After the events of the first film, Brian O’Connor moves to Miami and is once again recruited to infiltrate a car-based crime ring, making new friends and driving all new cars.
John Singleton, 2003
Brian (Paul Walker) is out of the force and into street racing in the second installment of the Fast & Furious Franchise. An opening race featuring a bunch of people I like (Amaury Nolasco, Michael Ealy and Devon Aoki) getting thrashed by Brian in colour-coded cars (the lighting matches the paint!), where he gets spotted by undercover Customs agent Monica (Eva Mendes). He agrees to go undercover if he can bring in another driver, incredibly irritating childhood friend Roman (Tyrese). They participate in car races, car chases, shoot-outs, and the most ridiculously stupid torture scene ever, in their quest to put away bad guy Carter Verone.
This movie fails to do a few of the things that the first film in the series do right. Bringing in Tyrese to replace Vin Diesel is a terrible mistake; his hothead moron of a character is so annoying that not even the fact that he’s shirtless a lot of the time in this movie can distract from how abrasively awful he is. Eva Mendes fails to make much of a mark as Monica, who finds herself damseling and needing to be saved more often than a badass Customs agent in her position should be. Devon Aoki’s Suki is a fun character, with her hot pink car and attitude, but she and her friends are little more than a plot device and she deserves better. These guys feel like characters in an arcade video game. They’re broad caricatures, sexist and frequently borderline racist, although the central characters don’t fare any better. Walker’s acting hasn’t improved, and Tyrese is awful. Carter Verone is a boring bad guy; his decision to torture a detective with – ha, oh so clever – a rat is the most convaluted and ridiculous torture scene I’ve ever seen in a movie. There’s not a lot of fear or tension created when you’re stifling a laugh the whole time.
The car scenes are flashier in the first film, which is clear right from the opening candy-colour-coded race, probably the best of the film. The film generally looks a lot better than the first, with once-rebellious filmmaker John Singleton taking the director’s chair from Rob Cohen. Other than that there’s not a lot going for the film – it doesn’t hold attention, it’s more episodic than integrated, and the narrative is just as thing as in the first film. There’s not a lot of plot, nor are there interesting subplots to hold attention. The cars are flashier but less substantial, although they are at least shot without all the silly effects the first film attempted. There seems to be an attempt to be less sexist, which falls flat on its ass when they give Eva Mendes almost nothing to do. With only Paul Walker returning from the first film’s central cast, the film is clearly a cash-in on the first, romanticising the cars even more than the first film (and don’t ever get me started on the most stupid title a movie has ever had).
2 Fast 2 Furious on IMDb