Published Jun 01, 2003When a film with little potential becomes a surprise hit at the box office, the first thing that comes to mind in the heads of studio executives is to churn out another sequel. Fast and the Furious exceeded all expectations and nearly grossed four times its cost of production two years ago, making a star out of Vin Diesel. Though the movie was average at best, we're now given a second dose of testosterone-fueled drag racing in the form of 2 Fast 2 Furious. This time around there's a cast overhaul, including a no-show from Vin, as well as a budget that's been doubled. The results are more intense race scenes and more spectacular action sequences, but around the same amount of thought from the writers and emotion from the actors as its predecessor.
With Diesel's character of Dominic gone, it's time for the dreadfully boring Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) to take centre stage. A former police officer stripped of his badge and relocated to Miami, O'Connor is a walking cardboard cutout that tends to say "bro" a few too many times and seems like a fish out of water amongst far more colourful characters. One of these more interesting cast members is Roman Pearce (Tyrese), the real star of the film, who shows more emotion and enthusiasm in one scene then O'Connor does in the entire story. Tyrese completely steps up his acting credentials in this role after falling short with his lead role in Baby Boy he's rawer and a greater threat on and off the road, as well as being the film's only comic relief.
The story is your standard action drivel, with O'Connor and Pearce both given the opportunity to clear their entire police records if they aid officials in nabbing a stereotypical crime lord in Miami. Throw in a bombshell undercover agent for O'Connor to share sexual tension with, race some cars whenever you get the chance (even when it has very little to do with the plot), throw in as many headache-inducing edits as possible and we've got ourselves a blockbuster.
The surprise is that 2 Fast 2 Furious is in fact better than The Fast and the Furious. Vin is long forgotten and it's Tyrese that steps up to bat to fill his role as the leading male, rather than the white bread Paul Walker. To say that this film is better than its original is not exactly saying much though, seeing as this picture isn't really anything more than a two-hour rap video, complete with a commercial rap soundtrack, bikini-clad girls shaking their ass by the pool and even a few seconds of acting from Ludacris, which is far more entertaining than Ja Rule's efforts in the first. Singleton definitely pulled off a far more intense and visually-pleasing job with the franchise, and the Boys N the Hood director even tried his best to bring some substance to his characters, but made due with the cards that were dealt to him. 2 Fast 2 Furious is aimed towards men who like their cars fast and their women scantily-clad. It's this demographic that will make this mind-numbing but entertaining film into a box office champion. (Universal)