Time: 108 Minutes
Age Rating: M – contains medium level violence
Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes
Cole Hauser as Carter Verone
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker
James Remar as Agent Markham
Director: John Singleton
Brian O’Conner, a former police officer, partners with Roman Pierce, his friend and a criminal, to bring a drug lord to justice in order to erase their criminal record.
There are a range of reactions to the Fast and Furious movies. However, from what I’ve seen, the second installment in 2 Fast and 2 Furious is often cited as the worst of the series. After rewatching it, I can definitely see why, but I still got some enjoyment out of it.
The story and characters are fairly thin, undercooked and not that memorable. Much like the other pre-Fast Five movies, the plot is focusing on racing, but it definitely takes a step towards where F&F is today with it being about the main characters taking down a drug lord. It even does some worldbuilding despite most of the characters not returning from the first movie. It lacks the sincerity of the previous film and instead leans further into the cheese and silliness. It is openly dumb and honestly benefits from that. It is wonderfully implausible especially with the action, although relatively tame compared to the later movies of the franchise. That being said, there is a very dark scene with the main villain torturing someone which doesn’t fit in with the rest of the movie. Beyond that, it is a fun enough buddy movie.
The leads in this are Paul Walker reprising his role as Brian O’Conner (the only returning character from the last movie), and Tyrese Gibson in his first appearance as Roman (who also became a major character in the series from 5 onwards). While Walker is functional but fairly bland, the two are entertaining on screen together, they have a more entertaining dynamic compared to Walker and Vin Diesel in the first movie. Gibson was particularly a fun addition, and is funny especially with his line deliveries. The other actors and characters including Eva Mendes and Ludacris (who makes his first appearance as Tej and would be another recurring F&F character) are also decent. The villain played by Cole Hauser was fairly forgettable and generic; the aforementioned torture scene was the only time where he felt threatening.
John Singleton’s direction of this movie isn’t great, but he at least made an entertaining enough movie. The action wasn’t spectacular and it usually contains some really bad CGI, but they are stylised and entertaining. While the set pieces in the previous movie are better constructed, 2 Fast and 2 Furious had probably more entertaining action scenes just for how over the top they are.
2 Fast 2 Furious is by far the worst in the franchise and is a step down from the first movie, but it is still pretty entertaining. For those who are familiar with the later movies, but not the pre Fast 5 films, it might be worth checking out just to see how much the movies have changed. Outside of that, it is a fun buddy movie, but isn’t particularly special.