Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FASTER - 'Tooth Fairy' Turns Avenger

FASTER (crime thriller)
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace and Moon Bloodgood
Director: George Tillman Jr
Screenplay: Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton
Time: 100 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

FORGET the usual review. Here are five things you need to know about Faster:

1. After fooling around with family comedies like Game Plan and Tooth Fairy, Dwayne Johnson (above) is trying his hand as the action hero - in the footsteps of Arnie Schwarzenegger. He tried that shoot-'em-up role once - in The Rundown (2003) - and this looks like his second shot.

2. Johnson plays an ex-convict out for revenge against the guys who killed his brother. Having served 10 years in the slammer for bank robbery, his character, known as Driver, has been nursing the dream of vengeance and has amassed the resources necessary for his quest. He is also known for reversing a car into oncoming traffic, spinning the vehicle around and rocketing forward.

3. The plot deals with three personalities known only by their occupation. Besides 'Driver', there is 'Cop' (Billy Bob Thornton), a drug-addicted officer who has been teamed up with Detective Cicero (Carla Gugino) to track down Driver after the body count begins; 'Killer' (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) a weird hit man hired to take out Driver before he completes his task. Killer, however, has promised his new wife, Lily (Maggie Grace, pictured right), that this will be his last job and he is turning over a new leaf.

4. The screenplay, by Tony and Joe Gayton, aims for something more than just an action flick. It tries to explore the themes of revenge and forgiveness - like in a priest (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) begging Driver to find it in his heart to forgive him - but these trips into the darker side of the human soul get lost later on and few people will take it seriously. As the title implies, the audience want fast-paced action and there are moments when the action stalls and reverses into boredom.

5. For a movie like this, Johnson is not required to do much acting but even then, his face betrays few expressions. He will still need his fans from the WWF to 'support' him in this endeavour to turn himself from 'muscle man' to 'action hero'. When he finally succeeds in doing that, he will really Rock!


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