The Rock’s taken a break from action films of late, deciding instead to concentrate on family comedy (last year’s surprisingly decent Tooth Fairy and Why Did I Get Married Too?).
The Rock’s taken a break from action films of late, deciding
instead to concentrate on family comedy (last year’s surprisingly decent
Tooth Fairy and Why Did I Get Married Too?). It’s something that all
muscle-bound leading men go through: Arnold Schwarzenegger did it
(Junior, Twins, Jingle All The Way) and Vin Diesel tried to do it (The
Pacifier); it’s like a rite of passage. With family comedy done, The
Rock’s been talking about how good it is to get back into action roles
again and with Fast Five released later this year, it looks like he
meant what he said. In the meantime, we’re saddled with Faster, a tepid
action movie which will hopefully only be a speed bump on the road to
After 10 years in jail, a man known only as Driver (The Rock) is
released. He has only one thing on his mind: to get revenge on the
group that double-crossed his gang after a bank heist, killed his
brother and left him for dead. After gunning down a man in a crowded
office, he soon has not only two cops on his tail but a narcissistic hit
man gunning for him too.
For the most part, it does what it says on the tin. The Rock is a
mostly silent protagonist, content to lumber on screen and blow his
adversaries away before jumping into a high powered muscle car and
depart in squeal of burnt rubber. Billy Bob Thornton, usually a welcome
presence, doesn’t have anything to get his teeth into; for the most
part he looks as tired as his drug-addled character.
There’s a glimmer of hope that it could flirt with something a bit
more interesting early on, when a man refuses to fight Driver after
seeing his tattoo, claiming that he’s a ghost. Could this be the
introduction to a vaguely supernatural element a la High Plains Drifter
perhaps? Sadly it’s not and The Rock’s soon back on the road, flexing
his biceps and shooting people in the head like he was popping down the
There’s also potential for intrigue in egomaniacal hit man Killer
(Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who after doing handstands in his underwear and
harping on about life not being challenging enough, is dispatched on
Driver’s tail. But it mostly feels like his character’s wandered in
from another movie as his background is inconsequential (a prominent
scar on his leg is meant to make us feel what exactly?) and he’s
relegated to a trivial annoyance with little bearing on the main plot.
It’s all wrapped up in a predictable package which fails to ignite
anything but the faintest interest. The main character might be called
Driver but Faster is a largely pedestrian affair which offers few thrills and fewer surprises.