‘Faster’ is highly charged, holiday entertainment

By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

Though he’s recently appeared on screen as a football playing dad, an alien-saving cab driver and of course The Tooth Fairy, Dwayne Johnson returns to action hero form in his new movie “Faster.”

 

The film tells the story of Driver, a man just released from prison, who is out to avenge his brother’s death during a heist ten years earlier.

 

“Faster,” which opens Nov. 24, is a no holds barred, old school action film that co-stars Billy Bob Thornton and Carla Gugino.

 

While this movie relies on intense action, it is also a character study where no one is all good or all bad. Thornton portrays Cop, the man chasing Driver as he fulfills his revenge agenda; however, Cop is also a drug addicted man whose marriage is on the rocks.

 

“Right off the bat, you see that the guy has dipped pretty low in his life,” Thornton said. “I think it makes him a more interesting character than there’s just a cop in the movie.”

 

Thornton thinks attention to character is what’s lacking in most action movies.

 

“I think one of the flaws in most commercial action movies is that the characters are usually not very developed,” Thornton said.

 

Johnson also felt it was important to examine what drove his character to such violent actions.

“When I read the script I didn’t think of him as a hero, nor did I think of him as a cold blooded killer,” Johnson said. “I thought of him as a man who was tortured and has a lot of turmoil going on.”

 

Driver’s killing spree comes to a head when he meets up with Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who plays The Evangelist, another man on Driver’s hit list.

 

This scene is Johnson’s favorite of the film and provided one of his biggest challenges of the movie.

 

“Emotionally I don’t think I really stopped the camera that day, I kept the camera rolling,” said director George Tillman Jr. “I shot at least 25,000 feet of film that day and I just felt like keep the camera rolling, keep these guys in the moment and I thought those guys did a great job with the material.”

 

“Faster” invokes ‘70s style Steve McQueen chase movies with its focus on real action and stunts.

 

“We thought it was a good idea and important to the film, in terms of its authenticity, to tie me into all these shots and not cut away to a stunt double,” Johnson said.

 

For the cast and filmmakers one of the best things about making this movie was the positive on-set atmosphere.

 

“There wasn’t really anything hard to me about doing this movie other than reminding myself that I was in this very intense dark movie…because everybody on this movie was so nice I couldn’t believe it,” Thornton said.

 

As an alternative to the overblown action movies released nowadays, “Faster” is a real entertaining popcorn movie that also features solid, thought provoking characters.