BAD CINEMA WITH BEN
A Semi-Regular Feature
TODAY'S FILM: 2Fast 2 Furious
As I was planning my day this morning, it hit me that it had been a long while since I had taken a chance on a movie at the theatre. True, I had seen The Matrix: Reloaded just a few weeks ago, but I knew beforehand that I would likely enjoy it. Still, it was all the way back in January that I had taken a chance on Narc, the excellent crime thriller with Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. So it was time to give the movies another go.
Now, as I scanned the movies playing at my local chain theatre, I found myself presented with options that ranged from the moderately-good to the awful.
There was Alex & Emma, a movie that might have worked, provided it had a director other than
Meathead Rob Reiner at the helm. Then there was The Hulk, but I wasn't going to see that because Oliver said it was boring. Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle looked all right, but I really wasn't in a "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" kind of mood. Also there was some movie about talking fish.
Well, folks, I should've gone and seen the movie about the talking fish, because I got Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy up to my freakin' earlobes with 2Fast 2Furious.
Naturally, these three elements were not portrayed the way I would have liked. You had Democracy, if you consider the anti-social actions of an angry mob to be democratic. You had Whiskey, in two ways: first, because everyone in the movie seemed to be involved in strange MTV-style parties all the time; and second, because I suspect the writers and producers behind this miserable film got smashed a lot while making it. And you definitely had Sexy, in that nearly all the characters were portrayed as oversexed dolts clueless about how to find proper clothing. No, wait a minute. Sexy is not at all the right word to describe that state of affairs.
Anyway, here's the plot. In a strange parallel universe where Los Angeles and Miami are devoid of civilian traffic on their surface roads, decadent and immoral young people race souped-up automobiles for large amounts of cash. Said young people are all shameless and awful stereotypes, we might add. For you have the Rugged White Guy (Paul Walker), the Angry Black Guy (Tyrese Gibson), the Hispanic Gangster-Type (Amaury Nolasco) and the Asian Girl (Devon Aoki).
But in the end, it doesn't matter, because it's not as if any of these characters are three- or even two-dimensional. In fact, the only thing in the movie with any personality or depth is the rat used in a particularly nasty and unnecessary scene. Besides, the story -- or what once may have been a story -- is so breathtakingly moronic that I had to bite my lip.
The first truly-stupid thing about 2Fast is that the law enforcement figures in it are depicted as bumbling, out-of-touch dolts who can't even work out simple matters, such as jurisdictional issues. They are not, however, so incompetent that they cannot corral our Rugged White Guy Hero after a bit of street racing. Since said White Guy is a former LAPD officer -- yes, the film is that carried away -- the authorities are not inclined to be happy with him. However, they will conveniently make a deal with Rugged White Guy if he agrees to work undercover to bring down a Colombian drug lord. He enlists the Angry Black Guy (who also happens to be his Long Lost Pal) in this endeavor. Much street-racing and silliness ensues.
I suppose this could have all been marginally tolerable if every main character wasn't such a blooming idiot. That's the second truly-stupid thing. And let me clear about this: every single actor or actress in this film seemed incapable of delivering their awful lines with any flair or verve. Watching Messrs Walker and Gibson deliver their supposedly-witty banter gave me such chest pains I almost asked other patrons if they had any nitroglycerin. Not even the people you'd expect to be smart -- like Federal Law Enforcement Officials -- came off as such.
But the third stupid thing, which others have also noted about 2Fast, was that none of the main characters suffered the types of injuries you'd expect from such reckless or anti-social behavior. Of course, it helped that this existed in a strange world where Regular Folks All Used Mass Transit, but come on.
So, anyway, here's the final verdict:
I would hope that the good people in Hollywood would take the advice I offer to heart, but I fear that they shall not. According to the film's Official Web Site, the American People paid out $50.3 million to see this foolishness in the first three days of its run. At the rate they're going, Hollywood may just decide a third movie is in order.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 27, 2003 05:38 PM | TrackBack