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.