2 Fast 2 Furious

Directed By: John Singleton

Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thom Barry, and James Remar

While The Fast and the Furious was just a good racing movie, it made more than its fair share of cheddar.  That's why it's no surprise that studio execs had its sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious in cinemas in just two short years.  They were hungry for some more easy money.  That being said, the curious thing about this second installment in the franchise is that one of our stars is missing.  Vin Diesel, the man who brought us Dom Toretto, is out of the picture for this one.  At first glance, one would think that this would be the film's fatal flaw.  However, we've got Tyrese for this one, and he's one hilarious dude.

After allowing Toretto to escape law enforcement back in Los Angeles, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) has become a bit of a fugitive himself.  After all, he has aided and abetted a criminal and obstructed justice.  Now, O'Conner has fled to Miami and is making money on the racing circuit down there with the help of his friend Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges).  One night after a race, O'Conner is caught and arrested by the police.  The fast and furious driver is no match for their new toy, a grappling-hook electronic disruption device that can shut any vehicle down.  When he's brought to the investigation room at the local police department, O’Conner meets his old friend from Los Angeles, Agent Bilkins (Thom Barry) of the FBI.

Instead of locking O'Conner away for a long, long time, Bilkins and his colleague, U.S. Customs Agent Markham (James Remar) would like to put his driving skills to use.  His mission is to infiltrate the ranks of notorious criminal Carter Verone’s (Cole Hauser) organization as a driver.  With the help of a U.S. Customs agent, O'Conner is to gather enough evidence so that Bilkins and Markham can put Verone away for years to come.  Not interested in working with a guy who knows absolutely nothing about cars and getting himself killed quickly in the process, O'Conner convinces them to let him pick the guy with whom he will work, an old friend and ex-con by the name of Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson).  Undercover agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes), who has been working the Verone case for nearly a year, will bring these two up to speed for this dangerous assignment.

2 Fast 2 Furious is one of the best of Fast & Furious films.  The cars are more tricked out.  The races and chases are more elaborate.  The bass is pumping from the soundtrack.  The ladies are hotter than ever.  Though we're missing Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto, there are plenty of other actors to carry the load.  In particular, Tyrese delivers one funny dude in Roman Pearce.  All in all, 2 Fast 2 Furious is everything a mindless racing movie should be.  With cars, criminals, and crooked cops, director John Singleton gives us a testosterone-fueled, action-packed thrill ride with plenty of laughs along the way.

Paul Walker is the only remaining star from the original movie, and that's not saying much.  He's decent, but he certainly doesn't make me believe that he can sit atop the street racing world of Miami.  Basically, Walker is not the reason people go to see a Fast and Furious film.  Luckily, there's a wealth of talent to fill John Singleton's casting void.  At the forefront, we have Tyrese, who gives us the fast-talking, always-eating Roman Pearce.  Talking trash all day long about everything and everyone, Tyrese is the guy who keeps the laughs coming throughout the movie.  Ludacris also gives us a worthwhile performance as Tej Parker.  Though certainly not a great actor by any standard, Ludacris is one smooth dude in 2 Fast 2 Furious.  Finally, we have Eva Mendes.  I'm not her biggest fan, but she is an improvement from Jordana Brewster by leaps and bounds.

2 Fast 2 Furious is a solidly entertaining racing film.  While it's obviously a money grab by Hollywood, it's one we all can definitely enjoy.  Sit back with a few beers and revisit this fun action flick.  2 Fast 2 Furious gets a strong 0.06% rating.