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:: 2 Fast 2 Furious

The sequel to 2001s The Fast and The Furious, in a very rare and extreme case. 2 Fast 2 Furious could possibly surpass its predecessor as a better story and better film. An ex-FBI agent Brain O’Conner finds himself in a bit of a jam when local authorities bust him for illegal streetcar racing (again) and this time propose a deal. In order to avoid a jail sentence he must go undercover and detail information on Miami Mafia crime boss Carter Verone. O’Conner agrees under one condition - that he brings along his old childhood rev head buddy Roman Pearce along for the ride (so to speak). Agreeing to this arrangement, O’Conner goes about tracking down his mate only to find that he still harbours a grudge for being busted and convicted on illegal activity directly after finding out his friend was one of the enemy, a cop. After a rumble in the dirt with shirts ripped off their bodies, all is forgiven and the road is set for the two to get Verone in total Miami Vice style.

With slick cars and girls to match, the two relive their old glory days and find that they might be liking this life a bit too much to turn it in, especially Pearce. O’Conner meanwhile takes a liking to an undercover agent Monica Clemente who may be getting a bit too close to their suspect and to him.

After a few “fast and furious” trial runs for Verone, the big one is just around the corner with all tensions flying high. Clemente finds herself in a dangerous situation with Verone revealing that O’Conner will be killed after the big job and Verone already suspecting more that he need know. The last quarter of the film gradually builds and builds its tension to a satisfying climatic conclusion and race to the end (death).

Paul Walker reprises his role as Brian O’Conner and seems comfortable enough to embody the character once more. He displays a deeper range of complexities for the character that the first film didn’t allow or have time for, especially with his guilt with working for the F.B.I. again and betraying his racing colleagues and boss. Model/singer/actor (an all-rounder, multi-talented) Tyrese is primed as the Vin Diesel replacement with the solid physique and brooding personality to boot, although he also displays a soft playfulness and charm that hard edged Diesel couldn’t achieve. Cole Hauser as Mafia boss Verone encompasses that pure evil that an actor of his talent can pull off without turning it into a parody, especially in the scene where he forces a rat to eat away at a man’s stomach. Rappers Jin and Ludacris as Jimmy and Tej also horse around most of the time but bring to life likeable enough characters. And model Devon Aoki as Suki looks great and has a cool car but is in desperate need of acting boot camp, and thankfully only pops up in the background sporadically.

Directed by John Singleton, this sequel has enough in it to be enjoyed equally by car enthusiasts or not, nor do you have to be a fan or have seen the previous film to follow the story. It is possibly a rarity that a sequel can these days be enjoyed and understood as a stand-alone film. In fact this sequel adds more to the story, as the background info is barely relevant or mentioned at all. Very stylised and slick veneer (just like its cars), which as times is a little over the top, it never pretends to take itself seriously and seemingly once again strikes a cord with the culture of street racing, although this time it’s business.