June 2003
2 Fast 2 Furious

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

2 Fast 2 Furious
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: John Singleton
Producer: Neal H. Moritz
Screenwriters: Michael Brandt & Derek Haas, based on the story by Michael Brandt & Derek Haas, & Gary Scott Thompson
Cast: Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, James Remar, and Devon Aoki


When the trailer to 2 Fast 2 Furious came on TV, did you think this film was somewhat hokey? Be honest? I didn’t give it much thought myself. Then I saw the film, and I was impressed. This film is actually good. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Oscar winner. But with all the hype surrounding the can’t miss films of the summer (X-Men 2, Matrix Reloaded), a film like 2 Fast 2 Furious may do well because it there’s no heavy expectation in terms of plot. Vin Diesel may not be in this film, but KEEP one thing in mind; this is the film that made him the big salary guy he is now. The film is mainly about the cars, and Paul Walker, Tyrese, and Eva Mendes are good backdrops that create enough flavor to bring in the same fans that made the original, The Fast and the Furious, a blockbuster.

Paul Walker is the only major player back from the first film. If you recall, his character Brian O’Conner had let Vin Diesel’s character get away from the cops purposely. As an undercover cop, he got too emotionally involved. In 2 Fast 2 Furious, we meet up with Brian in Miami as he uses his driving skills to stay in “the game” with the locals and make some money street gambling. He’s also on the run from his own police force and other cops for his negligence involving Vin Diesel’s character. When he’s finally caught, rather than whisk him back to LA for his crime, his former boss Agent Bilkins (Thom Barry) wants him to use his driving skills to bring down local Argentinean money launderer Carter Verone (Cole Hauser), who’s looking for daring drivers to do his dirty work. Brian's options are to either help the cops with this case and get back in good graces or start lifting weights for jail. Obviously being free was the only answer but he would need help in pulling this off. Seeing who the police gave him as a partner was not good enough. He wants someone he can trust with his life and someone who definitely knows everything about cars. Enter Tyrese as Roman Pearse, Brian’s childhood friend and currently on parole with an ax to grind. They haven’t seen each other in years since Brian helped in his arrest. Although reluctant to help at first, Roman comes around and two become partners. Also thrown in the mix is the beautiful Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes, an undercover agent deep into her role that she really to has to play it out to the end. Miami serves as the city of choice with as many cars canvassing the streets as Brian and his “hood” try to bring down the big bad wolf.

That’s the film in a nutshell. The plot is paper thin with the dialogue adequate enough for a 2 year old to understand. There really was no given reason for a sequel to come out, but as we all should have known, once the first film made a combustible $150 million dollars, the sequel was inevitable. It’s the cars that take center stage. That’s the best part of the film. While X-Men 2 and Matrix Reloaded are filled with storylines to the characters, this film is about flashy cars and more of them. Within the film we see a Nissan Skyline GTR, a Mitsubishi EVO 7, a 1969 Yenko Camaro, a 1998 BMW M3, a 1994 Mazda RX7, and a 2003 Dodge Viper to name a few. Director John Singleton has made a nice transition from the hard hitting dramatic films he’s done lately to something wickedly entertaining. Tyrese, when not singing, still needs work on the acting front, but he’s better than some who have entered the industry. Walker is no Keanu. Some actors can be good if wooden and Walker needs more oil to be free. He’s got the looks and charm, but with the dialogue relegated to one-liners, it’s hard for him to stand out and he’s supposed to be the “star” of the film. Mendes is wasted in the film. She had more to do in fewer scenes in Training Day and All About the Benjamins than she has in this film other than look good in a bikini. Among the acting standout are Hauser and rapper Ludacris. Hauser is very good as the cold blooded kingpin. His scene involving a rat is priceless. Strictly unredeemable and just pure evil run through his character’s vein and he played it to perfection. Singleton has a way of making sure his musicians-actors are no flash in the pan when cast in his films, and Ludacris held his own. If you want to be “challenged” and want something “thought-provoking”, then this film won’t be the best choice, but if you are looking for a film with a simple plot and enough action scenes, then 2 Fast 2 Furious is worth the ticket price.