Faster (2010)

Here’s a film that’s much better than it might appear with just a superficial viewing.  It’s a revenge movie and a bit of a thriller with a twist.  It follows a well-established formula, and this is where it excels.  It doesn’t just follow the “formula,” it does so almost perfectly and with exceptional style.  Formulas are not a bad thing.  They exist because, if executed properly, they work.

If you’ve already seen it, watch it again.  If you’re a fan of films like The Thin Red Line (1998), you probably didn’t’ think it worthy of your time, so watch it for the first time.   Watch it carefully.  Watch how the story develops.  In the first 10 minutes you’re not quite sure what’s happening, but you’ve already learned quite a lot about two of the main characters; and because of the pace and the sound track, you probably want to see more.  As the story unfolds, it continues to develop the character and back-stories of the main players, quite thoroughly, and in seamless fashion.  The timeline with cuts back and forth from the present to the past are used effectively to aid in the development of the characters, their motivations, and your feelings for them.  Interestingly, and to its credit, the film more fully develops some characters than you might otherwise expect.

Before long the film fulfills it’s obligation to make you like, or at least understand, the good guy, and hate the bad guys.  I always recommend killing a kid or a dog, but in this case, nevertheless, it’s handled quite well.  And just beyond the half-way point in the movie there’s the obligatory “hint” as to the identity of the “surprise” bad person.  If you pick up on it (I did, so it can’t be too difficult), I have to complement the film makers for casting some doubt about it soon after.

Let’s not forget that while all this character and motivation development is taking place, there’s plenty of fast driving, shooting, and satisfying revenge killings.  As an action film, it’s pretty damn good, but that should be no surprise.

Some critics have complained about a particular scene near the end of the film as being a departure from its “shoot ’em up” path, and that it somehow suffers because of this.  They obviously don’t understand that this film is about much more than just “kill everyone in sight.”  They’re just wrong.  Character development includes growth and change.  It adds to the quality of the film.

The “twist” at the end won’t be a big surprise, but that doesn’t matter.  The film doesn’t require it.  What it requires is a good ending, and in that regard, Faster is a big success.  The last few scenes are excellent.  It ends exactly as it should.

Kudos to director, George Tillman, Jr., and writers, Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton.


Please leave a comment.  I’d love to know what you think.

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