12 April 2017

2 Fast 2 Furious: First of Many Sequels

2 Fast 2 Furious debuted two years later in the summer of 2003. It opened strong, and finished reasonably. It opens with Brian (Walker), now an ex-cop, street racing in Miami.  He is the Racing Dom of Miami, and Tej (Ludacris) is garage owner Dom.  Apparently, they needed both of them to split the duties of Vin Diesel, who sat this installment out.  Brian wins the street course race, not a drag race, after ramping his car over an opening draw bridge.  Then, cops arrive, racers flee, and Brain is caught.

Next we are introduced to U.S. Customs Agents Marham (James Remar) and Dunn.  With the help of Brian’s old boss from Fast 1, Agent Bilkins, they are able to get Brian to agree to help them catch a smuggler by offering to clear his record at completion.  Brian manages to work in his old friend Roman “Rome” Pierce (Tyrese) as his partner, as long as they clear his record, too.  We meet Rome as he is competing in a demolition derby with a house arrest bracelet on.  After a childish fistfight between Rome and Brian, Rome agrees to help the cause.

From here, the movie doesn’t really focus on the cars as much as it recreates the typical Miami Vice plot.  A bad guy is smuggling contraband from Cuba to Miami.  A cop is deep undercover and could be compromised.  I think they used the plot for the Miami Vice movie, too.

Anyway, the guys race for an audition to run for the bad guy Carter Verone (Cole Hauser).  They win the audition, which shocks no one.  Brian starts to make sweet on Verone’s lady, Monica (Eve Mendes), who is the possibly compromised undercover agent.  Tension builds between the two heroes and Verone’s two thugs.

The finale of 2 Fast 2 Furious is a scene I remember.  The police chase Rome and Brian to a huge airport hangar.  The police surround the hangar, the doors open and every tricked out car and truck in the Miami area comes driving out with the help of Tej and his friends.  I know they tried, but Tej, Suki, Orange Julius, and Slap Jack are not replacements for Dom and his crew.

So, the good guys end up defying the rules of physics and ramp their car onto the villain’s escape yacht.  Monica is not compromised, and all is well.  Brian and Rome’s records are clear.  As they walk away, they talk to each other about opening a garage with the money that they skimmed from their drug dealing antagonist.  Though, this is not where we find Brian in six years.  I don’t know where we are going to catch up with Rome.  He will make his return to this lucrative franchise on Friday.

This was only my second viewing of 2 Fast 2 Furious.  It was directed by Academy Award nominated John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, Shaft, Four Brothers).  His direction was a bit better than Cohen’s from the first film.  The dialog was better, but it was not as memorable.  There aren’t any “I live my life, a quarter of a mile at a time” lines.  Would I use up 107 minutes to watch this again?  In two years when the sixth movie comes out, sure.  Until then?  Probably not.

Rating: 7/10

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