This film should have been Dwayne Johnson’s equivalent of Denzel Washington’s Man on Fire. Instead there’s a line in the film where Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock says “God can’t save you from me” – well you know what else God can’t do – save The Rock from choosing horrendous films.
Faster has all the earmarks for a great story. An ex-con Driver (Dwayne Johnson) seeking revenge for the death of his brother goes about eliminating the people involved without remorse, hot on his hills is Cop (Billy Bob Thornton) trying to stop the killing spree. The problem with Faster is that it’s not quite sure what the best thing about the script is. Not only does the script jump all over the shop with sub-plots that are utterly and completely pointless, you get the feeling the director wants to be the next Quentin Tarantino, but lacks the talent and skills to execute a few of Quentin’s signature moves. The fact we’re told their names are Driver, Cop, Killer etc and then find out their real names later on in a very flippant manner shows, not only the writers lack of character development, but the director’s inability to stick with a style and follow it through. No amount of slick editing or copying signature moves from your favourite director can pick a crappy script off the bottom of the bin heap.
The thing is these characters had the potential to be great. You’ve got the ex-con with a troubled childhood (but a heart of gold), thrust into a situation he didn’t ask for causing unimaginable grief and a cop trying to hide his drug habit so he can provide for his family. Instead of giving us more of the emotional edge to the action, you get tiny little glimpses into what led the characters to how they are now, which just aren’t enough. This film relies far too heavily on the size of Dwayne Johnson’s “guns” and his intimidating stature, evident from the 5 lines he speaks the entire film. You get the feeling that if the writers had taken the time to flesh out their characters more, this could have been a good film.
My verdict is if you smell what The Rock is cooking, then you’d better get a nose peg, because this film is a stinker.
– Suzanna Parisi