The undercover-cop hero of 2001’s The Fast and the Furious
(Paul Walker) goes undercover again among street racers; this time, he’s in Miami to take down a ruthless drug lord (Cole Hauser). The basic plot is almost depressingly familiar, but writers Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Gary Scott Thompson give it enough intelligence to make it fly one more time. What makes the film a genuine guilty pleasure—better, in fact, than the original, despite the absence of Vin Diesel—are the bright comic-book gleam of the automotive hardware; some great racing scenes (with the obligatory don’t-try-this-at-home stunt work); and the fast, lean pacing of John Singleton’s direction. In the first film, Walker played second banana to Diesel; here, Tyrese plays second banana to Walker, and the bad-boy chemistry works.