Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A 'Rock' by any other name ...

He's out for blood and nothing will stop him. Faster is full of nasty, B-movie violence, but Dwayne Johnson may not be the right man for the job.

I was going to skip Faster, the new thriller starring Dwayne Johnson, the actor formerly known as The Rock. But when I saw that George Tillman, Jr had directed the movie, I changed my mind. Tillman, I remembered, had directed Notorious (2009), one of the better movies about a rapper's life. I figured Tillman could handle the down-and-dirty action that would be required if Faster were going to get its engine cranking. * A little better than you might expect (providing you have a taste for this sort of thing) and not as good as you might hope: That's the verdict on Faster, which minimizes Johnson's dialogue and pours on the hard-boiled, B-movie violence. * Watching Johnson in this kind of role makes you realize his limitations. It also encourages appreciation for what guys like Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood were able to accomplish with revenge sagas. Those guys could look at you in ways that would cut you to pieces. * Johnson does the best he can as Driver, a newly released convict who's seeking revenge on the guys who killed his brother. Physically imposing as he is, Johnson seems to be stuck with a nice guy's face. * Billy Bob Thornton slips into fully ruined mode to play a heroin-addicted cop who tries to stop Johnson's character in mid-rampage. * Oliver Jackson-Cohen portrays a pretty boy British hit man who's been hired to take out the Driver. * If you're looking for point-blank violence, you won't have to wait long, but the movie tries to take the sting off its more exploitative aspects by adding a religious gloss, a mini-semon on forgiveness. * Enough. If you're looking for nasty B-movie thrills, Faster has some, although it also can test your patience for cliche and bad writing. * One more thing: If you can't see the final twist coming, you may want to have your movie vision checked.

2 comments:

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George said...

better than i expected, not as good as i'd hoped. bingo.