I can guarantee you this: during the first five minutes of this film you will be glued to your TV. Upon being released from a maximum security prison, a brooding convicted felon has one mission, to kill all of the men responsible for his brother’s death and his almost death. Though the only name associated with our felon friend is Driver (we see this with awesome graphics that slide in comic book style when first introduced), and with minimal dialogue, you instantly like this tattooed bad boy who is none other than Dwayne Johnson (formerly known as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson). The instant the first bullet is shot you are ready to go on this ride and see how Driver will fearlessly avenge his brother’s gruesome death. And by gruesome, I mean I had to cover my eyes and peak through my fingers whenever that scene came on screen.
Let me pause a moment to tell you how much I enjoyed Dwayne Johnson in this role. Even though he rarely speaks, communicating only through menacing grimaces and stone faced rage all while doing bad things to bad people, he is awesome. When Driver takes down the Old Man I actually fist pumped. Why does he mess with silly family films when this genre is totally up his alley?
The film takes some odd turns introducing unnecessary characters and relationships, ie: Killer and Lily (Maggie Grace). You could scratch the entire story of a guy being hired to gun down Driver by one of the men he is after when he learns Driver is out of prison. It felt like a good idea at first but then became more and more hokey and unnecessary. Or, keep Killer and dump his storyline with Lily. That entire side story did not hold my interest and added nothing to Driver’s journey. Although, some of the action sequences between Killer and Driver were quite fabulous, so if there was a way to keep that and scratch Lily, that would be for the best.
Billy Bob Thornton as Cop (again, we don’t learn his real name just know him as Cop thanks to the same graphics used on Driver and Killer) is pretty great. He knows how to walk the line of pathetic meets calculating quite nicely. Knowing he’s a bit shady and corrupt from the beginning with the intention of cleaning up for his family and almost retirement the partnership with fellow officer Cicero (Carla Gugino) is a nice yin and yang balance.
Aside from the random side story of Killer and Lily, my other complaint would have to be the title of this film. FASTER does not have much to do with the storyline. If I were in charge, I would have titled this “I’m Gonna Kill You All” or something similar as that line is used throughout the film and would enforce the comic book feel of the film. From fast cars, guns, sliding graphics, and the likes, I wish they would have played up the comic sensation a bit more. Overall it was mindlessly entertaining and made me a Dwayne Johnson fan.
Video: (2.40:1 Widescreen) Sharp picture and bold colors.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) Audio is great – you can really hear the growl of the car engines, bang from the guns and thuds from bodies hitting the ground
Alternate Endings (12:42): This feature includes the director’s introduction to this alternate ending sequence. Here we learn that the ending on the film was not the original ending but after testing audiences they decided to edit the last part of the film losing eight minutes of film. There are some neat split screen shots and high action that we don’t see in the original film. Don’t really agree to the reasoning of their cutting these eight minutes but don’t think they made a bad choice for the end of the film either.
Deleted Scenes (10:50) Let’s give it up for the ever necessary play all button! With five deleted scenes: Cop & Marina Outside Safe House, Killer Takes a Picture, Lily Helps Killer, Cop Takes Care of Marina, and Marina & Lily it was wise for these scenes to be cut and most include the director introducing the deleted footage, complete with compliments to the actors and apologies for taking these scenes from the movie.
Criminals and Cops: The Cast of Faster (12:12): Director, George Tillman Jr and the rest of the cast look at each character: Driver, Killer, Lily, Cicero, Cop, and Marina. Everyone praises everyone and gives their thoughts on the characters that they respectively play.
Weapons and Wheels: The Guns, Cars and Stunts of Faster (11:54): An inside look at the guns selected for Driver and Killer as well as the awesome cars they get to drive in this flick. My favorite part is when Dwayne Johnson informs us he’s ridden horses and camels in movies but nothing like getting behind the wheel of the car he got to drive in this film. Oh Dwayne.
Animatics (12:22): Animated footage with audio for the following scenes: Bank Heist, Old Man, Hospital and Joust.