Faster - Blu-ray Review

'in his normal offerings of the last ten years or so, Johnson is smart, witty, a likable screen presence to invest in. In Faster he's one-dimensional, monosyllabic, devoid of artistic inference: rock like'

The flawed logic at the heart of Faster centres around giving charismatic, Schwarzenegger-in-his-prime-esque, leading action man Dwayne Johnson, a script that means he hardly speaks. In his normal offerings of the last ten years or so, Johnson is smart, witty, a likable screen presence to invest in. In Faster he's one-dimensional, monosyllabic, devoid of artistic inference: rock like.

George Tillman Jr.'s film just isn't the sort of thing Johnson is suited for. Give him a wise to crack and he seems human, someone we can follow and relate to. But install him as a pissed-off, revenge-obsessed, ex-con and he's none of those things. He's a blank; a big void at the heart of Tillman Jr.'s film that can't be filled.

It doesn't help matters that the director almost doesn't bother trying. Billy Bob Thornton's unpredictable cop feels like a half-hearted attempt, as does Thornton's performance. Carla Gugino, though a welcome presence any time, isn't given the space or the role to get close to filling in the blank.

Even more bizarrely there's a series of roles tossed in which have absolutely no import on the plot. Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter turns up at one point - as who, I'm not entirely certain - then, after a single scene, she's gone again.

The main attempt to add some interest is eventually given to a character known only as Killer but guess what, Tillman Jr. picks Oliver Jackson-Cohen to play the role, probably one of the weakest, most one-dimensional, male leads out there.

No surprises then that Faster is an action film with no more going for it than anything Steven Segal has recently put his name to. If you want to watch a few people shooting a few guns in amongst a clear-as-day plot then fine, there's a few bits here for you. Those looking for characterisation, a clever touch or some levity need to apply elsewhere.




Look further...

'Thin on plot, big on The Rock, guns, muscle cars, and action' Good Film Guide, 6/10

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