Faster (with Dwayne Johnson)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is an ex-con known only as Driver who just spent a dime up in chino after being double crossed with regards to a bank job he got involved in with his brother. Those responsible killed his brother and left him for dead but if wearing a tutu can’t kill The Rock, nothing can. Driven by revenge, The Rock’s out to kill each and every name on his list but to do so he’ll have to dodge the cops as well as a cocky hitman who’s been hired to take him out.
I grew up a big fan of wrestling and over the years I’ve kept tabs on the WWE, watching a pay per view here and there and sometimes tuning in for Monday Night Raw. Over the past decade however, the WWE has become a lot like Saturday Night Live, with those few overly talented wrestlers branching off into films. Of the lot, The Rock seemed most promising. THE RUNDOWN was a fantastic vehicle to start the ball rolling but despite this strong start, the wheels came to a screeching halt fairly quick. I dug his character in BE COOL but the film itself stunk to high heavens. I’m sure I don’t need to recount the list of disappoints that followed but needless to say I was stoked to hear The Rock was finally returning to action. Now the man may not have had a hell of a lot of dialogue, but The Rock sure did have a lot to say and I was all ears.
I love a healthy dose of payback and brother that’s exactly what The Rock is cooking here. His persona is everything you want in a badass anti-hero and I haven’t been this pumped to see some retribution since Mel Gibson’s PAYBACK. The fools on his list didn’t stand a chance but I will say that for a dude that’s anything but inconspicuous, from the build, to the scowl and car, the cops sure didn’t seem very on the ball when it came to rounding him up. His face is splashed all over the news, yet he’s still all over the place kicking ass, taking names and blowing big holes in people. I’m not complaining but it sure doesn’t say much for the law’s ability to serve and protect.
A definite edge to the story comes from our egocentric hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who’s hunger to conquer the world is as big as The Rock’s biceps. Now I happen to know a thing or two about that world and believe it or not, this film’s depiction of the life isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Most of these killers are vain to the bone, competitive down to the last letter and lethal as they are egotistical. Some people may scoff at this character but I enjoyed him. Carla Gugino plays a cop, yet again but still looks hot as ever as does LOST’s Maggie Grace. We also get a couple of entertaining but rather pointless cameos from Mike Epps and Jennifer Carpenter but the biggest waste of talent came from Moon Bloodgood. I was hoping she’d get better breaks after TERMINATOR: SALVATION but I guess not.
FASTER reintroduces The Rock to the world of action the best way it can and hopefully sets a trend for his future roles. We need more action stars and there’s no question The Rock can fill the quota. The only problem I had with this flick is Billy Bob Thornton. After that ridiculousness in Toronto awhile back while trying to promote his crappy band and in the process spitting on his acting career, I feel the guy’s got no business in Hollywood anymore (truth be told, I never liked him as an actor anyway). Thornton aside, this was a blast and I’m happy to see The Rock in good form (literally, the man’s a beast). Here’s hoping this endeavour blows a big hole in everyone’s doubts and puts The Rock back on top where he belongs.