PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
The film begins with ‘Driver’ (Dwayne Johnson) being released from prison after talking to the warden (Tom Berenger) who tells him he should be a better person. He exits curtly, breaks into a run, seemingly set on something. He runs until he retrieves his 1971 SS Chevelle and drives to an office in Bakersfield where he kills a man.
Driver then goes to the man (Mike Epps) who gave him the car and the gun and forces him to give him the names and info for the rest of some list he compiled for Driver. Meanwhile, Driver is being tracked down by detective Cicero (Carla Gugino) and ‘Cop’ (Billy Bob Thornton), a retiring cop whose life is off track and suffering from a drug habit. They investigate the office crime scene and video from the scene. Cicero gets a break in the case when she recognizes Driver. Later, a nameless hitman ‘Killer’ (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is hired to kill Driver. Killer tells his girlfriend Lily (Maggie Grace) that it is his last job, and while he seems to feel the conflict between his professional life and love life with Lily, he decides to go.
Driver heads to the second name on his list. It’s an old man who films his own personal snuff films, and he is in the middle of filming himself taking advantage of a girl he drugged when Driver busts in the door and shoots him dead. Killer has tracked down Driver and initiates a gun fight in the hallway, but Driver escapes. This affects Killer philosophically, who proposes to his girlfriend and takes the case personally.
It’s revealed that Cop has a drug problem, along with his girlfriend (Moon Bloodgood). Cop and Detective are investigating Driver’s past and discover he was double crossed. Cicero remembered Driver from a video of his brother’s death, filmed by the man Driver has just killed. On tape, Driver is shot in the head by an unidentified man, but narrowly survives, needing surgery and a metal plate to fix his skull.
Driver goes to his old girlfriend’s (Jennifer Carpenter) house. She knows he’s killing the people in the video and tells him she hopes he succeeds. Driver then goes to Nevada to kill the man who slit his brother’s throat. He works as a bouncer in a strip club, and due to security, Driver couldn’t bring his gun inside, so instead he stabs him several times with an ice pick and leaves him to die in the bathroom. Meanwhile, both Cop and Killer have gotten word that the man survived the stabbing and is in the hospital. Knowing Driver will go back to finish him off, they converge on the place.
Driver enters the hospital and kills the man while he is in surgery. Cop attempts to bring down Driver but is unsuccessful, however Driver spares his life after seeing his badge. While driving away from the hospital, Driver encounters Killer. After a high speed chase on the highway, Killer manages to shoot Driver in the neck after Driver shoots out his tires.
Driver goes to the second-to-last name on the list, who turns out to be his father. He believed that his father was the one who arranged to have him and his brother killed, after they refused to give him all the money they stole in a bank job they pulled together. He finds out that his father died years before, and his mother stitches the gunshot wound on his neck before he sets off to finish the list. The last man is a traveling evangelist, and after his service is over and everyone has left, Driver confronts him. The evangelist knows why he is there, and tries to convince him that he has turned his life around, begging for forgiveness. Driver spares him and goes to leave when he is confronted by Killer.
Detective Cicero learns the true identity of the man who shot Driver. She hurries to the church with Cop already on the scene. Killer tells Driver to pick up his gun so they can have a true test of skill. But Driver declines, saying he has no beef with him. Killer then explains he wanted to be better since he could not walk when he was a child.
Cop walks in and shoots Driver in the head. It is revealed that Cop was the man who shot Driver in the video. He gives Killer the money for the job, but he declines, because he wasn’t the one who killed him. Cop calls his girlfriend, who turns out to be a former flame of Driver’s brother and the one who really betrayed them on the bank job. Suddenly, he is shot by Driver, who survived the shot due to the metal plate in his skull. Detective Cicero arrives on the scene after Driver has already left and finds Cop’s body. The movie ends with Driver scattering his brother’s ashes and driving off.
Finally! The Rock…er…Dwayne Johnson…has returned to action films! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Johnson has returned to bad ass form with Faster.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing family films, especially if you have young children. It’s just good to have him back in the genre that suits him.
This film is about vengeance, plain and simple. A driver is out to get revenge on the crew that killed his brother, and attempted to kill him, and stole the money that they stole first.
If you’re like me, then you don’t want to sit around waiting for the action to get going, and this film doesn’t wait. Once you get past the initial meet the hero, or anti-hero, it takes off full throttle and doesn’t really let up.
We are not really used to seeing this version of Johnson. No smiling, no charisma, very few lines. I joked with someone the other day about how they should have made him a Terminator instead of Arnold in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
You can’t honestly sit there and say he woldn’t make a good one, if he can pull off this same intensity.
This film does lag a bit right before the end. This has to do more with trying to develop the characters of Killer and Cop, rather than just let them be ancillary, especially Killer.
Yes, they have those simplistic names. When I first read this, I was like WTF?!? Then after watching the film, it made sense, as they are just random people.
This is nothing bt a pure, testosterone driven film. If you’re looking for sweeping cinematography, intelligent dialogue, or anything of that sort, you best move along. I do wish that they wouldn’t have taken this film so seriously, though. I had that complaint about Death Race, if I recall.
A film like this should not be so serious. I’m not saying there needed to be jokes the entire way through, but it would have been nice to lighten the mood here and there.
I’ve already mentioned how perfect Dwayne Johnson was in this role. At times, though, it seems as if this was meant for Jason Statham.
Billy Bob Thornton is his usual Billy Bob self, but with a Steve Buscemi haircut. It was kind of odd, actually.
Carla Gugino is wasted, if you ask me. Sure, she’s playing a no-nonsense cop, but Cop more or less takes her case right from under her, and deprives us of her screen presence.
Oliver Jackson-Cohen is great as Killer, but that whole yoga scene was a bit unnecessary.
Maggie Grace was nothing but eye candy…and what a tasty flavor it was, indeed
The film moves along at a pretty rapid pace, but fear not. There isn’t anything that will case the viewer to get lost on, save for the twist at the end, or maybe some details in some of the early flashback scenes, but nothing too major.
Faster is very enjoyable, especially if you don’t want to get boggled down with a lot of drama and dialogue, but just want some fast paced action and vendetta. The true highlight of this flick is Johnson in a much darker role than anything we’ve seen him in. While this isn’t the best film out there, it is worth the 90 or so minute runtime. I highly recommend this one!
4 out of 5 stars