Saturday, April 09, 2011

Guilty Pleasure


Saw the movie Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton. Silly, unbelievable, and you know who the secret bad guy is immediately, so the central puzzle of the whodunnit isn't any puzzle whatsoever, but it doesn't really matter. Written by Tony and Joe Gayton, directed by George Tillman, Jr., the movie looks terrific–the director and cinematographer and camera guys did a great job. Cars screaming along, guns going off–Johnson's piece is a wrist-breaker Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan snubby, chambered in .454 Casull. It would take somebody with his musculature to shoot that sucker more than once without punching holes in the ceiling. Other shooters mostly use Glocks ...


Here's what IMDB's blurb says:


"An ex-con sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man."


That pretty much tells you everything about the story you need–or want–to know. It's a straight-ahead vengence story, no frills, no surprises. (There's an alternate-ending, if you see the DVD, and I can see why they didn't use it. It's dramatically-inferior, and there is also a big gun-flub in the alternate version, where a pistol magically goes from battery to locked-back empty that would have had the gun guys howling in the seats ...)


Johnson ("The Rock") is getting better as an actor. Billy Bob Thornton doesn't need to get any better. The rest of the cast is adequate, and it's one of those where the main characters also don't need (and mostly don't have) names, ID'd only by generics: Driver, Killer, Cop, Warden, Preacher, Old Guy, Teen Girl ...


As I say, a guilty pleasure. Your mileage will probably vary ...

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Actually, I don't think you need to hedge your commentary about this movie: It was pretty damn good for what people expected of it.

I'm reminded of how uncomfortable I felt when all of the normally 2-dimensional "bad guys" grew brains, back stories, and some semblance of sympathy from the audience. Johnson had a progressively more and more difficult time executing his vengeance as he worked through his enemies, coming to terms with who was and who wasn't a victim in the events that lead to his brother's killing.

I completely expected to like this movie only on the basis of the cars and guns, but ended up getting a fully fleshed out story along with it.