the glue of this movie. You would have probably considered him to be the true "sidekick". I loved his back and forth with some of the girls - Him: When are you going to let me pop your clutch? Her: When you get the right tools.
Cole Hauser was a WAY COOL villain. He wasn't too weird, he wasn't too comical...he was just right. The last time I had seen him, he played a trailer-trash boyfriend in White Oleander. Let me tell you - night and day between how he did in these two roles. If he didn't mind being stereotyped, I think that he has a great future in evil roles. :)
Now a word about the women. I'm not going to complain about all of the tits and *ss - that's to be expected in this type of movie.
Eva Mendes shows up in the first few minutes of the movie in a scene where she looks TOTALLY out of place. While I appreciate Hollywood's attempt to cast non-white, blonde chicks in blockbuster movies, maybe they should have found someone who was a little better at acting. She was supposed to have chemistry with Paul Walker but there wasn't much there (with the exception of a driving scene).
Devon Aoki played one of the female drivers and I actually had high hopes for her. She was more fluff than substance and since this is the first time I've seen this model-chick in anything, I'll just pretend that she was bound by the lack of a good character.
The music - LOVE THE MUSIC! Some of the songs I remember hearing include: Act A Fool - Ludacris, Pick Up The Phone - Ludacris, and Miami - K'Jon. Most of the music is played during the car racing scenes. Between Singleton's camera angles and the music, you almost feel like you're in the middle of a giant video game!
2 Fast 2 Furious is rated PG-13 for street racing, violence, language and some sensuality. Why street racing is horrible for kids under 13 to watch - well - that's a mystery to me. People who enjoyed the first movie will definitely enjoy the sequel. Don't tell anyone, but I secretly hope that there will be a third installment and I wouldn't mind seeing Paul Walker, Tyrese, and Ludacris back together for it.
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