With the overwhelming box-office success of The Fast and the Furious, there was no surprise the sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious was released two years later. Unfortunately, the filmmakers appear to have incorrectly thought the movie was a success on all fronts and didn’t deal with its flaws.
After allowing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) to escape, former undercover cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) went on the run. He ends up in Miami where he gets into the illegal racing scene down there. We are told he needs money, but that’s hard to believe when he’s able to come up with the $35,000 entrance fee.
Also hard to believe is the first race. Initially, it’s hard to see what’s going on, but then director John Singleton and his crew deliver some good shots. The camera makes some interesting moves around cars and through their interiors, but the CGI use is distracting and a bit of a disappointment. Illegal racing in Miami must not be underground considering all the people on scene to watch it. The movie doesn’t shy away from being ridiculous early on as a city bridge is raised in the home stretch of the race and delivers cartoon-like results.
The cops show up and it’s a welcome relief they aren’t complete lunkheads (yet). Brian is captured, which is a ruse by the writers to get him working undercover again. He is made an offer by U.S. Customs Agent Markham (James Remar) to help bring down drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). If he accepts, he’ll be cleared of all charges from the previous film.
Brian needs a partner and goes after his old buddy from Barstow, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), who also needs his record cleared. He was jailed for three years, which he blames on Brian. When they reunite, they have the requisite movie fight before they start working together. Their entry into Carter’s cartel is by way U.S. Customs agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes), who is working undercover as Carter’s…hmm, I am not sure how you would describe their relationship other than it’s revealed she’s having sex with him. Carter doesn’t come across as the kind of a guy who would have girlfriends.
A group of drivers have gathered at Carter’s estate to determine what two-man team is going to work for him. He issues a challenge: whoever retrieves a package from his impounded vehicle in Little Haiti wins. This leads to a wild driving sequence where at least one guy is killed in a wreck. No surprise who the winners are. This event also leads Brian to discover Markham has tracking devices in their cars because he considers them a flight risk. In order to get new cars, they have a tag-team race against two guys they met at Carter’s. If you have any doubt who wins here, I’ll give you good odds on the other guys.
Once they are brought into Carter’s fold, Roman can’t stop behaving like a complete asshole towards him, which makes no sense regardless of the pride issues we are supposed to believe he has. Also in the fold is Whitworth (Mark Boone, Jr.), a cop on Carter’s payroll. Carter needs Whitworth to run interference during the big score. He’s says he can’t do it until Carter has a rat chew his fat belly. During the job, local police get involved and they drive like the Keystone Cops.
There are a number of crosses and double crosses by our heroes and villain. There is a pretty spectacular one as Brian and Roman escape the police with the help of a few friends. However, the movie delivers one of the dumbest endings I have seen in quite a while as O’Conner drives off a jump he had no way of knowing existed.
While The Fast and the Furious delivered entertaining action sequences to soften the blow of its poor story and limited acting, the action in 2 Fast 2 Furious isn’t as impressive so the flaws are more pronounced.