A man is released from prison and sets out to gain revenge on the gang that murdered his brother ten years previously in a botched bank job.
Dwayne Johnson is a rare beast having made a successful transition from wrestling ring to bona fide action A-lister. With his 'The Rock' persona, he was genuinely charismatic in the WWE ring and a firm fan favourite whether playing a heel or 'face. As an actor, he would be the first to admit he's never going to be giving RDN or Pacino a run for their money but he is what he is - a big hulking testosterone-y mans man that can kick derriere and take names. While not afraid to show his comedic side, including a fabulous self-parody in 'The Other Guys' starring Will Ferrell, his action credentials are undoubted even if his acting ones are lacking. Luckily, here, he doesn't have to do much and that fits in with his character quite nicely.
With Faster, belief suspension is imperative. Don't go in expecting a discourse on existential theory by 19th century Danish philosophers (Kierkegard was a hoot, apparently), rather if you take it as a brainless thriller, you'll be much more entertained. A good value Billy Bob Thornton crops up in a role as a damaged detective assigned to the case as the body count racks up while Johnson despatches bad guys with ease. Maggie Grace provides a bit of eye-candy (and nothing more) while Brit Oliver Jackson-Cohen, ex-Hollyoaks alumni, crops up as a bored millionaire-cum-assassin. He's far too pretty and suave. The plot, despite a few twist and turns, is largely predictable but never plodding and the pacing is just about right.
It's easy to pick holes in a film like Faster but, do you know what, I feel that's being too harsh as the film hasn't been well received by critics already. The characters are drawn with very broad strokes and while we get a little back-story, there's not enough to make them more than 2-dimensional. It could have been better, sure, but there's place in this world for movies of this ilk. They are pure candy floss, providing an instant hit of sugary confection but disappearing soon afterwards. I don't mind that at all. It's worth a punt if you have a few beers spare, a take-out pizza on order and a large comfy sofa to sink into. Just leave your brain at the door and you'll be fine.
My rating: 6/10. A 4/10 if I think too much about it.