Directed by: John Singleton
Written by: Michael Brandt & Derek Haas
Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Ludacris, James Remar
Nothing can aptly describe a film more than the title placed upon it and judging by 2 Fast 2 Furious, I think we can all agree just how seriously we must take this film. Nothing but a pure guilty pleasure for me and lackluster as a film trying to tell a good story.
After letting Toretto run free, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) travels to Miami to join the established racing scene and reconnect with some old contacts. Once he gets caught by the police, Brian receives an offer to use his driving abilities to stop a drug lord who has alluded law enforcement for too long. In order to accomplish this task, he enlists his old friend Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) to assist, who strongly objects after serving time in prison because of Brian.
The art of getting enjoyment out of this film relies on accepting its terrible elements and going with its extremely pulpy moments. Who could not love the incredible dialogue of Tyrese Gibson saying, “we hungry?” The main draw belongs to the racing sequences and many of them are filmed in an enthralling manner. Whether it be an actual race or running away from threats, cars are unapologetically utilized in this series to advance the stories. If any scene has a possibility of adding a car scene, a car will be inputted. One scene in particular includes Brian and Roman deceiving a group tailing them and the maneuver utilized created a thrilling and fun sequence of deception that may not be grounded in reality, but what else could you expect from this film?
The story revolves around taking down a drug lord and Brian can make his way into the organization by establishing himself as a runner for Verone. To get into the good graces, many tests must be completed, which focus on racing unsurprisingly. An asset within the operation to take down Verone is Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes). Spending many years undercover with Verone, she finally has the chance to bring justice and serves as the arbitrary love interest for Brian. The character of Verone shows himself to be quite the character by employing some medieval stye of torture to individuals who do not give him what he wants. Cole Hauser really has fun with this role and creates a very intimidating character.
Far from the pinnacle of acting, the line delivery in the film leaves much to be desired but yet has a charming quality to it that gets me every time. This film had the task setting up something new for Brian after the events of The Fast and the Furious and having to relocate to a new city. For the most part, I believe they succeed. With characters like Roman Pearce, Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Suki (Devon Aki), as their rapport gets built fairly quickly. Paul Walker leads the crew after sharing the spotlight with Vin Diesel in the first film and it shows that having a co-star might be necessary for him in these films. Diesel provides a pure presence when on-screen that Walker does not possess, but when paired together, they can leave an impact.
As with any film in this franchise, cars will be humming and racing will ensue one way or the other. I am completely aware of this film’s deficiencies and where it may be lacking artistically but something about this franchise connects with me on a personal level. Perhaps it hit me at the right time in life where I felt that these stories had a cool elements to them. Every cheesy line of dialogue creates a chuckle rather than an eye-roll. It becomes a truly fun viewing experience with no real depth but certainly entertaining.