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2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, 2003
Movie Reviews!

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  MOVIE 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, 2003
Movie Reviews

Director: John Singleton

Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Ludacris, Thom Barry, James Remar, Devon Aoki, Cole Hauser

Review by Matthew Toffolo
SYNOPSIS:

Former cop Brian O'Conner who teams up with his ex-con pal Roman Pearce to transport a shipment of 'dirty' money for shady Miami-based import-export dealer Carter Verone, while actually working with undercover agent Monica Clemente to bring Verone down.

REVIEW:

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS is the film that taught Vin Diesel that in action films the main characters usually aren’t the stars.

After the giant success of the original Fast & the Furious, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker became household names just out of osmosis in being a part of the car movie. Diesel, who was in demand by the Hollywood producers after the film’s success, demanded $20 million plus a back end profit share to appear in the 2nd film. Knowing that if they accepted this deal that it would cost them over $40 million by the time the DVD came out, they declined Diesel’s demands.

So they went onto make Fast and the Furious 2 without Diesel. Paul Walker came back (I guess his agents realized that Walker wasn’t the star before Diesel’s people did!), they rewrote the entire concept of the story and the studio had themselves another hit. The original script with Diesel’s character in the story actually got made 7 years later, with Fast & Furious part 4, when Diesel desperately needed back the franchise he abandoned in order to get his career back on track. Apparently his people weren’t that great at picking projects for him AND/OR Diesel’s talents as a movie star weren’t as great as they anticipated.

The cars are the main characters of this franchise and 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS is the prime example of this. The plot of this film is sketchy at best. If you really break it down it actually makes no sense whatsoever. But does it really matter?

In a recent PODCAST discussion about franchises, I contemplated with WILDsound’s main reviewer Joshua Starnes that plot and character arcs really aren’t that important when discussing the merits of this franchise. As a typical reviewer, he disagreed adamantly. And that’s why these films always get panned by critics. They want something more in their stories. Not just car chases and a loose theme of "living by a moral code no matter if the cops are out to get you or not." A theme that only seems to work in movies like this.

I think you should take these films for what they are: Car chase movies with a little plot thrown in the mix just for fun.

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS actually did better that the first movie when you’re counting box office and DVD numbers. And Diesel is nowhere to be seen or isn’t even talked about. And I can guarantee that no one really cared.

John Singleton directed what were perhaps the best car chase sequences to date. He really filmed a lot of magical moments in these many scenes. He brought you into the action of driving like I’ve never seen before. If you study people’s directing career, you’ll see that a lot of what Singleton did in this film has been used (or ripped off) by other directors in many movies to date.

I got into the film whenever there were car chase sequences. But for the rest of the film’s moments, I had a hard time staying awake.

And you know what the problem is with the plots in all 5 of these films? They always set up a bad guy character who has absolutely zero human traits. They are cartoon characters who are just plain bad seeds and will do anything to obtain more money in their drug trades. Kill a loyal soldier to set an example, no problem. Treat all woman like shit and beat them up whenever they cross them, easy peacy. Give "I’m a complete asshole but you have to listen to me because I’m in charge" speeches anytime you wish, of course!

And as each film progresses, they keep getting worse with these characters. And truth be told, these characters don’t exist in the real world. A big drug trader living in the U.S. is typically a smart businessman who never chats with anyone. They have no ego, which makes them successful and with little chance of them getting caught. But the audiences of these films never see this.

If they just give the bad guy characters any sort of depth, then these films could be a bit better and the critics won’t pan them. But the Fast and the Furious producers keeps undermining their audience members because they keep coming to the films because of the cars. And it’s all about the cars baby!

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2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, 2003