2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Genre: Action and Crime Drama Running Time: 1 hr. 47 min.

Release Date: June 6th, 2003 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: John Singleton Actors: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Ludacris, James Remar, Devon Aoki, Thom Barry

 


 

“W

e go live in five!” A high-stakes street race in Miami is ready to go, but one of the four racers had to work a late shift, leaving a slot open for disgraced, fugitive, former LAPD officer Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) – who’s given a measly four minutes to put on clothes and zip to the starting line. As an added twist, the drivers wage $35,000 each – though they hand over wads of cash that can’t possibly be more than a couple thousand (a later scene sees a character play a royal flush in poker, which is equally as nonsensical). And well-connected organizer Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) has an extra trick up his sleeve when he raises a bridge at the finish line, which could easily turn deadly.

Extracurricular vehicular daredevilry aside, the FBI (in collaboration with the U.S. Customs Service) needs help nailing Argentinian cartel leader Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) – and an undercover street racer (and useful courier) is just the persona necessary to get close. With a promise to erase all of O’Conner’s past legal transgressions, he recruits hotheaded childhood pal Roman Pearce (Tyrese) – a man with his own run-ins with the law, and a desire to gain a fresh start – to join him in the mission. But their partnership is tenuous, their transportation task risky, their fellow operative (Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes) could be compromised, and their handler Agent Markham (James Remar) just might get them accidentally killed.

Once again, many of the racing sequences are so augmented by computer graphics and overactive camerawork that they’re not nearly as exciting as they could be. Believable, realistic stunts are so substantially superior. But at least there are more wrecks than before, as well as a greater sense of danger – though the villain is about as generic as they come. Likewise, the love story is as tepid and unconvincing as in the prior picture, the characters are just as thin and plain, and the dialogue is trying so hard to be youthful and cool that it’s thoroughly suspicious (the slang word “bro” and its derivations are used immoderately, most hysterically when Walker utters “cuh,” as if unintentionally mixing “bruh” and “cuz”). Perhaps this fits perfectly with a film that chose a title as goofy as “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Though it’s still a cops-and-robbers type of premise, little about it feels as if a genuine endeavor at crime drama. It is, not surprisingly, mainly an excuse to showcase speed-demon hijinks – an idea so obvious, in fact, that a disclaimer at the end credits states that “the motor vehicle action sequences depicted in this film are dangerous. No attempts should be made to duplicate any action, driving or car play scenes herein portrayed.”

“Guns, murderers, and crooked cops? I was made for this, bruh.” Interestingly, the most uninspiring role from the original cast – the white guy trying to fit in with edgy drivers and criminals, but not quite able to effectively blend – is the only major returning one (Thom Barry as Bilkins is the only other recognizable face). Vin Diesel and his crew are nowhere to be found, suggesting that they weren’t an integral part of the first film’s appeal – or so reckoned the producers (it’s also likely that Diesel simply wasn’t interested or couldn’t agree upon a salary). What is of note, however, is the steady transition from street-racing heisters to James Bond levels of spy action (the premise resembles the “Bad Boys” series), with the chief assignment being one far above the pay grade (and skill set) of a mere car guy – a concept taken to dizzying extremes in the numerous sequels that followed.

– Mike Massie

  • 3/10


The Fast & Furious Franchise


The Fast and the Furious (2001)

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Fast and Furious (2009)

Fast Five (2011)

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Furious 7 (2015)

The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

F9 (The Fast Saga) (2021)

Fast X (2023)