Release Date: June 6, 2003

Plot Summary: Paul Walker returns as former cop Brian O’Conner who teams up with his ex-con pal Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) to transport a shipment of ‘dirty’ money for shady Miami-based import-export dealer Carter Verone (Cole Hauser), while actually working with undercover agent Monica Clemente (Eva Mendes) to bring Verone down.

With the western genre almost dead and buried a hybrid of its kind has resurfaced for contemporary, usually young, audiences in the guise of fast cars for trusted horses and street criminals for heroic outback outlaws. 2 Fast 2 Furious is Top Gun on wheels, an unrelenting and ferocious non-stop thrill-ster with several remarkably agile and technically proficient car-racing sequences. The story in this wish-fulfillment fantasy for wanna-be car enthusiasts plays second fiddle to the style as in Top Gun – it’s the stars and the need for speed that counts here.

In all its glorified hyper-kine-sis it still manages to be supportive of criminal diversion particularly with a director, John Singleton, who has a track record of social conscience movies: Boyz in the Hood, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning and Rosewood.

Not that the conscience in social is all too strong here, but at least it is subtle. The majority of diehard racers, admirers of the culture, and racecar enthusiasts will be happy and satisfied with seeing the latest car model strut its stuff.

If Maverick and Goose had chemistry in Top Gun then Tyrese and Paul Walker, reprising his role from 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, are less magnetic as partners working undercover for the FBI in a drug cartel raid. Tyrese gets the running gag and the ‘witty’ one-liners and Walker plays it straight by paying romantic attention to the girl and playing it cool. It might work in Rush Hour and Shanghai Knights, but here Walker looks blank and emotionless and Tyrese upstages him for sheer charisma. The macho detachment of Vin Diesel is finding its niche elsewhere, who looks like his career is a man apart, although Tyrese is still likable enough to compensate.

It loses momentum three-quarters through and if you can willingly suspend disbelief it may just be worth the ride, but don’t expect anything more than entertaining artifice in the loud sound and quickly edited visual mold with rudimentary and elementary talky scenes to move the plot along, which include some scenery that goes with the sub-culture.

3 stars (out of 5 stars)

[First published at entertainmentnutz.com/movies]


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