***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Faster - 2 out of 5
For a film that calls itself faster, it sure spends a lot of time on the brakes. In fact, the film ends up getting so slow at the end, I wanted to put the car in park and get out and walk.
Faster is your typical revenge story that centers around the character credited as Driver (played by Dwayne "Don't Credit Me as The Rock Anymore" Johnson) who was--surprise surprise--a driver in a bank job. Sadly, (and it wouldn't be a revenge story without this key plot point) he and his team are stabbed in the back by another group of criminals (so much for honor among thieves) where they end up killing everyone including Driver's brother and an attempt is made on Driver's life. However, the second key plot point needed in a revenge story is to have a man survive in order to extract his revenge so Driver survives. What follows is Driver dealing out justice with bullets all the while driving one bad ass car! Two cops (played by the beautiful Carla Guigino and, the not-so-beautiful Billy Bob Thornton) are chasing after Driver because, revenge or not, he's still killing people. But the fun doesn't stop there as a contract killer is unleashed to get The Rock as well. Hmmm, in the right context, this sounds like the making of a bad sitcom.
But in a nutshell, that is the film Faster.
For the most part, the story is alright. It's your basic revenge/seeking justice movie with no real surprises thrown at you. However, the story and plot feel sloppy--especially when it concerns the character of the contract killer out for Driver's head. The killer is played Oliver Jackson-Cohen (don't worry, I haven't heard of him either) and both the character and the delivery by Jackson-Cohen seemed out-of-place and completely needless. Honestly, this story could have existed without this character. In fact, he is just downright annoying as he spends more time whining and crying than being a bad ass with a gun. And if the studios had to have the character in the film, the least they could have done was hire a better actor for the role.
But I don't want to sound like I'm picking on Oliver Jackson-Cohen because none of the actors in this movie really deliver in a memorable way. For example, most of Driver's victims aren't in the film long enough to make an impact with their acting. They enter the film as quickly as they are taken out. And this upsets me because one of the victims is played by Cole Train himself, Lester Speight. (If you don't know who Cole Train is, then you aren't playing Gears of War and I feel sorry for you.)
And then you have Billy Bob playing the same role he's been playing for the last decade: An addict. But with all the weak acting, I must say this--and I never thought I would ever say this--but Dwayne Johnson really comes off as a bad ass. Granted most of this is done through camera angles and lighting that makes him look exceptionally tough but, for the most part, he came off as a legitimate tough guy. When his acting career first started, I never thought I would take him seriously as an action hero because his first movies were terrible and his family films were even worse. But this movie may be the springboard he needs to finally be taken seriously as the next action star.
Faster starts off by punching you in the face and makes the promise of a killer action film. However, the film constantly revs you up with action and stops you dead in your tracks as the film comes to a screeching halt and moves at a snails pace before once again hitting the gas. The movie felt like it was cruising down a main stretch of highway with stoplights every fifty feet and every time it got a green light, it slammed down on the gas only to hit a red light within seconds. However, this formula (as well as the slick action film style editing) is forgotten about when the third act of the film starts and it feels like it's running on fumes. The final act of the movie gets so boring that I wanted nothing more than to turn off the DVD without even a single care about the fate of Driver lingering in my mind.
Faster had so much promise and, until the third act, I was going to give this movie a 3 out of 5 as it delivered an alright action film but a dragging ending, sub-par acting and the pointless character of the contract killer caused this movie to stop--quickly--at a 2 out of 5.