Director: George Tillman Jr. (Notorious, Men of Honor, Soulfood)
Screenplay: Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton
Producers: Tony Gayton, Liz Glotzer, Martin Shafer, Robert Teitel
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace, Moon Bloodgood, Jennifer Carpenter, Tom Berenger
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 98 min.
I like Dwayne Johnson the action star but his turn in a number family films in the last few years hasn’t appealed to me and I’ve been patiently waiting for his re-emergence as the action hero. The release of Faster last November marked his return as action star but the film came among a wide assortment of other, more dramatic stuff and it came and went before I had a chance to see Johnson kick butt (or in this case, shoot people) but with the film’s appearance on DVD this week, the time came to finally catch up with the picture and the only thing I’m really thankful for is that I didn’t spend $12 to see it.
It’s not that Faster is completely awful but it’s a pretty bland tale of revenge. The film opens with Johnson as he’s being released from prison. We don’t know what he’s been in for (yet) but as soon as he gets out, he’s on the hunt. We later find out that he was the driver for his brother during a robbery that ended badly when a rival gang came into their hideout, killed everyone (or so they thought), and took the cash. Johnson is now out and seeking revenge for the guys that killed his brother in cold blood. While he’s driving from place to place killing these guys, the mastermind responsible for killing Johnson’s crew hires a professional to dispense of Johnson but the killer has trouble and the next thing you know Johnson is being tracked by the killer as well as a pair of cops investigating the apparently unrelated murders.
You may have noticed that in that entire paragraph made no mention of any character names. Turns out writers Tony and Joe Gayton didn’t think these characters deserved any and the film’s main male characters all lack names. We simply know Johnson as “Driver,” Oliver Jackson-Cohen who plays the hired gun as “Killer” and Billy Bob Thornton, one half of the police duo, as “Cop.” I’m not sure what the point of this is but it’s kind of lame.
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