Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Directed by George Tillman Jr.
2010. Rated R, 98 minutes.
Dwayne Johnson
Billy Bob Thornton
Carla Gugino
Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Moon Bloodgod
Michael Irby
Mike Epps
Tom Berenger
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Driver (Johnson) gets out of prison today. There’s no one at the gate to pick him up. Instead, he hoofs it to the nearest junkyard where someone has left him a car with a gun stashed under the seat. His first order of business is to drive to a local business office and shoot some poor schlub in the head before he can even get out of his cubicle. Nice. Before you go thinking Driver is a random nut job about to kill everyone in the joint, he only pops the one guy and calmly walks out. It seems this dude had it coming. We learn pretty quickly that Driver’s brother was murdered by some double-crossers after a bank robbery and cubicle man was somehow involved. We can easily figure out now that Driver’s out of jail, a lot of people have it coming.

Since the law frowns upon vigilante justice, no matter how scummy the victims, there have to be police officers trying to stop Driver. Cicero (Gugino) is working the case. Just so we know how tough she is, she huffs out straight talk while keeping her hands on her hips. Reluctantly, she allows Cop (Thornton) to work with her. The first thing we find out about Cop is he’s got a drug habit. He also sucks as a dad. Hey, that’s a hard job. Trust me. The two of them trying to track down Driver as he wastes one sleaze bucket after another ensues. Oh, I almost forgot something. Someone who knows what’s going on has hired Killer (Jackson-Cohen), a hitman. Okay, so there wasn’t much thought put into the names in this movie. Anyhoo, not only does Driver have some killin’ to do, he’s being chased by Cop and Killer. Poor guy.

In case you’re still not sure, let me make this perfectly clear. This is an action flick, no more no less. If you want deep metaphors and explorations of the human spirit, look elsewhere. If you want to see The Rock kick some ass, get your popcorn and beverage of choice and enjoy. One of the reasons he became a superstar is because men lived vicariously through his wrestling persona. Whe he first broke into movies, that whole act transferred seamlessly to the big screen. In recent years, he’s headlined a few kiddie-flicks and basically lampooned his own image. Sure, these movies made a lot of money, but the people who made him a star stayed away in droves. They couldn’t smell what The Rock was cooking. Faster returns him to the mold in which he was cast: action hero.

None of what I’ve written should be construed as a pitch to make you believe this is the greatest movie ever. It is not. It is deeply flawed. For one, it would be a completely different film if Cicero asks a question at the beginning of the movie, like she was supposed to, instead of waiting until the end. She didn’t, and we got this. It is a dumb action flick. That doesn’t matter. What does is that it’s fun, brutal, fast, faster.

MY SCORE: 7/10

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