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About the film
Faster is an action film that was released in 2010. The film has a run time of 98 minutes and a rating of 15 due to language and violence.
A man firstly only known as Driver, is just getting out of prison after ten long years. On his release, he heads out to get himself a car and some cash, ready for what is about to come. Years ago, Driver and his brother were double crossed after robbing a bank, resulting in his brother's death. Now a free man, Driver is hell bent on revenge and be begins to track down every single person who was involved in his brother's murder. However, with a cop and a hit man on his back, there is the chance he may not get the revenge he seeks.
Dwayne Johnson as James Cullen / Driver
Billy Bob Thornton as Detective Slade Humphries / Cop
Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Killer
Courtney Gains as Prescott Ashton / Telemarketer
John Cirigliano as Kenneth Tyson / Old Guy
Lester Speight as Hovis Nixon / Baphomet
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Alexander Jarod / Evangelist
Carla Gugino as Detective Cicero
Maggie Grace as Lily
What I thought
Even though Dwayne Johnson was laughed at years ago for attempting to make to move from wrestling to films, he has had a pretty good career so far. Yes, there have been some terrible films like The Game Plan etc., and he does do better in action films. However, I do like near enough everything that Johnson is in. When browsing on Amazon recently I came across Faster and at only £3, I had to have it.
Faster has a fantastic beginning. With Driver, played by Johnson, just getting out of prison, you wonder what the hell he did. There were questions in my mind as to whether or not he would be the good or bad guy. It doesn't take long for the action to get going though and I soon realised that this guy was definitely out to get revenge for something or other. Johnson is great in action films as I said before. He has that determination behind him, the body to pull off being a tough guy and he also looks really mean a lot of the time. While I don't think this is the best role Johnson has ever been in, he was extremely convincing as Driver and pretty scary at the same time.
Starring opposite Johnson is Billy Bob Thornton who plays Detective Slade Humphries. Not too much is known about Humphries to begin with, apart from that he comes across as a loser cop, someone not doing too well in his career. For the whole film, I was sat thinking there has to be more to this guy than meets the eye and slowly, the film reveals information about his home life and why he is on this particular case. Billy Bob Thornton was ok but only that for me. He was a good character, especially as the complete opposite of Driver but I wanted more from him.
What I wasn't expecting from this film was some serious eye candy. Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays the hit man known as Killer. As soon as he came on the screen, the words 'yummy' left my mouth. My fiancé thought it was quite funny. No one knows why Killer is after Driver, only that he has his name because he never misses and is fast as hell. Oliver Jackson-Cohen isn't only nice to look at though. He has this whole Jake Gyllenhaal/ Ryan Gosling thing going on and is the suave and sophisticated kind of hit man... if there is such a thing. He was also mysterious which I liked about him.
The plot was pretty basic, if I'm honest, even though it tried to have more mystery than was really there. The basic plot is that Driver wants revenge for his brother's death which leads him to driving all over the place killing everyone on his list. The ways in which he kills them aren't even that exciting or different either. Somehow though, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Everything happens pretty quickly, with Driver going from one target to the next. For a long time though, there is the mystery of what actually happened and why he wants the revenge so badly which I think is what keeps this film going. I really enjoyed how everything turned out, especially as all of the questions were answered well. There is plenty of character development but only for Driver but I didn't mind that. I didn't really care about the other characters anyway.
Faster is a good action film but you do need to pay attention while watching it.
Sometimes there's nothing better than a flick with lots of action, some muscles and not much thought required on the part of the viewer. Faster definitely provided this, but it also had a reasonably strong backbone, making it more interesting, intelligent and gripping than I had at first expected.
Faster was directed by George Tillman Jr., who has worked on a few pieces though I only recognise Men Of Honour, so he does have some experience in the field. He manages to bring together a good mix of cast, action and skilful direction, making this a pretty slick flick.
We're introduced to Driver (Dwayne Johnson, aka 'The Rock'), an ex-con who helped his brother in a robbery-gone-awry by driving the getaway vehicle. When a gang catches up with them, they kill Driver's brother and leave Driver for dead. Only, he's not dead; 10 years after the incident, he's out of jail and wanting vengeance for his brother. He tracks down a list of those involved in what was a massacre, and hunts them one by one. There is, of course, a problem, and more than one. The first comes in the form of a big-headed hitman hired to take out Driver, and the other are the cops. In particular, the few-days-from-retirement cop (Billy Bob Thornton); despite personal problems and seeming quite washed out and past his prime, Thornton is determined to prevent further bloodshed.
The question is, who will stop the spree of vengeance? Driver, the cop, the hitman? I won't say anymore on the premise, but as the film continues the premise develops and we understand more about the backstory of the characters, what happened all those years ago when the brother was killed, and a few secret cards that the players are keeping close to their chests.
What I really liked about the premise is that even though it wasn't rocket science, is seemed a little less predictable and a little more developed than many other flicks in this genre. This made it more interesting and intelligent to watch and kept you guessing, hanging on to find out what happens next. The ending perhaps could have been stronger, but I wasn't left feeling disappointed because the film overall was enjoyable; it was easy to watch, kept a good pace and kept my attention.
The cast includes Billy Bob Thornton as the cop, Carla Gugino as Cicero, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as the hitman and Dwayne Johnson as the driver, amongst others. I thought that Johnson and Thornton, as the two protagonists really, were strong names in the cast and added to the sense of quality and authority of the film. They were picked well, with Johnson being the easy to watch guy going ape on everyone in his way to exact his vengeance, and Thornton as the worn out, none too popular near-retirement cop making his final bust. The acting was, on the whole, pretty good; I warmed to Johnson quite easily because I found him easy to watch, and that really helped to keep my attention focused on the film. Thornton was strong as another key character and overall, I got a sense of some degree of believability from them all.
The only issue I did have really was over the hitman, played by Jackson-Cohen. The character was designed to be big-headed, with too much wealth and self-belief that made him cocky rather than likeable. However, I didn't think he was played particularly well, coming across as having a very irritating accent, a forced and rigid style and thus lacking the air of realism it would have been good to see. I found him difficult to watch simply because he annoyed me. Luckily, as the majority of other characters were played well, this wasn't as big a downside as it could have been because it was outweighed, in particular by Johnson.
There's plenty of action to keep fans of this genre happy; it's quite well choreographed and flows well, keeping up a good tempo throughout so that there's no point where you think it's too slow and get bored. There's not a great deal in the way of talking, in particular from Johnson, but there's also not excessive action just for the sake of it, so it struck a reasonably good balance. The negatives on this front were mainly in terms of where I thought a scene or two were slightly stunted and lacked the 'oomph' they could have had. It therefore felt like it was a decent action flick, but it could have done a little more, had a little more impact at times perhaps. The atmosphere is dark, intimidating, and strong; you get the feeling of adrenaline, wanting to be part of it and are left feeling a bit pumped up. For me, that's the sign of a good action flick.
Overall, I would recommend this as a decent action romp, especially as Johnson made it enjoyable and easier to watch. If nothing else, you'll probably be transfixed by how huge he was (not like that, girls), with huge shoulders and muscles making scenes of him intimidating his 'victims' without even having to try. It could have been better, but it kept my attention and had enough premise to make it enjoyable.
DVD released 2011, rated Certificate 15, running time 94 minutes.
Selling on Amazon for £5.
The scene is set - A muscle clad man pacing in a prison cell which turns out to be the day of his release. As he is marched through the corridors you catch glimpses of angry prisoners, some with injuries old and new. It is only when we reach the wardens office and listen to the "I hope you are going to better your life" speech that pictures of these injured prisoners are shown and it is Driver (Dwayne Johnson aka the rock) has caused them over the last 10 years in jail.
So off Driver runs literally into the desert - this is day 1 - and heads for what you see is a car yard clearly looking for something. It is now you understand that his release was known and pre-arranged items have been allocated for the following days plan and a guy hell bent on revenge for the murder of his brother.
This is noted when we see the first murder - no questions, just find, point and shoot.
Here the police are brought in and we meet a decidedly dodgy Billy Bob Thornton .
Day 2 - brings another person to the twist - an ultra fit looking young man doing some extra hard yoga positions who we discover is Killer - the hitman brought in by an unknown to hunt down Driver.
As the film pans out into a game of cat and mouse chase, you discover snippets into each persons story line and the film unfolds and towards the end realise not is all as it would seem and the unknown hitman hirer is revealed.
SO WHAT DO I THINK
The feel itself I feel has a good basic story line of a guy out to get vengeance for being wronged. The Rock plays his part well and it suits his persona. The tattoos play a part with the special ghost one which are little touches but make the film a little more interesting and show thought has been placed into small details.
I like the fact the film is straight to the point with the murders and this is how it would be expected (not that I know any vengeful murderous prisoners!) You get to see a glimpse of Drivers heart later in the film and story lines catch areas that make you see he is not all bad and the bits that are, are there perhaps through reasons.
The Killer does have a slight negative for me - I know I am not an expert on hitmen, but I thought the idea would be that they don't let everyone know who they are? So blasting a gun around in public areas is surely not quite right? I am not denying the man has issues - even for a hitman but I felt this didn't quite ring true for me.
I like the car chases they were good with effects to match and the reverse driving brilliant.
The fight scene albeit short was different with the up from the floor camera angle shots which made the most of the upper cut knife pictures.
The small wedding part was an unusual touch but did remind me of the Kill Bill film a bit.
So overall, I really liked this film. It has a good storyline which has little twists and enough action to keep you watching right up until the end. It has The Rock and his biceps which is always a pleasure in my book, the hitman is eye candy for those who like there men a little leaner. But fear not men there are two ladies for you two Lily, the blond bombshell also Killers girlfriend and Cicero the cop. Not to mention the array of super cars - The black and white Chevelle, a Ferrari and a lotus.
Driver - Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock
Killer - Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Cop - Billy Bob Thornton
Extra movie IQ available (connect to internet and get questions answered whilst watching the film), and directors cuts and alternate ending. The alternate ending was actually quite good!
Film of 2010 Directed by George Tillman Jr and runs for 98 minutes.
Available on DVD from www.Amazon.co.uk £3 for used £5 for DVD £7 for blu-ray
Also found on www.Ebay.co.uk for various prices, Blockbuster rental shops and www.lovefilm.com
Review may also be posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
Faster is a revenge thriller which features Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in one of his meatier roles. Gone is the comedy and cheesy grin of the usual run of the mill films he stars in, gone is the flamboyance, and instead, he gets his teeth into a gritty role that commands you watching and paying attention. At first, his intensity is hard to get used to, as is the plot of which we're not told a great deal to start with. After a while, though, the tale unfolds and Johnson manages to find a place within me that allows a new found respect for his acting skills.
The plot is literally one of basic revenge. Although we're given the truth about what he is revenging slowly throughout the film, it transpires early on that he is seeking out each person of a gang that captured and him and his brother and left them both for dead. The film opens with his character, Driver, being released from prison, and then proceeds with him retrieving a car that has obviously been left specifically for him, before he then seeks out the first person he is exacting revenge on. The shock comes with the brutality of the kill and the complete lack of remorse that Driver has, as if it's all clinical and part of a process.
By the time he seeks out the second person, the flashbacks to what happened to cause this behaviour are a bit clearer, and you see a formulaic approach to the film transpire. However, the clever part of the film is in the two extra little subplots that follow alongside what's going on. The first features a perfectionist professional killer, who receives a mysterious phone call asking him to seek out Driver, telling him what he's doing and why he must be stopped. The second follows a downbeat cop (played morosely by Billy Bob Thornton) who spots a pattern in the killings and uses his contacts and leads to track down Driver to stop him within the confines of the law.
This three pronged approach to the film ensures we don't get bored of the rather basic plot at any point, and the anonymous nature of the person who is directing the pro killer adds a bit of the mystery to things. There are a few twists and turns along the way, and some decent acting from the supporting roles, particularly those who are the members of the gang who had left Driver and his brother for dead. Despite its title, the film doesn't rush things, and director George Tillman Jr deserves some credit for the pace at which he allows the events to transpire.
The acting from Johnson is very much a visual thing, and years spent in the WWE ring and in subsequent comedy films have meant that he's more than capable of using his features and his considerable bulk to provide the atmosphere. What I hadn't seen before, though, is a film where he's completely serious all the way through, and I think he shows here that he's more than capable of playing a straight role without having to rely on some comedic sidekick or anything like that. The few moments where some dialogue breaks out and there's a bit more work needed don't provide him much of an opportunity to scupper himself, and in these moments the majority of the talking is done by someone else on screen, and it's certainly the case that I finished watching this film with a new level of respect for the man.
Overall, I would say this is a very solid film, very entertaining and it managed to keep me interested all the way through. The way that the simple plot is given a three pronged approach helps to make it last the full hour and a half without dragging, and the action elements are enjoyable, even if they're not breathtaking or astounding. It's occasionally a violent film, and one not to be taken lightly, but this is also maturely presented, and by the end of it, I was glad I'd made the effort to see it. Definitely worth the watch, even if it'll never achieve cinematic stardom.