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2 Fast 2 Furious

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
2 Fast 2 Furious

from Film Forum, 06/19/03

In another case of a critically disliked film becoming a critically disliked franchise, acclaimed director John Singleton (Boys N the Hood, the Samuel Jackson version of Shaft) brings us the sequel to The Fast and the Furious. Paul Walker is back as ex-cop Brian O'Conner, and Tyrese plays his ex-con buddy Roman Pearce. The two join forces in an effort to entrap a criminal import/export dealer in Miami (Cole Hauser.) High-speed highway hi jinks ensue as the undercover police work becomes a demolition derby.

Anne Navarro (Catholic News Service) calls it "a yawner, unable to interest the audience in what is happening to the characters or produce more than mild excitement with its action scenes."

Steven Isaac (Focus on the Family) says it "callously bashes law enforcement, making mincemeat of officers' intelligence, honor and vehicles. Here in Colorado Springs, police departments are doing everything they can to thwart the movie's dangerous messages. There's not enough driver's ed in the whole world to compensate for what teens see glorified in 2 Fast 2 Furious."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says the box office hit "has no aspirations to be anything but the mindless, ear-splitting romp its fans want it to be. So what if star Paul Walker is as interesting or appealing as toast? So what if the actions taken by most of the characters make no sense? So what if the cars perform feats which defy gravity, physics and just about every other law in the universe?"

Ted Baehr (Movieguide) is nicer to Paul Walker and the others involved. "Singleton does a wonderful job directing Paul Walker and Tyrese in what could turn out to be a new Lethal Weapon-buddy type of franchise. It has more of the fast action street racing of the original and a little of the Dukes of Hazard thrown in for fun." He does caution parents to help their children understand that the characters "are endangering people's lives and are ultimately just criminals."

Holly McClure (Crosswalk) calls it "exciting" and "witty," concluding, "This is simply a good popcorn movie that is entertaining."

Michael Medved (Crosswalk) says, "The innumerable chases and races succeed in creating the intoxicating illusion of desperate speed, so that even this cynical (and generally responsible) film critic found himself unconsciously flooring his car on the way home, foolishly exceeding all posted limits. Fortunately, no law enforcement figures turned up to discourage my law breaking and to provoke some feeble excuse."

"It's not a horrible sequel," says J. Robert Parks (The Phantom Tollbooth). "Those looking for a few decent car chases and some gotcha con games won't be disappointed. Unlike The Italian Job, which is a better though more predictable film, 2 Fast 2 Furious has the advantage of not showing all its cards. I wasn't always sure of what was coming next, which is a rare experience for a moviegoer these days."

David Bruce (Hollywood Jesus) says, "The film is not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination—so in this regard, poor reviews are understandable. However, when a film connects so well with an aspect of the culture, one needs to look beyond a viewing room impression. The question needs to be: Why has this film series connected so well to the culture?" He goes on to speculate about why the film connects.