2 Fast 2 Furious

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Cast:
Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
Tyrese as Roman Pearce
Eva Mendes as Monica Clemente
Cole Hauser as Carter Verone
Ludacris as Tej
Thom Barry as Agent Bilkins
James Remar as Agent Markham
Devon Aoki as Suki
Amaury Nolasco as Orange Julius
Michael Ealy as Slap Jack
Jin as Jimmy
Mark Boone Junior as Detective Whitworth
Matt Gallini as Enrique
Roberto Sanz as Roberto
Eric Etebari as Darden

Summary:
If you liked The Fast And The Furious, you’ll enjoy 2 Fast 2 Furious. Tyrese is a worthy replacement for Vin Diesel.

Story:
Former LA cop Brian O’Conner is now living in Miami illegally racing street cars for a living. However, when the police bust him, FBI Agent Bilkins (from the first film) shows up to offer him a deal. Carter Verone, a local crime lord, is looking for drivers to transport his hidden cash. Bilkins wants O’Conner to pose as a driver to help them bust Verone. An agent inside his organization, Monica Clemente, can set him up for the deal.

O’Connor agrees to help on one condition – he gets to pick his partner. Brian chooses Roman Pearce, a childhood friend and driving buddy who is now an ex-con. The only trick is getting Pearce to agree as well. He blames O’Connor for getting him sent to jail in the first place. However, he agrees to help. The two must reconcile and use all their street smarts and driving skills to bust Verone. They’ll also need some help from their other racing buddies to stay alive.

2 Fast 2 Furious is rated PG-13 for street racing, violence, language and some sensuality.

What Worked:
Like the first film, 2 Fast 2 Furious is a movie you expect to truly stink, yet it comes out of nowhere and ends up being pretty good. All the elements of the first film are here – fast cars, loud music, hot chicks, and tough pretty boys. However, the movie has a fresh new start that sets it apart from the original. In fact, you could probably watch the sequel without having ever seen the first movie.

A big part of what makes this movie fresh is the addition of Tyrese as Roman Pierce. He takes the place of Vin Diesel and does a fine job. He’s as tough and as cool as Diesel, yet he has a bit more life in him and comes across as a bit more intelligent. It also helps that Tyrese is a better actor. He can play the character as mean and intimidating and then switch to comedic and funny a heartbeat later. He teams perfectly with Paul Walker. The two act just like brothers. They fight with each other, joke with each other, and look out for each other just like siblings. Their exchanges keep the movie moving along and entertaining.

The rest of the cast doesn’t do a whole lot, but they do an adequate job of playing their parts. Eva Mendes looks like the Latina Cindy Crawford as Monica Clemente. She’s mainly eye candy, but she is tough in a couple of scenes. I think more could have been done with her character, but they do a good job of surrounding her with mystery. Is she one of the good guys or bad guys? Thom Barry also returns as Agent Bilkins. He’s a bit more likable in this role. He’s not quite the blowhard he was in the first go round.

As you would expect, this movie has some great car chases. More importantly, there are some cool car crashes. There are four main chase sequences in the film. The grand finale rivals The Blue Brothers and Cannonball Run for the sheer number of police cars destroyed. If you’re coming to this movie to see fast cars, you should be satisfied.

What Didn’t Work:
2 Fast 2 Furious did have a few problems. For example, whenever someone hits the button for nitrous oxide, the car goes to warp speed and everything blurs outside. I half expected to see Chewbacca sitting next to Paul Walker. It was a bit over-exaggerated. And while the first film praised the racing sub-culture, this film hardly focuses on it at all. There’s one race at the beginning, but the rest of the film barely deals with it. If that was a favorite aspect of the first film that you’re looking for again, you’ll be disappointed.

The main racing scene at the beginning also seemed a bit overdone. With the blaring rap music, guys acting tough, and women in tight clothes, it almost seemed like a movie cliché. If you took the scene out of context, you wouldn’t know if you were watching Biker Boyz, The Fast And The Furious, or any of the other racing movie clones out there. Fortunately, they drop this early and move on. In fact, the scenes without the racing are some of the most entertaining in the movie.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, 2 Fast 2 Furious is a worthy sequel to the original. It’s a fun popcorn flick that you should leave your brain at home to see.

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