Speed over substance

Cinemark 14. Rated R
Rated 3.0

Faster is not complicated. The Driver (Dwayne Johnson) gets sprung from prison, runs straight to a bad-assed vintage Chevelle and roars into town to lay down some pent-up payback. Again, nothing complicated. He just walks into a suite of cubicles with a revolver and blows a mildly surprised man out of his loafers.

We suspect that the Driver isn’t all that bad here, because his first victim is a telemarketer—with a mustache. When at his next stop he interrupts a perv (another mustache) from roofying a schoolgirl, it’s pretty established that the Driver’s shit list doesn’t include any productive members of society. This might explain why the cops don’t seem all that compelled to track down the shaved-headed man-mountain in a muscle car captured on CCTVs running around killing people. But detective Cicero (Carla Gugino) gets saddled with Cop (Billy Bob Thornton) as she hangs around trying to connect the dots.

Anyone else having trouble connecting the dots of the narrative isn’t paying attention. As I mentioned before, there’s nothing complicated here. It’s not about the destination; it’s about the trip.

The trip actually started when Faster was released back in the ’60s as a Lee Marvin vehicle called Point Blank. Although in that John Boorman flick it was strongly implied that our anti-hero wasn’t just an unstoppable vehicle of vengeance, he was also a dead man. This time around, there’s nothing supernatural about The Driver. When he gets shot in the head, he’s just too bullheaded to know what hydrostatic shock is. No need to get complicated, right?

Realism isn’t actually important here. Just lean back and let style over substance play out for a matinee’s worth of mayhem. That’s not a bad thing, and as such Faster serves its function.