2 Fast but not 2 Furious
When "The Fast and The Furious" movie came out it wasn't too bad, full of adrenalin pumping action, fast cars, a reasonable plot and of course Vin Diesel. So it was no surprise that they decided to make the sequel "2 Fast 2 Furious", unfortunately they forgot to give the movie a decent storyline and with the absence of Vin Diesel, it seems to be running on empty. That is not to say "2 Fast 2 Furious" is boring as it is still packed with exceptionally well choreographed action sequences, it just lacks that storyline and misses not having Vin Diesel in it.
Having fallen foul of the law, ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker - She's All That) has relocated to sunny Miami and taken to earning his keep in the illegal world of street racing. No longer the fresh faced rookie, his prowess behind the wheel strikes fear in the hearts of his fellow racers as he beats them race after race. But it is not just his fellow racers who are aware of his prowess, and the police seek him out in the hope of blackmailing him into assisting them in a case to bring down a drugs lord, or else he faces punishment for a list of misdemeanours as long as his arm. With no option but to assist the police, Brian enlists the help of old friend and ex convict, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson - Transformers) to aid him in his task.
To be honest the storyline to "2 Fast 2 Furious" is pretty unoriginal; you get an ex-cop coerced into helping the police into trapping a criminal, in this case the completely predictable drugs lord who also happens to be of Latin origin, anyone felt like they have seen this before. Add to this you have the buddy buddy situation in the form of the ex-cop and an old friend who have to get over some initial animosity before agreeing to work together and then finally add in an undercover agent who has already infiltrated the drug lord's organisation who just happens to a very sexy woman. Yes, "2 Fast, 2 Furious" does feel like you have watched it all before and that is mainly because all of the elements of the plot are as old as the hills. Numerous movies have worked these elements to a much greater extent and added their own twists, where as "2 Fast, 2 Furious" fails to add anything new to the formula and ends up being completely predictable.
With such a predictable plot you would expect "2 Fast 2 Furious" to be a monotonous bore, which would signal the end of "The Fast and The Furious" franchise, and this would be true if it wasn't for the brilliantly choreographed car action sequences which seem to take precedence over the actual plot. The majority of scenes in the "2 Fast 2 Furious" feature a car, whether it is just a pimped up street car driving normally or involved in one of the exceptionally good action sequences, such as the fantastic opening sequence featuring an illegal street race. To be honest, any scenes which don't feature one of these pimped up cars feel like they have only been added to make a bridge between action sequences.
Without Vin Diesel returning to reprise his role of Dominic Toretto from the first movie, it is left to Paul Walker to provide the continuity as he returns to his role of Brian O'Conner. Walker seems to slip into character with relative ease; even the slight change in occupation from being on one side of the law to the other does not seem to affect his ability to provide a relatively good performance. Yes at times his performance does lack the believability to make it great but it is good enough for this movie, especially seeing some of the script feels like it has been plagiarised from other films.
Alongside Walker you have Tyrese Gibson as ex-convict and driving buddy Roman Pearce. If the casting director thought that Gibson would be a decent replacement for Vin Diesel then he was completely mistaken. His performance is by no means terrible, but it is that of a rookie who is just breaking into movies, which may not be such a surprise as Mr. Gibson was formerly a rap star who had only been in one movie and a few TV spots prior to this.
The only other character really worth mentioning is that of Monica Fuentes, the undercover agent, played by the sexy Eva Mendes. To be honest there isn't much to mention about the character or the performance, as they are both less than good, but Miss Mendes does provide quite an ample distraction for the lack of real storyline, obviously cast for her looks which in the case of "2 Fast 2 Furious" is not a bad thing.
Taking on directional duties is John Singleton who previously directed the brilliant remake of "Shaft" and also "Boyz n the Hood". Now this may surprise you but I actually applaud Singleton for the way he directed "2 Fast 2 Furious", he may not have made a great movie but he has done a good job with what he had. Personally I feel that he was dealing with a pretty weak script, so instead of trying to make something out of nothing, he gave the majority audience what they wanted, fast cars, fast action, more fast cars and a few beautiful people and did I mention the fast cars.
Even though "2 Fast 2 Furious" has no Diesel in its engine, it still manages to splutter along providing entertainment and enjoyment through the numerous action sequences and the pimped up cars. Of course a much better plot would have helped it no end, but as this seems like it was furiously rushed out to capitalize on the success of the original just 2 years earlier, it is no surprise that it is somewhat mediocre. I doubt if an appearance of Mr. Diesel would have lifted the film to above this, but then it would have been nice.
What this all boils down to is that although the lack of a decent plot may put a lot of people off, "2 Fast 2 Furious" definitely has a target audience which it will appeal to, mainly the fans of the original movie and those who like to watch fast cars doing fast stunts amongst beautiful looking people. For those who did enjoy the original may feel slightly disappointed but for a movie which does not require your full attention to comprehend it, it is not bad.