Movie Review
2 Fast 2 Furious
2 Fast 2 Furious poster
By Stephen Lucas     Published June 8, 2003
US Release: June 6, 2003

Directed by: John Singleton
Starring: Paul Walker , Tyrese , Cole Hauser , Eva Mendes

Running Time: 107 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $127,083,765
In the end there isn't much to remember
The surprise success of "The Fast and the Furious" can be credited to souped up cars, street racing, bad acting, and an attractive young cast, which some audiences found to be exciting while others saw it as a deplorable mess.

My opinion of the film lies somewhere near the middle, seeing as though I was able to watch it several times after my first viewing, but there is nothing in it of substance. The sequel is now being released in theaters after only a short two-year wait, and it's sad to say that the lack of quality is continued in the new Miami-set sequel, "2 Fast 2 Furious."
Although the sequel sports better cars, a heavy hip hop soundtrack, and a dull cast, the film as a whole adds up to a trashy yet colorful auctioneer that is more shallow than its predecessor for many reasons. Only those with a car gene in their body could appreciate this type of cinematic mediocrity.

Perhaps what annoys the most about the first film is that the characters got too involved in themselves, rattling off their love of cars, speed, and racing over and over again. However, I have a slight appreciation for that type of energy upon seeing the sequel; there is honestly so little to value that even the most irritating aspects of its predecessor look kind of impressive, in retrospect. Painting in by the numbers are the characters, as paper thin as the catch-the-bad-drug-dude plot, who never surprises us with anything at all.

Paul Walker, the star of both "Furious" films, is predictably boring and his character Brian is nearly thrown out of the window. Honestly, he was a rather likeable character beforehand, but here, alongside heaps of garbage there's nothing redeemable or likeable (besides maybe his car). As a matter of fact, the entire sequel seems to have done the same with the first film; set in different location, starring mostly new characters and revolving around a different, yet equally crappy, premise, it stands alone. Usually sequels build upon previous installments to better themselves, but "2 Fast 2 Furious" seems to be pretty bad all on its own.

I actually expected more substance coming from a director like John Singleton, who's responsible for films like "Baby Boy," "Poetic Justice," and "Boyz N The Hood." I'm impressed by Singleton's ability to convey the inner voices of his characters in these mentioned films, and so I thought he could bring a more dramatic core to the endless amount of car racing and chasing; but that isn't the case.

I can recall reading in an article of some sort in which Singleton said he was going for a purely fun film by directing "2 Fast 2 Furious" after doing so many heavy dramas -- which is fine -- but he didn't accomplish his goal. Fun may be seeing cars fly across the streets at high speeds, gunfights or a colorfully captured Miami vibe, but if in the end there isn't much to remember, nor complement, was it really worth seeing? I'll admit that there were moments where I enjoyed the film a decent bit, but the underlying fact was that there was not much to this film. At least "The Fast and the Furious" had a homegrown flavor equipped with real garages and hangouts rather than the dolled-up whereabouts the characters stroll though.

The intent may have been to have the mood be something lighter than in the first film and more fun, but why? Car racing may adequately be portrayed by overly stylistic camera work to some people, but the heart and drive of the racers on top of that is what makes the movie worth seeing. What "2 Fast" got wrong was the fact that more elaborate or pretty settings and cars can't truly capture the essence of the sport of street racing. I may not be able to say that I've been in or seen a street race before, but the original film helped capture that spirit and share it with its audience.

The sequel merely rides on a half-tank, more full of itself than the subject at hand. "The Fast and the Furious" is far from being the most profound of sports movies, but one thing I did take out of the theater with me was adrenaline from the action sequences and understanding of its characters. This paper-thin sequel provides barely any of the previous while empty on the latter. I don't care about the characters nor do I give much credit to the actors that played them.

One thing I argue in defense of "2 Fast 2 Furious" is that the car stunts and chases are improved and more visually and realistically stimulating than in the first film (due to the presence of stunt drivers opposed to computer-aided visuals). The sunny, colorful summer-drenched locales that fill the film give it a spunky feel, but it is the lack of story and character structure that leads it to be running on near empty by the end.
Stephen's Grade: C
Stephen's Overall Grading: 23 graded movies
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'2 Fast 2 Furious' Articles
  • Lee's review C
    June 19, 2003    All flash and glare and nothing else -- Lee Tistaert