Movie Review: Faster

Faster Poster1 Movie Review: Faster

The Rock (sorry Dwayne Johnson, you’ll always be The Rock to rasslin fans) stars in this ultra-violent, stylish revenge thriller as a man looking for revenge after a long stay in prision. He (and his brother) were set up after a bank robbery and his brother was murdered. The Rock is out for revenge in this homage to the B-movie revenge movies of the 70s. Filled to the brim with film-noir cliches and characters with no names (The Rock is billed only as Driver), Faster is a lot of fun. It is grim and often pretentious but that just makes it even more amusing. Some of the hard-boiled dialogue is really funny and there’s an anti-revenge message and lots of talk of “darkness” and going down the wrong road. It’s hard to take any of this seriously as the movie is one violent killing after the next. At least The Rock is selective about his victims, which might remind viewers of The Punisher. He only kills the bad guys and scum of the earth. I could only laugh when it turns out that one of the men responsible for his brother’s death also happens to be a nasty sex offender. The other over the top (and even novel) plot twist involves an ultra-rich and smarmy hitman (he was hired to kill The Rock) and his sexy wife. They get married and he takes her to shoot bottles in her wedding dress, that’s what I call romance.

The cast is quite good and includes Billy Bob Thornton as a drug-addicted detective who is just billed as “cop” and Adebesi from HBO’s excellent men behind bars drama Oz pops up as a reformed criminal turned preacher/saint. The Rock may not be much of an actor, but he’s definitely a physical and engaging persona onscreen. This role of a violent man of few words is perfectly suited to a man who appears made of granite. As Faster heads towards its violent conclusion and final plot twist, I admired how well-made the movie was, while also basically thinking the entire thing was a bit ridiculous. Call it a guilty pleasure if you want, the low-rent jolts are welcome during the Oscar season of “important” movies no one has any interest in seeing.


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