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27 ratings (23 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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Jul 29, 2004
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Exactly what you expect.

Cons:Exactly what you expect.

The Bottom Line: The movie is precisely as advertised.

2 Fast 2 Furious is a classic enjoyable bad movie. It has all the stock characters, semi-plausible scenarios, tropical locations, and well-worn plot lines. Turn up the audio and turn off your mind.

This sequel picks up more or less where the original left off. Having let Vin Diesel escape at the end of the first one, Paul Walker's cop character is now living off the map in Miami, doing his street-racing thing. When he gets busted by the Feds, they ask him to go undercover as a driver to take down a South American drug lord (Cole Hauser). With the aid of his estranged best friend (Tyrese) and perhaps a deep-undercover customs agent (Eva Mendes), Walker dives into the project whole hale.

If you've seen many movies, you should already identify the stock characters. Walker is the Good-turned-Bad-turned-Good guy, accompanied by his Authority-Hating-Buddy. Add the Too-Gorgeous-to-Actually-Be-a-Fed-Woman who is at the right hand of the Sneering-Drug-Lord-Who-Doesn't-Look-South-American. Throw in the Overbearing-&-Suspicious-Federal-Marshall and the usual assortment of dudes and babes, and you've got all the makings. With such characters, the plot is entirely predictable as well, which deprives the movie of any true suspense.

But seriously, that's not why you watch this flick. It's all about the cars, and the cars deliver with literal flying colors. Never mind that none of the owners could actually afford them. Never mind that most of the driving stunts would never work like that. THEY LOOK COOL! I'm not much of a car person, and even I liked the numerous race/chase scenes. They are, of course, both fast and furious, and well-done to boot. Combining fast-paced CGI with quick-cutting standard shots, the frenetic tempo of these guilty-pleasure sequences carries the movie briskly through its breezy storyline.

Despite its blatant flaws, the movie still works because director John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood) seemed to understand exactly the type of flick he was making. Improving upon an original that often struggled to maintain a balance between reality and pure entertainment, Singleton has eliminated the former and taken full aim at the latter, carrying his cast and crew in tow.

With a bright and vivid look that is fully appropriate for Miami, the nearly cartoonish nature of the movie immediately allows the viewer to shift appropriately into auto-pilot. Accompanied by an almost comical soundtrack infused with hip-hop music, a slew of entirely one-dimensional characters perpetuate the state of mind, and the brain is fully shut down by the mediocre and almost unnecessary dialogue. If you could watch 2F2F with sound but without words, I don't think you'd miss a thing. But the dialogue, while borderline campy, is strangely fitting, due in part to a good screen camaraderie among the actors. They follow Singleton's lead, as each hits his or her single note well. They look good and act properly, not working too hard, gliding along through the undemanding roles.

Everything comes back to this. If you're actually considering watching this movie, you've likely seen the first, and thus know what you're in for. Go in with the proper mindset and you'll be sated. 5 of 10, rounded up, but not truly recommended.

Recommend this product? No

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The sequel to the racing smash THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS may not have Vin Diesel as its star, but it burns with even higher octane than its predecessor...
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