A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
John Singleton's "2 Fast 2 Furious" tells a story so shamelessly preposterous all we can do is shake our heads in disbelief. Consider that the big climax involves a Miami druglord who hires two street racers to pick up bags full of money in North Beach and deliver them in the Keys, and adds, "You make it, I'll personally hand you $100 Gs at the finish line." Hell, for 10 Gs, I'd rent a van at the Aventura Mall and deliver the goods myself.
But this is not an ordinary delivery. The drivers are expected to drive at speeds ranging from 100 mph to jet-assisted takeoff velocities, which of course might attract the attention of the police, so the druglord has to arrange a 15-minute "window" with a corrupt cop, who he persuades by encouraging a rat to eat its way into his intestines. Does it strike you that this man is going to a lot of extra trouble? Despite the persuasive rat, the cops do chase the speed-racers, but they have anticipated this, and drive their cars into a vast garage, after which dozens or hundreds of other supercharged vehicles emerge from the garage, confusing the cops with a high-speed traffic jam. Oh, and some guys in monster trucks crush a lot of squad cars first. It is my instinct that the owners of monster trucks and street machines treat them with tender loving care, and don't casually volunteer to help out a couple of guys (one they've never seen before) by crashing their vehicles into police cars. You can get arrested for that.
Does it sound like I'm complaining? I'm not complaining. I'm grinning. "2 Fast 2 Furious" is a video game crossed with a buddy movie, a bad cop-good cop movie, a Miami druglord movie, a chase movie and a comedy. It doesn't have a brain in its head, but it's made with skill and style and, boy, is it fast and furious.
How much like a video game is it? The two drivers are named Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) and Roman Pearce (Tyrese). As they race down city streets at one-fifth the speed of sound, they talk to each other. They can't hear each other, but that doesn't matter, because what they say is exactly the kind of stuff that avatars say in video games. I took some notes: "Let's see what this thing can do!" "Watch this, bro!" "Let's see if you still got it, Brian!" "How you like them apples!?" Walker returns from the original "The Fast and the Furious" (2001), which established Vin Diesel as a star. Rather than appear in this movie, about cops infiltrating his car gang to bust the drug cartel, Diesel decided instead to make "A Man Apart," playing a cop fighting the drug cartel. Oddly enough, F&F2 is the better movie.