by Rick Grant
The previews on this film imply that the scenario is a one dimensional story of an ex-con (Dwayne Johnson – aka:The Rock) who gets out of jail and immediately starts tracking his brother’s killers. It’s much more involved, with a surprise ending. Tony and Joe Gayton’s cleverly written screenplay involves three main characters, all converging on Driver’s last victim.
There is the cop (Billy Bob Thorton) who injects himself into the case for nefarious reasons. There is his ad hoc partner Cicero (Garla Gugino). And, there is a hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) hired by an unknown person. He has a kill contract out on Driver.
This killer for hire is a maverick. He is a billionaire who takes contract jobs for thrills, because everything he’s done before becoming a hitman– climbing Everest, mastering yoga, et al– bores him.
Thus, three scenarios are in play as Driver retrieves his hot-rodded muscle car and roars off to find and kill a hit-list of confidential informants who ripped off his crew’s take from a bank robbery and killed his brother.
The action is fast and loud with Driver stalking down his prey. One by one, he finds them and kills them where they work or live. Dwayne Johnson characterizes Driver as a Dirty Harry-Death Wish archetype, with piercing eyes and hate flowing from every pore. In Driver’s world, there is no redemption, just an eye for and eye.
Director George Tillman, Jr. keeps the pace moving rapidly with car stunts and gun gags galore. But the converging characters add multidimensional excitement to the mix. Johnson plays the role with fierce determination to get his revenge. If someone is on his hotlist, they better prey for salvation because they are leaving the earth soon.
Tillman helped Johnson get his dark side on for Driver. Not surprisingly, as Driver leaves a path of dead bodies through many states, Thornton’s Cop is on his trail along with the FBI serial killer division.
This style of hard core action film owes its existence from Westerns that often used revenge as the prime motivation for the gunman to track down his intended victims.
This movie is for serious action junkies and Rock fans who will get their fix of gun fights and car chases. It’s solid cinematic entertainment
Faster movie review
by Rick Grant