Two years prior, The Fast and the Furious sped its way into existence introducing us to a one-of-a-kind family of mismatched individuals. For what it is, The Fast and the Furious is a purely entertaining, adrenaline pumping thrill ride popcorn flick with some depth to it but not quite scratching the surface. It’s successor, 2 Fast 2 Furious follows right in the originals tire tracks, giving fans the same experience and not much else. You don’t go into a movie in the likes of 2 Fast 2 Furious expecting Oscar worthy anything, if fact zero expectations are where your mind frame should be because this sequel doesn’t amount to much.
Sure, it’s a shallow adrenaline filled thrill ride like the first that you can throw on in the background while doing household chores or while cooking and basically predict whats happening next and still enjoy it for what it is. It doesn’t take a genius to follow along the path that the Nissan Skyline takes. All of the magic the first film has is completely lost here. None of the characters that we were introduced to minus Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) appear here so right away it feels like we were robbed of a true sequel. All of the heart and soul in Vin Diesel’s Dominic is replaced with a less charismatic loud mouthed always obnoxious Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson). Jordana Brewster’s charmingly sweet Mia is replaced with the robotic and lifeless Monica (Eva Mendez), an FBI agent who is deep undercover and has the same expression on her face in every scene.
If you’re looking for a plot to follow along to, there isn’t one. There’s a feeble attempt by screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to create this menacing ruthless drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) but he has zero personality, even less charming than Rome, caring more about his cigars and cigar cutters than anyone really should while amounting to medieval torture tactics to get what he wants. I don’t know who I felt bad for more Detective Whitworth (Mark Boone Junior) or the rat, clawing his way to escape the heated bucket.
Whoever thought that scene was a good idea to put in a motion picture about street racing set in Miami should have thought twice about it. Not that the film as whole is any good or living up to the first’s potential, that one scene alone ruins the film. The tone and mood shifts into something that’s not pleasing to the eye or stomach.
From the start, 2 Fast 2 Furious puts the pedal to the medal as if it challenged the first one to a drag race proving that it’s a worthy sequel. The film goes from one race to the next not slowing down nearly enough to let the audience take a breath or notice that when things are somewhat calm, it’s a bad movie that’s playing out. When it finally does slow down and the brakes are tapped, the dialogue between characters is way to cheesy to be taken seriously and the exposition that’s “established” doesn’t add any substance to the lack of a story or the characters.
Why should I care about Roman or Monica? Both characters are set up to be expendable, though I do appreciate the fact that Roman is always snacking because of his prior jail time – other than that I don’t care about him, he’s way too loud for his own good and impulsive – the complete opposite of Dominic or even Brian in The Fast and the Furious. At least Brian was somewhat capable within his role.
With all that’s going on in this “story” a budding relationship is even thrown in haphazardly. Not only does it not make any sense within the verisimilitude of the thinnest plot, but did Brian completely forget about Mia? The better question is did the screenwriters forget that she existed? I’ll go even further, does the first movie not exist at all?
One thing director John Singleton captures is the culture. the first film sets the stage for this underground racing culture but Singleton shows a different side to it. The atmosphere around the racing is electric, it’s a party you want to be at but never imagined you needed in your life. The passion about cars is felt when the focus is on the culture. it is Misogynistic in how some of the shots are framed but overall the culture pops off the screen.
I get the attempt to make 2 Fast 2 Furious its own film but too much is mirrored off of the first. The first drag race with the obnoxious racers, the violence and the romantic aspect – at least Ja Rule isn’t here to scream at the highest volume possible. Don’t expect to get an explanation as to why and how Brian gets to Miami after the events of the first – there is zero exposition to his story yet he’s the main character.
I do appreciate Tej (Chris Bridges) and Suki (Devon Aoki), they’re the only interesting characters with no backstory with some charisma on screen. Give me a spin-off of them.
2 Fast 2 Furious is a harsh fall from grace. All the potential of its predecessor is lost here leaving an empty to get lost in feeling. For pure entertainment alone, grab some popcorn and turn off your brain, it’s tolerable & serviceable at best to get though with the 108-minute runtime. It’s difficult to imagine the man who gave the world Boyz in the Hood also gave us this high-speed mess.
2 Fast 2 Furious is written by Michael Brandt & Derek Haas based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson, directed by John Singleton is Rated PG-13 and has a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. 2 Fast 2 Furious was released on June 6, 2003 in the United States and has a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. 2 Fast 2 Furious can be bought by online retailers like iTunes, Amazon and Google. 1.5 out of 5.