Film Review: "Faster"

(CBS Films.  1 hours, 38 minutes.  Rated R for strong violence, some drug use and language.  Directed by George Tillman, Jr.) Dwayne Johnson (Driver), Billy Bob Thornton (Cop), Carla Gugino (Cicero), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Killer), Maggie Grace (Lily), Xander Berkeley (Sergeant Mallory), Moon Bloodgood (Marina).  Music by Clint Mansell.
After being released from prison, a man called Driver (Johnson) sets out to kill the people who murdered his brother.  On his tail are a drug-addicted cop (Thornton a.k.a Cop) and a narcissistic assassin (Jackson-Cohen a.k.a Killer), both vying for their own rewards.  An overcooked revenge thriller that doesn't live up to its name.

The setup sounds promising: Dwayne Johnson returns to his musclebound roots, kicking ass and taking names while tearing around in a 70's Chevelle Super Sport.  He does a good job of playing a one-man wrecking crew, and Thornton and newcomer Jackson-Cohen add an interesting flavor.  However, the plot goes from maudlin in places to borderline silly in others, and the list of targets features characters as thin and empty as the feeling you'll have when the credits roll.  It's a good thing Johnson is playing the silent type, since the dialogue that exists is pretty terrible.  It's unfortunate that Gugino, one of the more talented in the cast, is saddled with the worst of it.  Likewise, the film's attempts at moralizing and philosophy are laughable, and only would have worked had the movie been more over-the-top.  A few moments of humor (Killer talks to his therapist via a headset while stalking his prey, prompting the question "are you off your meds?"; a grumbly old bathroom attendant is shooed away in preparation for a knife fight) help lighten the mood, but that only goes so far.  Also, for a film named Faster, it sure takes its sweet time.  Skip it.

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Jared Counts

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Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies...