2 Fast 2 Furious: Does Anyone Wear any Seatbelts?
“2 Fast 2 Furious” was released Jun 6, 2003. The film’s domestic box office gross was $127,154,901.
2 Fast 2 Furious is a sequel to the 2001 sleeper hit The Fast and the Furious. The latter movie chronicled the import car drag racing scene in Los Angeles and gave rise to the annoying phenomena of souped-up Hondas Civics and Toyota Supras challenging people to a race on any street corner. Fans of the first film eagerly awaited this sequel. From The Fast and the Furious only Paul Walker returns as L.A.P.D. officer Brian O’Connnor. Vin Diesel, who had a breakout role in the first film, refused to return amid allegations that he had become a diva and was demanding $20 million to reprise his character, preferring to follow TFATF director Rob Cohen with whom he later filmed the atrocious XXX (2002). This time around, the directing job was given to John Singleton, who regained his mojo thanks to the very stylish Shaft (2000).
2 Fast 2 Furious is an obviously fake movie and should be seen for entertainment purposes only. The cars do donuts at 80mph and don’t turn over, but it’s entertaining. Many movie-goers complained about the wooden acting and weak script. Then again, this movie never promised a lot. The plot is formulaic and seems like it could have been taken off of an episode of Miami Vice or even worse Baywatch. On the other hand, when it comes to hot cars, hot babes and Miamisms, the movie delivers plenty.
Since this movie was sponsored by Mitsubishi, the characters played by Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson drive a Lancer Evolution VII and an Eclipse Spyder, respectively. Regardless of how they look on screen, I still wouldn’t buy a Mitsubishi if I can afford a better car. The ubiquitous souped-up Hondas from part 1 are missing, oddly enough.
The special features section includes a clip that shows what happened to Brian O’Connor. After letting Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel, only guido who ever commanded some sort of respect) escape with his 10 second car, Brian O’ Connor flees from Los Angeles. He heads east whilst working at several garages; along the way, he acquires a blue Nissan Skyline which he turns into a racing machine.
Me voy pa’ Miami Chico
O’Connor like any good ol’ Latin American dictator decides to start again in Miami, and finds the Miami drag racing scene, which I didn’t know existed (I need to go out more. sigh). The movie’s first scene is probably it’s best. Tej (rapper Ludacris) is organizing a street race between Slap Jack (Michael Ealy), assman Orange Julius (Amaury Nolasco, acting all rico suave and Cubanazo) and anime hottie Suki. Since another racer is needed, Tej gives Brian a call. The competitors speed through downtown Miami and Brickell barely crashing into the sidewalks. The race finalizes with a spectacular tilted-bridge jump over the Miami River in which Brian’s Skyline cruises over slap Jacks (Car). After landing Slap Jack loses control and crashes. Suki also manages to jump, while Orange Julius chickens out and leaves.
The Feds appear suddenly and arrest O’Connor, in the process wrecking his Skyline. Special Customs agent Markham (James Remar), offers Brian a chance to clean his criminal record if he agrees to help bring down a powerful drug lord, Carter Verone. Verone is Argentinean and resembles the typical Miami Vice villains. The choice of villain nationality struck me as odd; Argentina is better known for producing coked-out soccer legends and ruthless dictators than drug lords. Verone plans to transport a few million dollars and needs the best drivers he can find. His legitimate business happens to be exporting and importing exotic cars.
Brian recruits his best friend Roman Pearce (Tyrese), whom he hadn’t spoken to in years. Roman had been in prison and distrusts anyone who carries a badge, Brian included. After making up,..er, I mean renewing their friendship, Brian and Roman head back to Miami for some action. The two will also be working with Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes), an undercover agent, who works as Verone’s secretary/lover. Brian manages to impress her with the drive and stare technique.
Brian and Roman’s must perform a test drive in order to be accepted as part of Verone’s crew. The mission consists of retrieving a valuable from Verone’s Ferrari that was impounded by the authorities. Brian and Roman manage to beat other drivers on their way there, while giving the viewers a demonstration of their driving prowess and earning Verone’s admiration.
Say Hello to my Hairy Friend
Afterwards, Verone invites the two friends to Club Pearl in South Beach. I’m not sure if this is the same glitzy Pearl circa 2003. Verone needs Brian and Roman to drive two of his cars loaded with his cash to a secret location in the Keys. But first he needs a window from local cops who have been tracking him incessantly. Up to this scene, Carter Verone seems like a passive gangster; but then suddenly his inner Pablo Escobar comes out. In a club backroom, while his henchmen hold down a corrupt local Miami detective, Verone holds a bucket with a rat inside against the crooked cop’s stomach. When the bucket is heated, the rat attempts to escape by chewing through the man’s stomach. The detective is released after he promises to call off police surveillance at Verone’s compound, thus giving him enough time to transport his money. The FBI and customs plan to arrest to Verone after the drop is completed.
The next morning Brian is awakened by Monica, who warns him that Verone plans to shoot him and Roman after they deliver the money. With their fortunes being narrowed to being killed or going to jail, Brian and Roman’s options look slim. They devise a plan to lose both local cops and the FBI helicopter that is tracking them. The day of the drop, as multiple cruisers close in, they drive to a large warehouse and lock the doors. What follows is a pretty fun scene: The doors open and 4X4 trucks appear and smash into the multiple police vehicles awaiting them, followed by a myriad of custom-built and designed automobiles. Brian, Roman and two of Verone’s henchmen switch to muscle cars and manage to escape from the cops. To make a long story short, the final scene is very formulaic. Verone is planning to escape the country (on a really slow yacht), taking Monica as a prisoner. Brian and Roman manage to beat the henchmen and then race at top speed through a boardwalk and crash into Verone’s boat, apprehending him.
At the end, Verone goes to prison, Monica is safe, and Brian and Roman are free and able to start life again with clean records. They decide to stay in Miami and start a garage and continue racing.
Fast, Furious but odd.
As mentioned earlier, 2 Fast 2 Furious is big on cars, women, style, but little on substance and logic. The car chases and drag races are good but not as good as Steve McQueen’s in Bullitt. Tyrese Gibson’s character has incredible charisma and provides most of the laughs. Generally, I will agree with the view that 2 Fast 2 Furious realizes it’s shortcomings and doesn’t take itself too serious. Remember, these guys are drag racing .
Through the crevice filled streets of Miami and surviving to tell it. Also, they never get arrested nor crash; they takes turns at 70 mph and don’t turn over and smash against the wall. A physicist will most certainly hate the Fast and Furious franchise. Also, no one seems to wear any seatbelts, despite the death-defying speed involved.
Even though Paul Walker and Eva Mendes are paired as a potential couple, their affair consists of only looks and one non-tongue kiss (more of a pec on the cheek). Ideally, in the final scene he should have asked her out on a date instead of walking off with his buddy. Which takes us to next point. Reports say that Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson became good buddies during filming. This is clearly reflected in their very heartfelt “bromance”. Some critics said that Eva Mendes’ presence was simply a decoy to distract from the romance between the two “bros”.
Also, it should be noted that Paul Walker says “bro”, like “bro”, every two seconds, “bro”. There are far more “bros” than “f#%ks” in 2 Fast 2 Furious. Somewhere Joe Pesci is scratching his head. Walker’s Brian O’ Connor for some odd reason dresses like a kid; half of time he has shorts on and he’s always wearing his Converse All-Star Chuck Taylors. And somehow, with this wardrobe he catches Eva Mendes’ eye.
How does it relate to Miami
Most of the principal photography and non-CGI scenes were filmed in our glorious magic city. Several city landmarks are clearly recognizable while others are mentioned casually. Examples of this included, “My car is in a garage in Little Haiti”, or “We’re meeting at 6:00 at Versailles Restaurant”. In the scenes containing the first race and bridge jump, several downtown streets are clearly visible. At one turn, the racers almost jump the median and crash against the Freedom Tower. The jump scene gives the impression that
All in all 2 Fast 2 Furious is an adrenaline filled ride, perfect if you got nothing else to do on a Saturday night and want to catch a few glimpses of Miami.
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