Monday, 3 September 2012


“Violence isn’t always evil. What’s evil is the infatuation with violence.” - Jim Morrison

We had a very beautiful Spring day yesterday so it was good to go out and enjoy the sunshine a little. There was definitely a warmth in the air, the sun was shining and the Spring flowers have really started to put on a show. Nevertheless, we managed to see our movie as well, which proved to be just the thing after our walk, although it turned out to be quite a dark and sombre film.

It was the 2010 George Tillman Jr movie, “Faster”, starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino and Maggie Grace. It was the typical “dick flick” genre with some elements of film-noir thrown in for good measure. In any case, there was lots of action, car chases, double-crossing, double dealing, violence, drugs and a tale of vengeance and betrayal. It was also quite intelligent and had a moral.

The plot centres on Driver (Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock!”) who after serving 10 years in prison for bank robbery, has only one mission in life, to avenge the murder of his older brother who was executed in front of his eyes when they were double-crossed after the heist. Driver obtains the names and addresses of the double-crossers, and begins to get rid of them systematically. There appear to be nothing on earth that can stop him from killing all of them, except two people that are hunting him. A veteran cop (Billy Bob Thornton) only days from retiring and a young hit man (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). The plot is pretty simple, but relies on the action mainly (OK, and a couple of twists)…

Dwayne Johnson I believed has potential as an actor, however, his choice of roles has been pretty dismal since he left the world of wrestling. “The Scorpion King” was bad enough, but when one considers “The Tooth Fairy”, well, what can I say? In this film, Johnson shows that he has what it takes to play a serious tough guy role, playing it well and with restraint. He is cast perfectly as the vengeful Driver, out to deliver justice to the killers of his brother. Billy Bob Thronton is also cast well as the sleazy, drug-taking cop, while Oliver Jackson-Cohen is also good as the pretty boy killer who seems to be in it for the thrill of it rather than the money. Carla Gugino plays the tough woman cop well and Maggie Grace looks mainly decorative.

This was a violent movie, but oddly, quite entertaining too. The action and violence were not mindless and although the main theme was vengeance, this was counterpointed with forgiveness and redemption. The dialogue is sparing and there are some excellent one liners delivered with great aplomb by Thornton mainly. Original Music by Clint Mansell is very good and the cinematography by Michael Grady excellent. Overall, a good movie.

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