[MOVIE REVIEW]Making the second loop faster... and furiouserLet me start by saying that “The Fast and the Furious” (2001), the first installment of this series, was one of the most accomplished works of artistic creation I’ve ever seen. It ranks up there with other “The X and the Y” classics, such as Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” and Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead.”
But before you throw down this paper in disgust and begin to search for a more erudite publication, you should know I base this opinion on one of Einstein’s least-discussed theorems, but one that’s crucial to understanding much of the history of the last century: Cars are cool, and fast cars are even cooler.
“2 Fast 2 Furious” picks up where the first film left off, with main character and resident dumb blonde Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) stripped of his L.A.P.D. badge and reduced to entering illegal car races to pay his rent.
But O’Connor cannot seem to avoid getting himself into hot water ― soon the police pick him up after a particularly rip-roarin’ Miami drag race.
They offer him a way out: go on a sting operation to nab Carter Verone (Cole Hauser), a notorious drug smuggler with ties to somewhere shady, which we know because all his henchmen speak Spanish. In fact, this seems to be the summer’s theme, with “Bad Boys 2” having its cops go after a Cuban drug lord amidst the same background patois of Latin-tongued ne’er-do-wells.
O’Conner agrees to the scheme, on several conditions: he gets to team up with his high-school buddy, Roman (Tyrese), the undercover agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) and two souped-up Mitsubishi sports cars.
Of course things don’t stay on track for very long, as Roman’s short temper draws the ire of both the police and the bad guys, the two discover their cars are being traced and Agent Fuentes’s extremely “close” undercover work with Verone produces is-she-with-us-or-against-us worries.
Under the direction of John Singleton, better known for more serious films such as the shattering “Boyz N the Hood” (1991), the stunts remain as hair-raising as ever, with cars shooting over opened drawbridges, jumping from the shoreline onto moving boats and even removing unwanted passengers with what seem like rocket-propelled ejector seats. In one scene, an entire fleet of sports cars and monster trucks bursts out of a garage, pushing back the police.
The action set pieces here rival those of “Bad Boys 2,” though with none of the gratuitous violence of that film. The fun here is all innocent, as everyone walks away from the movie ― like the characters from their mangled cars ― only a little bit addled. Given that it’s full of sound and fury, who the heck cares if it signifies nothing.
“2 Fast 2 Furious”
Action / English
by Jason Zahorchak