Movie Review: Faster (2010)

Usually when a guy, who goes on a rant in the ticket line, enters to see the same movie as you, it’s hard not to frown. Though in the case of George Tillman Jr.’s Faster, which was penned by Tony and Joe Gayton, I couldn’t help but smile profusely. That’s because his “profound” commentary during the trailers (ex: “Fuck ‘outta here with Cowboys and Aliens”), was the most entertaining part of my viewing experience. In other words, Faster is a film that prides itself in messy action sequences, and whose only noteworthy factor is a decent soundtrack.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Driver, a stoic speed-freak, who following a stint in prison (which resulted in several scarred and reasonably pissed inmates), goes on a rampage, killing those involved in the murder of his bank robber brother. However, things become difficult when both a down-and-out detective (Billy Bob Thornton) and a prideful geek-turned-hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) simultaneously take aim at Driver (who doesn’t care for subtly — he leaves behind mountains of evidence including witnesses and surveillance tapes, during his vengeful killing spree).

Of course, a role like this requires someone who’s beefed up to some super-human level. However, it becomes increasingly clear that Johnson is definitely not the man for this or any type of role. Throughout the entirety of Faster, all this jacked up cue-ball does is look stupid — his pseudo threatening glance instigating not fear but laughter. Johnson and the Gayton brothers must be commended for managing to squeeze in a valiant example of egotism at its finest (obviously something I, of all people, stand for) — a close-up shot of a shirtless Johnson. His tattered and tattooed body is supposed to provide insight into Driver, but instead it makes women envy Dany Garcia (although they ultimately broke up — but hey, she’s the last one to touch him), as they look at their balding husbands, who rests bags of popcorn on their beer bellies, which seems to get larger every week.

But do not fear my brethren in manhood, because at least your women won’t drool over Billy Bob Thornton (who is marginally less oiled-up). Replace tattoos with scars from endless heroine abuse, and downgrade Johnson’s horrid acting to what amounts to a really, really bad performance and you have the basis of his character. Ole Billy Bob has been choosing some really shitty roles lately which makes me suspect that he has in fact started doping again. Perhaps Faster was just another way for him to ease the pain.

Lastly, there’s Killer, an over-competitive gun-for-hire with a deplorable Scottish accent (which may or may not be how Jackson-Cohen actually speaks). Admittedly, I don’t know how to chalk this one up; on one hand, I hated the character, yet something kept drawing me in — thus leading me to the conclusion that either Cohen’s performance is so-bad-it’s-good or the Coca-Cola I was drinking was spiked.

As you’ve probably noticed, all of the characters are labels, however, names are not the only thing missing in Faster. It also lacks a decent script, likeable characters, originality, and plausibility; in fact, George Tillman Jr.’s latest is just plain absent-minded.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
1 Star Rating: Stay Away


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'Movie Review: Faster (2010)' have 4 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 30, 2010 @ 11:00 pm Paul

    I think you missed the gist of the movie. It’s supposed to be an absent-minded display of testosterone not a movie worthy of the Academy’s praise. Treat it as such and I believe you’d think differently about it.

    Dwayne Johnson suits it perfectly too.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 2, 2010 @ 6:28 pm Mariusz Zubrowski

    Using that logic, I can make a movie consisting of one still shot of a pile of shit, and then say “Oh, this film is considered to be ‘shit,’ excuse the pun, but if you look at it as a bad film, than it’ll instantaneously become a great film!”

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 4, 2010 @ 8:53 am Paul

    Mariusz, not quite the same, although you could argue the shit flick is “art” (or some convoluted strain of it.)

    As a critic, I think, you should have an understanding of the purpose of the film and rate accordingly. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, but 95% of action flicks are meant for pure entertainment – there is no believable story and all representations of “real life” are suspended. A great many of these are good at what they are meant for – an escape from reality.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 5, 2010 @ 2:14 pm Mariusz Zubrowski

    Although I agree with the notion that the majority of action flicks are shallow, the real issue with “Faster,” in contrast to say … “Machete,” is that it fails to transport you to its world. This makes most audience members get bored, and at that point they start nitpicking flaws. The reason that I mentioned “Machete” is that, yes, it is cheap and there’s little beyond the surface, however, it also has a nice script which is full of well-rounded characters, this makes the film stand out as what it is — a high octane texplotation. Whereas “Faster,” with its stock characters lacks that … spice.

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