Written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas
Directed by John Singleton
Starring Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Devon Aoki, and James Remar
- “Driving School” features for Gibson, Walker, and Aoki
- Car close-ups for Gibson, Walker, and Aoki
- Bio features on Gibson, Walker, and Aoki
- Running audio commentary by director Singleton
- Deleted scenes
- Car modification featurette
- Stunt featurette
- Music featurette with Ludacris
- Cast and filmmaker bios
- Video game preview
- Pop-up text commentary/trivia
- DVD-ROM content
Released by: Universal
My Advice: Rent it if you must.
[ad#longpost]After letting Dominic Toretto escape, Brian O’Conner (Walker) went from cop to wanted in a matter of hours. Abandoning his old life and his old home, he flees cross-country, street-racing along the way to earn some money. Eventually, he lands in Miami, where he delves fully into the lifestyle of an outlaw street racer. He’s making money, has a great car, and essentially spends all his time looking over his shoulder for fear of being apprehended. Which is, within moments of the credits finishing, exactly what happens. Once caught, he’s offered the simple choice of helping the feds bust drug lord Carter Verone (Hauser) or going to prison for a very long time. Accepting, he stipulates he’ll find his own partner.
Returning to his home town of Barstow, Brian looks up old pal Roman Pearce (Gibson). Unfortunately, “Rome” isn’t so happy to see Brian, as he blames his former friend and ex-cop for the bust that sent him to prison for three years. After the requisite make-up brawl, the two set out for Miami to get briefed on the situation and ingratiate themselves to Mr. Verone as his personal couriers/drivers. When the big job finally rolls around that will allow the feds to put the bust on Verone, things get complicated, and Rome and Brian must rely on their own skills (and a little help from their street-racing friends) to get away with their lives (and a tidy little sum of money that nobody should miss).
2 Fast 2 Furious doesn’t break any new ground that its predecessor didn’t cover already. It also represents a solid “strike two” against John Singleton. Limited story, clichÃ©-ridden plot, cardboard acting…there’s really not much here to get excited about, honestly. Cole Hauser probably takes honors for Best Performance by a Pitch Black Alumnus, but it’s not saying very much. The dialogue is for the most part flat as a pancake. There’s lots of eye candy to be had, if you’re into tricked-out import cars with tacky paint jobs and silly after-market mods like TVs in the trunk lids. In fairness, the cars are also boosted to some insane horsepower, but the movie doesn’t exactly give you lots of opportunities to gaze upon their wonder in that respect. Most of the tricked-out cars spend the entire film parked.
To its credit, the DVD is absolutely stacked with bonus material. Commentary and production features are informative. The pop-up text commentary has some interesting bits of trivia, particularly about the stunt driving and the various auto crashes scattered throughout the film. This expands nicely on the featurette about the stunt driving and the short pieces that show three of the actors going through the paces of driving school to get prepped for the film. There’s also a short feature on three of the autos used in the movie, and a broader short documentary about the process of tuning these cars into street-illegal racing machines. Basically, if you enjoyed the movie, there’s over an hour’s worth of additional footage and supporting material presented on the disc–and if you didn’t like the film but are interested in cars, half of that bonus material will be more interesting the film itself.
Serious gearheads need to take care in checking this one out, though, as the sillier cosmetic mods will have eyes rolling so hard you might sprain something. If you’re really a huge car nut and want some entertainment that matches those tastes, save your money for the PS2’s Gran Turismo 4 around Christmas, and give this one a miss.