2 Stupid 4 Words
2 Fast 2 Furious
Lots of clutches go a-poppin', and lots of people act like morons in 2 Fast 2 Furious, a worthless sequel to The Fast and the Furious, that fun car race film starring Vin Diesel. Diesel himself cited a need to wash his driveway rather than appear in this dreck, so we get a film with the drab Paul Walker at its center. Walker doesn’t have enough dynamic to carry a Rugrats movie, let alone a film about street racing.
Walker plays a former undercover policeman who has been kicked off the force for letting his “mark” (Diesel in the first film) go free. As a result of that little action, he has a very long rap sheet, and the FBI hatches a plan to use it against him. Walker must once again go undercover to put the screws to a drug runner (Cole Hauser) while playing the part of a really, really fast driver in his service. They also enlist the services of ex-con Roman Pearce (Tyrese) to drive really, really fast and hopefully spice up the proceedings.
The original film, directed by Rob Cohen, felt fresh, looked and sounded great and featured an amusing performance from Diesel. The new film is plagued with lost-looking actors, ridiculous races and implausible stunts. In trying to top itself, the film has cars leaping over bridges and jumping lakes, removing any element of suspense from car chases that are supposed to possess some level of reality.
The sequel is directed by John Singleton, the man responsible for Boyz N the Hood. His most recent efforts are Baby Boy (which also starred Tyrese) and Shaft, films that suggested Singleton might be getting back on track after a string of duds. His choice to go super commercial with a lackluster sequel might do wonders for his wallet (and good for him) but it won’t do much for his credibility. Here’s hoping this film was an effort by him to get bankroll for further independent ventures.
Watching this film, I was reminded of dumb sequels where the original’s big star took a pass, and moneygrubbers chose to continue the franchise anyway. Sometimes this works (Harrison Ford replacing Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan wasn’t a bad thing), but often, the result is frightening. You can categorize this film with the likes of Smokey and the Bandit 3 (Burt Reynolds leaves Jackie Gleason alone to cuss and whine), Jaws 4: The Revenge (Roy Scheider bolts and leaves Lorraine Gary to kill a shark with a boat prow) and The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (No Walter Matthau, no Tatum O’Neal and no Tanner. Just Tony Curtis).
As well as the aforementioned bridge-jumping sequence, where racers are more than willing to trash their phenomenal rides, the film’s finale represents one of the dumbest things you’ll see on a screen this year. Walker and Tyrese are chasing a boat on a road they’ve never been on before. With this as fact, they still manage to find a ramp with enough arc to propel them through the air, and land them square on the boat, enabling them to save the day. I haven’t seen a stunt dumber than this since Mickey Rourke actually tried to be a sexy beast in Wild Orchid.
It’s summer, and this is when the bar can be lowered a bit, and movies can sway a little more towards the stupid side. 2 Fast 2 Furious sways a bit too far, goes past stupid and moronic, and travels straight into totally insipid territory.