Thursday, December 16, 2010

Faster (2010)

Fun, but uneven actioner starring The Rock as a recent parolee who goes on a killing spree to avenge his dead brother. That logline is about as much plot as was divulged in the marketing for the film, and that's about all you need to know; there are other plot elements, but they're window dressing. There is an assassin who is hired to take The Rock out, who, upon realizing how determined he is in his revenge, almost decides to settle down with his fiancee, Maggie Grace. There is a cop, played, with an almost unbelievable professionalism, by Billy Bob Thorton, who is also in The Rock's pursuit, while simultaneously trying to keep his heroin habit in check for his last week before retirement (he actually states how many days he has till retirement with a straight face, talk about professionalism). And there are the random gunmen who took out his brother, who now occupy such (relatively) harmless positions as a preacher, an office worker, and a club bouncer. The violence in the movie is relentless and, at least for the first half, nearly amoral; The Rock has never been this merciless or gritty on film, and it looks good on him. The story inevitably catches up with the hyper-quick pace the title promises, and the film has its share of slow patches, but the story elements are sufficient and comically sparse, and Billy Bob's subplot provides enough pathos to keep things from getting too pointless. That being said, this is not the movie it could be, nor the movie the marketing (and the title) promise it to be; it's a near-western/revenge story more Death Wish than Death Wish 2-5, just, you know, not as good.

Slightly Recommended to action buffs and non-child fans of The Rock; I could call him Dwayne Johnson, like he wants, but, dammit, he's The Rock, and The Rock should be doing more movies with names like Faster and less with the word "Walt Disney presents..." preceding them.

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