I'm not one to partake in the dumb theatrics of all that wrestling nonsense but when I saw Welcome to the Jungle (AKA The Rundown), what seems like a lifetime ago (well, 2003 actually), I became a minor fan of The Rock. Here was the logical successor to Schwarzenegger and damn he was good. Roll forward 7 years and a dozen or so whimsical comedies where The Rocksome One rebrands himself as "Dwayne" and seems to be trying to prove to himself (and us) that he's: a) a real actor and, b) he's just a great big cuddly bear in a muscle suit. Now with all that nonsense behind him he's back to doing what he was put in front of the camera to do - kicking some serious arse! Huzzah!
Faster is a film which catches you off guard. You think you're going to see some mindless and ultimately forgettable actioner whose sole purpose is to get you through to lunch time but instead it pins you to your seat and entertains your socks off.
It looks like a grindhouse flick - cheesy titles with equally cheesy acting, crass funk-rock music soundtrack, over-exposed photography, the major characters have generic names like Driver, Cop and Killer, and the plot is pretty generic too. In fact it could easily have been one of Robert Rodriguez's dumb fun flicks (does he do any other kind?), it even has the scrumptious Carla Gugino in it. Add in Billy Bob Thornton and you have a movie which is mightily entertaining.
What is unusual about the film, especially an action film, is how well rounded the characters are even if they do tend toward cliché - down and out undercover junkie cop with a broken marriage ('Cop' - Billy Bob), an ex-con out for revenge ('Driver' - "Dwayne") and a playboy assassin ('Killer' - Oliver Jackson-Cohen) - and such detailed characterisations lends great weight to its central theme of atoning for the sins of one's youth, how those bad decisions have a habit of catching up with you, and the slippery nature of right and wrong. The film shows great resolve in its tough and uncompromising depiction of its action and the fractious morality of its three protagonists.
Unfortunately, such resolve doesn't quite last until the end. Failing to stay its own course at a pivotal point towards the end of the film, the movie betrays itself and us before trundling to a disappointing Hollywood conclusion. So close, yet so far and such a shame.
Still, as action movies go, this is one of the better ones and it's certainly worth it to see The Rock.....sorry....."Dwayne" strutting his stuff once more.
7.5 out of 10.
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to slickstu For This Useful Post:
ben10 (12-02-11),bigfella08 (13-02-11),mandc (19-02-11),mickstv (12-02-11)
Watched it last night and might even watch it again at some stage. 7/10.
Have to agree with the above comments.
It was a surprisingly good revenge movie with the cast's characters slowly being built up as the movie progressed.
I also agree about the Hollywood ending....a bit weak in my opinion.
Go see it! 8/10 for me