So we start this movie with Driver (Dwayne Johnson) leaving prison. Oh no, it seems that he’s a bad man. He’s the strong and relatively silent type, heading into freedom and immediately on a mission that will possibly see him being sent immediately back behind bars. He drives to an address, finds the man there and kills him. There’s a reason. In fact, there’s a good reason for why a number of people are due to die at the hands of someone many wrote off for dead. Billy Bob Thornton is a grizzled cop put on the case with Carla Gugino (who is none too happy about it). Oliver Jackson-Cohen is a hired killer who is given the job of killing the killer and the odds start looking heavily stacked against Johnson actually finishing what he started.
Faster isn’t bad for a decent time-waster that has a few decent action scenes in it. I really like Johnson in pretty much everything he does, the same goes for Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino is good and Killer, the character played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, has some amusing crises of faith when things boil down to skill vs brute force.
The problems with the movie don’t come from the cast. The problems come from the material they’re stuck with, unfortunately.
George Tillman Jr. directs with a decent touch but he lets the movie fall in between some tense action thriller and some hard-hitting vengeance movie. The movie does okay in between these two posts but it would have been much more enjoyable had Tillman made a decision to veer defiantly towards one target.
The script, by Tony and Joe Gayton, tries to be a mixture of grit and fun and also thinks it does enough to keep everyone on their toes but it’s all in vain. Movie fans will spot the twists, it felt quite disappointing to quickly realise that Mr. Johnson was one of those “good” baddies and the only time the movie mixed the grit with the fun successfully was when dealing with the ongoing confrontation between Killer and Driver. There just isn’t enough edge to the script to make this memorable and not enough decent action to make it more appealing than numerous other releases that are already available to pick up cheap on shiny disc.
A film named Faster should have more momentum than this. There’s no real sense of urgency but it’s certainly not a bad film for all that.
Faster was released in cinemas in the UK on 25th March and is also available on R1 dvd/Blu-ray.
DIRECTOR: GEORGE TILLMAN JR
STARS: DWAYNE JOHNSON, BILLY BOB THORNTON, CARLA GUGINO, OLIVER JACKSON-COHEN
RUNTIME: 98 MINS APPROX