Dwayne Johnson's return to action films is long overdue. Aside from his awesome (but tiny) role in The Other Guys, he's been mainly stuck in Disney territory, babysitting kids and flying around on fairy wings. Faster takes him back to his strike zone -- movies like The Rundown, where he can get in knife fights while surrounded by explosions. Except the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. Faster is ridiculous, but no fun. It's violent, but in the least creative way possible. People run and drive fast, but it's usually just because they need to get somewhere. And when they drive backwards, it's not clear why. Basically, the story is as monochromatic as the film's palette, which seems to use only two colors, tan and brown.
The movies have given us a lot of great male actor pairings: Newman and Redford, Pesci and De Niro, Gibson and Glover. And while nobody in Fast Five has the talent or charisma of any of those actors (okay, maybe Glover), I think it's time we officially add Diesel and Walker to that list. Just because this is the third time they've partnered up, on and off the racetrack, and you can't help but smile when you see them bro out. Also, they spend a lot of time in cars, and when a car has personality it helps make up for a lack of personality in the actor. But really, there are a ton of pairings in this movie that pop, mostly among the ragtag band of racers that assembles to rip off a Brazilian criminal, and seeing the relationships develop, even in a limited way, definitely adds to the otherwise adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. Here are some of my favorites:
Remember those poor Japanese kids who went into convulsions while watching the constant flashing on Pokémon? Their parents had better keep them away from the current crop of action movies. These films are being edited to within an inch of their lives as of late, making Tony Scott's hackwork look like slow motion by comparison. It's gotten so bad that it's nearly impossible to see who's doing what to whom and where they're doing it. Numerous people have complained about the Bourne series, but I think they're edited far better than most recent actioners. The Guardian feels my pain, complaining about Quantum of Solace's herky-jerky editing. That's the least of that lousy film's problems, however.
What's old is new again; especially in Hollywood. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 1975 Disney supernatural kid flick Escape to Witch Mountain is going to be re-re-imagined (it was previously re-imagined as a made-for-TV movie in 1995) as the adventure Race to Witch Mountain.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson started out on his transition from the world of wrestling to the world of movies in the way that you'd expect any beefy athlete to: playing a bad guy in a mummy movie. Perfect. His action follow-ups the Scorpion King, The Rundown and Walking Tall showed he could carry a lead role, but lately he's been in a slew of flicks that are a little more kid-friendly, from The Game Plan (tough football player saddled with a precious kid he didn't know he had) to Disney's Race to Witch Mountain (cranky cab driver saddled with two alien runaways) to the forthcoming Tooth Fairy (tough hockey player gets stuck being a tooth fairy). We understand that Johnson wants to show his range, but the family fare is killing us. Since we still sorta like the guy and want to see him back in top form, we've got some suggestions for future career moves he should make.