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After spending 10 years in prison, Driver (Dwayne Johnson) is intent on avenging the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. He has a list of names to eliminate but there are complications: a veteran cop on the eve of retirement (Billy Bob Thornton) and a professional assassin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who is passionate about his job are both on his tail. As Driver seeks out the people on his list, the details about the circumstances in which his brother was killed becomes muddled and it seems that his list may be incomplete.

Review by Louise Keller:
Each with unfinished business, a driver, a killer and a cop cross paths as their heaven and hell change places. There's nothing subtle about this full throttle revenge action flick; when Dwayne Johnson's tattooed, scarred and muscly ex crim Driver jams his foot on the accelerator, we know he has no intention of following the rules of the road. Or rules of any kind. Nope, you don't have to concentrate on the story - you can let your brain take a nap through the snazzy driving, the killing sprees and the quirky situations in which our three protagonists find themselves. In fact the redeeming factors of this heavy-handed, dumbed down movie for action-loving young males are its eccentricities and contradictions.

When we meet Johnson's Driver about to be released from a jail in the middle of nowhere, we can tell he is a tough son-of-a-you-know-what. He has seen death close up and has the bullet-hole in his cheek to prove it. Revenge is the only thing on his mind - his finger is trigger happy and although he doesn't hesitate to kill, he has a streak of compassion. The Rock is solid in every sense of the word, although the role doesn't stretch him beyond the expected.

Next we meet Billy Bob Thornton's dishevelled, troubled cop, who has to cope with his own nightmare set of problems: he's trying to kick a drug habit, he wants to bond with his son and get back with his estranged wife (Moon Bloodgood). Carla Gugino is excellent as his police sidekick. Thornton injects just the right amount of sleaze and underdog appeal to win our sympathy.

And then there is Oliver Jackson-Cohen's assassin with the movie-star looks and flexible body, who chats to his shrink before he makes a hit. The relationship with his gorgeous blond girlfriend (Maggie Grace) is one of the most incongruous of the film. But all the relationships have their share of the incongruous and everyone has closets with emotional skeletons.

Faster provides mindless non-stop action and if you took a little nap in the middle of the film, you wouldn't miss much. Each character has reached a dark place in his life and wants a brand new start. There are surprises and twists and a sprinkling of irony as the key characters find themselves thrown together at a spiritual revival gathering, of all places. Hallelujah. There's a touch of humour too - amidst the action and melodrama. All pretty predictable, but good escapism.
Published first in the Sun-Herald

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(US, 2010)

CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Mauricio Lopez, James Gaines, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Tom Berenger, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Moon Bloodgood

PRODUCER: Tony Gayton, Liz Glotzer, Martin Shafer, Robert Teitel

DIRECTOR: George Tillman Jr

SCRIPT: Tony Gayton, Joe Gayton


EDITOR: Dirk Westervelt

MUSIC: Clint Mansell


RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 3, 2011

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