Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Faster

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 43% (Critics) / 49% (Audience)
Directed By: George Tillman Jr.
Written By: Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Maggie Grace and Carla Gugino
Studio: CBS Films

Synopsis: An ex-con sets out to avenge his brother’s death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he’s tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man. (Source)

The Good:
Currently my pick as the best new school action movie star Hollywood has working today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson carries this movie in a performance full of very little dialogue but a lot of silent menace that is done well enough to get Charles Bronson’s seal of approval. That is high praise since this movie is like a successful amalgamation of DEATH WISH AND THE FAST & THE FURIOUS.
The take no prisoners brutality of the film is also a very welcome sight for me. The last thing you want in a revenge fantasy film is for the actual revenge parts to be watered down. That is not a problem with FASTER where the credits are still rolling when the first act of vengeance is committed.
Billy Bob Thornton plays broken and desperate about as well as any actor in Hollywood and provides a nice bump in acting quality to the movie.

The Bad:
The extra quirky, Richie Rich assassin hired to take out Johnson’s character was a bit too much for me. I understand needing to have the assassin character in the movie but making him some unrealistically eccentric Eurotrash was unnecessary. And adding in a romantic subplot for him was even less needed or wanted.

The Ugly
Women are not well represented in this film with a group of very talented actresses being given thankless roles. Maggie Grace plays the assassin’s lady love, Jennifer Carpenter has a brief appearance as the lead character’s sister-in-law, Moon Bloodgood as Thornton’s ex-wife, and worst of all Carla Gugino as Thornton’s partner…all are in roles that do nothing to showcase their talents.

Final Verdict: Unflinchingly violent with good performances from its lead characters and some really well done action scenes make FASTER an enjoyable addition to The Rock’s movie catalog and a fun bit of movie viewing for the audience.

Grade: B

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