Faster (2010)

March 03, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

The revenge flick has been done to death, becoming a hard genre to tackle. There has been a few re-births and re-imaginings of the revenge flick, but nothing too exciting has happened with the formula recently. Faster is the latest revenge story, and surprisingly it’s delivered in a fresh enough manner to be watchable. Dwayne Johnson is used well, playing a bad-ass again, and the rest of the cast is rather interesting. Director George Tillman Jr. does a solid job directing the film as well.

The film manages to be stylish and gritty, and at times surprisingly inventive. George Tillman Jr. gets a bit experimental at times, and comes up with some interesting angles. For example, a slick shot from the viewpoint behind a speedometer or a smooth interweaving of sequences from the past and present. Even a concentration of a ticking clock, stiffly and sharply ticking away gives the film a tense spark. The film even pays homage to Spaghetti Westerns in a way that bring about an approving smile.

The cast performs well, and are not given names; possibly another reference to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. The story revolves around three characters: the driver, the killer, and the cop. Dwayne Johnson is tough, gritty and cold-blooded; this is his welcome back to the action genre. Billy Bob Thornton plays the Cop, and does so with quirkiness and frustration that isn’t phoned in. Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays the Killer, coming off as a perfectionist that strives to quit his hobby before it kills him. All three characters are well-developed, especially for an action film.

Faster definitely resembles The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, but more so in style than in tone. The film delivers great characters that dodge the cardboard cut-outs that usually inhabit action flicks, and the story cruises along in a interesting enough way.

Potential Drawbacks?

Dwayne Johnson as the Driver has his moments, but the character could have been more likable if he was given more to do than look like the baddest man on the planet, and then plug someone. Yes, he has a few pleasing one-liners, but most of the time he’s a machine.

For and action movie, Faster didn’t have too many action scenes. I admire that it builds its characters and respects its story, but there has to be action scenes in an action movie. The action scenes that are in the film are all standard. Nothing showy, and nothing even too gritty to hook the audience in or build enough tension for the audience to truly care.

At the end of the day, this is a slightly better than average revenge flick. Yes, it’s delivered in an interesting way, but it’s not unique enough to matter.

Film Recommendations:

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Rundown



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