Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review: "Faster" is One Angry Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 20 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Faster (2010)
Running time: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong violence, some drug use and language
DIRECTOR: George Tillman Jr.
WRITERS: Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton
PRODUCERS: Tony Gayton, Liz Glotzer, Martin Shafer, and Robert Teitel
EDITOR: Dirk Westervelt


Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Maggie Grace, Xander Berkeley, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Mike Epps, Moon Bloodgood, and Tom Berenger

Released during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Faster is a hard-boiled revenge thriller starring Dwayne Johnson (formerly The Rock). The title, “Faster,” really doesn’t fit this movie, nor does it indicate just how mean this flick is.

The day he is released from prison, a convicted bank robber, known only as “Driver” (Dwayne Johnson), hits the streets. He is on a mission to take revenge on the men who killed his brother, Gary (Matt Gerald), and got him sent to prison for 10 years. Tracking Driver are two detectives, the professional Cicero (Carla Gugino) and a burnout known as “Cop” (Billy Bog Thornton). Meanwhile, an unknown person, someone on Driver’s hit list, hires a flamboyant and egocentric hit man known as “Killer” (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) to stop Driver.

Faster is one angry movie, but while some of it is quite good, the movie mostly feels undeveloped. Director George Tillman, Jr. helms the film with what seems like a ham-fisted determination to shock the audience with each moment of violence or bloody payback. It works… sometimes. Faster is a blunt instrument that punishes the audience for its bloodlust and love of retribution. What the film lacks are those fine touches that can transform a crime film from mere action movie to hard-boiled classic. These touches include a deeper insight into the hero, a clearer adversary, and a better use of the setting, among other things.

For most of Faster, Dwayne Johnson is a huffing, puffing force of nature, so much so that you might miss the moments in this film when Johnson, without a word of dialogue, conveys so much of Driver’s pain and grief. Hiding behind the depiction of a murderous badass is a quieter portrayal of a man struggling with spiritual issues like redemption and especially forgiveness.

Faster wastes good characters in Carla Gugino’s Cicero and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s evangelist character. Billy Bob Thornton and Oliver Jackson-Cohen actually get some time to develop their characters, although Jackson-Cohen’s Killer seems out of place here.

I’ve said this many times before about many other movies (as have other critics and reviewers): Faster is good, but it could have been much more than the one-note action flick that it is.

6 of 10

Friday, March 04, 2011


1 comment:

  1. Faster had a weak story line, but very strong acting from Dwayne Johnson and Billy bob Thornton. Good action, lots of gore, so what can you say, there really wasn’t anything bad about it. Only thing I found that was hard to swallow, were the critics and movie reviewers, do they actually get paid to talk bad about a movie? Most of them did, and I regret listening to them now, because this would have been a great movie to watch in the theater. So when I saw it releasing in I figured I would have it mailed to me so I could watch it, and I was very glad I did. Working at DISH Network, I spend a lot of time surfing the net at work to see what new deals we have, and also seeing how I am a blockbuster member, this one popped out at me, DISH subscribers can now get 3 months of Blockbuster by mail for free, check it out at