Welcome back Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to the genre you were made for. Enough of the kiddie comedies, action is where you belong. Especially the kind of action you get in Faster, a stripped down action/revenge film that sees The Rock play a bad guy with honorable if somewhat misguided intentions.
The back story sees The Rock play the role of the un-named ‘driver’ helping his brother out on a bank job. Driver’s skills behind the wheel are legendary and together he and his brothers crew pull off the bank heist.
But then another crew tracks them down and one by ones kills them, until Driver caves and tells them where the money is, resulting in his brother having his throat slit and Driver being shot in the back of the head and left for dead.
Ten years later and Dirver is all grown up, and walking out of a long stretch inside with only one thing on his mind: Revenge. He’s a one man killing machine who just won’t stop.
Faster doesn’t waste any time with cheesy dialogue, it’s bare bones action, with some pretty brutal scenes. It gets it’s hard edges softened though, buy the inclusion of the character named Killer, who is a wealthy dot.com kid who likes to live on the edge, and has made himself into a killer for hire. A shadowy figure employs him to take out Driver before Driver dispatches his final victim.
Add to the mix the drug dependent, soon to be retired ‘Cop’ and you have an action/revenge/road trip that is a mixture of violence and fast cars, which goes down some interesting streets and ends up being rather predictable in it’s out come.
Where it doesn’t get predictable however – and this may be spoiler country – is where this brutal revenge film mixes up some religious messages about the power of grace, forgiveness and redemption. It’s a significant part of the story, and far from feeling too preaching it actually adds to the un-predictablity of the film and surprisingly has you on the edge of your seat as you wonder just which way the scene will play out.
At it’s core, Faster is just a dumb action flick, the kind of film The ROck was made for – not that this is a bad thing, it’s a great way to pass an evening. Scratch beneath the surface however and Faster will give you plenty of think about as well.
Reviewed by: Jonathan