‘Faster’ Review

Published 4 years ago by

faster movie review Faster Review
Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Faster

Faster is not exactly what you might be expecting.

Is it (at long last) the return of Dwayne (formerly known as “The Rock”) Johnson as a big, tough, scary badass of the sort you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley? Oh, yes. Is it just another another check-your-brain-at-the-door action flick? Yes… and no.

Within moments of the start of the film, you will understand that “Driver” (Johnson) is, well, a driven man. Everything about his demeanor says “man on a mission” – and he is the very definition of single-mindedness. He’s being released from prison after 10 years and the only thing on his mind is the need to avenge the murder of his brother.

Driver is a man to be reckoned with – a man with a reputation that says to most people “just back away.” Within minutes of the start of the film, he walks into an office building, then to a sea of cubicles, with the determination of a Terminator – and without hesitation puts a bullet into the head of his first victim.

faster dwayne johnson Faster Review

As the film progresses, we’re given the backstory of Driver and his brother in flashbacks. It’s apparently a case of bad guys getting taken out by some “badder” guys, and the brother was executed right in front of Driver. Eventually we come to learn the details of the circumstances that led to all this, and believe it or not, there’s actually a bit of heart amidst all this crime and brutality.

On the other side we have an odd couple police partnership made up of Billy Bob Thornton, playing a cop 10 days from retirement with an estranged wife, a surprisingly fat son (considering he and his wife, played by Moon Bloodgood, are both thin) and a bad drug habit – and Carla Gugino, a no-nonsense cop who’s not too happy about being paired up with a guy who has one foot out the door and doesn’t seem to have it together.

As the film progresses we see that Driver is not a brutal killer at heart, but is acting out of a sense of justice and retribution. Each killing is more difficult than the one before as he starts to question what he is doing – while the police are getting closer to catching him.

faster maggie grace Faster Review

Maggie Grace and Oliver Jackson-Cohen in a scene from 'Faster'

There’s a wildcard in the mix as well, as someone on Driver’s death list has hired a young, multi-millionare, ex-software developer (played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who seems to assassinate people just because he’s bored and it’s challenging. He has a relationship with a hot young woman who Lost fans will recognize (Maggie Grace). Their relationship starts out typical, but then evolves to kind of creepy/bizarre in its attempt at “normal.”

Not quite to the extent of Unstoppable, Faster has the feel of a 1970s action film: For the most part it just drives in a straight line, with Johnson on a quest to find the next person involved in the death of his brother, killing them, getting back in his early 70s Chevy Chevelle SS with a Hurst shifter and AM radio, and going after the next person on the list. What takes away from the 70s feel, is the bloody shaky cam and some of the more “creative” camera angles – shooting up, from the floor towards Johnson and one of the bad guys fighting. Different? Yeah? Weird? Yeah, that, too.

faster chevy ss Faster Review

What surprised me was that Faster isn’t just a straight up revenge action movie with a two-dimensional lead character. Johnson plays a man who starts out completely convinced of what he needs to do, but over time he begins to question whether it’s really worth it… is this really justice? In the end, will the revenge satisfy him or accomplish anything truly meaningful?

Dwayne Johnson starts out as intense, mean, scary man – but as the film goes on he gets across to the audience his growing self-doubt and inner conflict over what he’s doing. While most of the characters were pretty sterotypical, of all the performances, I’d have to say that Carla Gugino’s was the most “standard” (tough, strong female cop), and while Maggie Grace is a pleasure to the eyes, her performance seemed a bit stiff (albeit much improved from her days on Lost, in my opinion). Billy Bob is always convincing and did a great job here of bringing the audience full circle with his character (you’ll understand when you see the movie). Oliver Jackson-Cohen had me distracted because (and maybe it’s just me) he seemed like a fraternal twin of Jake Gyllenhaal – and my brain kept asking “Isn’t that Gyllenhaal?”

In the end, I came away from Faster pleasantly surprised – I went in expecting a no-brainer action flick but found myself enjoying it quite a bit more than that and actually caring about at least our “hero.”

Faster Red Band trailer (for violence):

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If you want to talk about the film without worrying about spoiling it for others, please head over to our Faster Spoilers Discussion.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. Ants will be here shortly… 😉

  2. NICE!!!…semester is over in about three weeks and only need to see:
    Red, The Town, 127 hours, Monsters, Harry Potter, and faster…
    …I think some of these movies wont even be at the theater by the time I am free…GRADUATION CANT COME SOON ENOUGH!!!

    • All of those films are amazing Ivan!

  3. How is Billy Bob in this? He always plays such “colorful” characters, when I saw the trailer I almost thought he seemed miscast. But I wanna see just cause he’s in it and one of my favorite actors.

    • Hr hasn’t done a good movie since Bad Santa.

      • Which, oddly enough, hasn’t shown up on the Christmas Movies rack @ Meijer…

    • Billy Bob is Billy Bob. :)


      • That’s good to know. Even though it was just a little part, I liked him in Tombstone. Russell putting him in his place was classic.

    • I know, he needs to get back into more “interesting” roles.

  4. you mean to say that this is on par with garbage like res4 and machete and is comparable to the expendables… what’s happening vic ?

  5. Odd such a positive review and starnge to see it with a 3.5. I’m not saying 3.5 is bad, but usually when you put up a 3.5 its filled with almost just as much negative as positive, but this is almost entirely positive. Not a criticism just not used to it is all.

    Anyway been looking forward to it. I like most of The Rocks films and this based on previews seems like it could be just as good if not better than The Rundown which I absolutely loved. I hoped it would be a 4, but given the type of film and the actors in it didn’t actually expect anything better than 3.5

    Your not alone on the guy looking like Jake G I honestly saw the pic and thought is that Jake G? then I thought. Wait no it’s that Milo Vertimalla guy from Heroes. Then I thought no it’s just their love child.

    • I found his 3.5 rating kind of odd as well for such a positive review as well daniel. It’s about time that The Rock went back to ass-kicking action in my opinion. I’m planning on seeing this Friday along with another movie.

      • Ditto. Just reading the review I would have though tat least a 4. Not complaining just odd. And I’m seeing it.

        • I gave it a 3.5 because it’s good for the sort of movie it is (action/revenge flick). While I thought it was good for that kind of movie, I really don’t feel it’s an 8/10.


          • Fair enough Vic. We were just curious :) it’s my type of movie for sure. I am gonna go see it Friday, along with HP.

            • 😀

  6. So this isn’t “just another” Dwayne Johnson action flick? Interesting…

    • Considering he’s been wearing wings, tutus, and driving kids around in his more recent films. I’m psyched for this, I just hope he sticks to it and leaves all that other stuff behind him.

      • True

      • Word. :-)

  7. Well I’m gald to hear this b/c I for one liek The Rock and enjo most all of his films including the comedy ones (my little girls nd I love watching GAME PLAN together).

    Now if we could just get another SCORPION KING like fantasy film with The Rock..

  8. Hey Vic, just because i have to know this now, is it said What kind of revolver he is using? .50 cal, .44, 454 casul? It looks freakin huge.

  9. Dewayne Johnson, is a poor mans Steven Seagal!

    Seagal = revenge film master!!!!
    That’s a Ruger Gp-100 357 magnum.

    • Seagal is a has been. WAYYYY past his action days. He has to be pushing 300 lbs.

      • He still has quick Cat-like reflexes though, I wouldn’t mess with him thats for sure.

        • Now THAT’s funny! If he’s around 300 lbs. and has cat-like reflexes, I’m imagining an anthropomorphic Garfield the Cat. LOL


          • He’s not 300 pounds lol. Since when do you have to be skinny to be fast or agile?, have you not seen any Sammo Hung films? Besides, him being a 7th degree black belt in Aikido, I’m fairly certain that you wouldn’t be laughing at him to his face let alone insulting him. :)

            • Oh, I assure you that I was not making fun of him…I was amused by the two descriptions forming an image of a Buddhist Garfield so clearly in my imagination :)

      • I agree. I can’t even remember the last time I enjoyed one of his movies. His role in Machete was just idiotic and painful to watch (not like the movie was any better though).

  10. The last thing you want is Steven Seagal looking for you.

    300 pounds of ball kicking fury, with a license to arrest.

  11. twas a good movie. I enjoyed it.

  12. I’m really wanting to see this. Except here in Australia this movie does not come out until February 2011.

    The big movie companies wonder why piracy is such an issue. Seriously, in this day and age I can’t fathom why some release dates are so far apart. It doesn’t make any sense.

    I have poor quality movies, so I will be waiting unless I manage to catch it while I’m the states for Xmas.

  13. I must say, Oliver Jackson-Cohen is much better looking than Jake Gyllenhaal, The accent is a bonus!

  14. I saw it yesterday.
    I liked it.
    I dont think Johnson is leaving the family stuff behind him just yet though.
    His next film is the sequel to Journey To TheCenter of The Earth.

  15. Saw the preview without first reading anything about the movie; expecting a car-racing thriller and was taken aback that it was the usual revenge genre. Dwayne Johnson seems a determined, strong, silent killer but turns out to be conflicted, and not prepared to kill for the sake of killing. The reviewer here has said everything that I wanted to say, except the following 2 points: (a) the young couple (Maggie Grace and Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is an unnecessary distraction to the high tension created by Dwayne; and (b) the scene by the water edge when the preacher kneels on the sand waiting for Johnson to shoot him — instead of begging for mercy he sings a gospel song. I’m definitely going to see the movie again when it comes to the cinema, just to watch this scene.

  16. I watched tooth fairy and thought that was the worse film dwayne johnson had ever made, but sorry i was wrong this is. From start to finish, its just pointless there was no need to make this movie. Very weak storyline and everyone just ends up dying waste of time don’t watch it.

    Rated it 1/5 and thats only because it’s a little bit more bearable that drive angry.