[Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian. In his new column, he takes on the genre of Dude Flicks, where guns, pecs, car crashes and glib one-liners delivered in front of a burning building with only half a t-shirt on and nothing left to lose reign supreme. He loves those movies for so many reasons, all of which are that they turn him ON.]

Did you like Kill Bill, but spend the whole time wishing that Uma Thurman had bigger tits? Bigger, rock-hard tits, carved from café au lait granite that crept behind her neck like a halter-top of sculptural, boiled horse thighs and Hummer tires, swallowing her chiseled face in an endless plain of russet people-fibers and steel-blue stubble? Do you wish Kill Bill didn’t waste your fucking time and brain cells with bullshit like style, humor, dialogue (humorous or otherwise), and choreography? Do you just wish the choreography had been careography? That as a modern take on Spaghetti Westerns it had been that kind of spaghetti dish you get from a random diner where all the sauce is just on top of a bed of plain, stuck-together spaghetti that has no heat of its own, wasn’t tossed in olive oil or even salt, just sat in a cold stainless-steel bowl by itself all day, waiting for a big ladle-full of half-assed marinara to be dumped on its head, topped with a meatball that is just a kind of tall mini-hamburger (not baked, no seasoning), and zero flakes of cheese? Then you should see Faster, the new Dwayne “The Rock” [hard] Johnson [get it?] cinema film, which marks his triumphant return to dude-flick-ery, after a delightful foray into Kindergarten town (Tooth Fairy, and Race to Witch Mountain (did you guys know they actually had the DECENCY to throw Kim Richards in that?)). Suffice it to say: Dwayne The R J has not lost an ounce of grit in the meantime. Oh, and Spoiler Alert: this thing contains spoilers.

Dwayne “The Rock” [hard] Johnson [get it?] plays “Driver”—a dude whom we meet as he struts out of prison, free to sprint straight to a municipal dump where a sports car, leather jacket, revolver, and map are waiting for him. From there he screeches onto the road, stomps right through a cubicle farm in a random office complex in the California suburbs, and blows the brains out of a telemarketer’s head, while all his coworkers read blogs and chug coffee, or whatever people with jobs do.

We learn that Driver was in jail because he and his older brother, the lovely Matt Gerald (Avatar), whose character is called “Driver’s Brother,” were teammates on a bank-robbing team. Driver was the getaway driver, ddduuuuhhhhh, and his big trick was to alternate between Drive and Reverse at very high speeds to elude cop-pigs, and his success rate was 100%. But, then, a rival gang, comprised of a couple thug-types, one creepy dork (the telemarketer from before), a snuff filmmaker (literally), and a mystery bossman, surprise Driver and Driver’s Brother and their two boyfriends by breaking into their safe house, stealing all their money, and killing all of them. Oh, and videotaping all of it for one of their personal snuff collections.

But, wait, did I say the rival gang killed Driver?! Yes, or kind of, but then he came back to life at the hospital (he’s part Jesus, part Buffy), and got a huge steel plate in his skull to patch up all the openness from the violence. Then he went to jail! Then he got out of jail! Then he started hunting down the gang who killed his brother and boyfriends, and him (kind of), and killing them BACK, revenge-o style, BOOM BOOM!

Hot on Driver’s tail are: the always-stunning Carla Gugino, here dressed as a suburban cop with an infinitely-layered brunette mop of straight-curls and an array of button-up collared blouses, and Billy Bob Thornton—a weasely, heroin-addict cop, weeks from retirement, dressed in polyester and corduroy. They’re an unlikely match for sure, but not as unlikely as the third person who’s also on Driver’s tail: a character named “Killer” because he is a hitman. Sort of.

See, when you’re a young, adorable British software billionaire living in California with your girlfriend Maggie Grace from Lost, and are all suave and stuck-up, yet unbelievably beautiful during a gravity-defying Yoga sequence in which your sculpted core and pretzel of sinewy leg-meat reached to the sky and opened to greet the desert air with a fresh-as-a-daisy-but-not-in-a-“gay”-way taint in baby-shorts, but you used to have Forrest Gump crutches as a toddler, and you’re played by an unheard-of Jewish boy named Oliver whose British accent isn’t fake, then … you’re not really just a hitman, are you? So, yeah, that’s “Killer,” who is a software billionaire at a very young age, fucks Maggie Grace, and is a hitman on the side for kicks. Maggie Grace knows about Killer’s side project and she fucking loves it, and Killer’s new prey is supposed to be Driver. Good luck, kiddo.

So, Carla Gugino and Billy Bob Thornton chase Driver around, sort of—her looking gorgeous, him doing heroin secretly and being a deadbeat dad. Killer chases Driver around a little more actively, and has a couple of shoot-outs with him, and car chases (the careography is fierce, the guns are loud). All the while, Driver continues to cross people off his big list of kill-me’s—he kills the snuff-film auteur with a gun right when he’s about to make a new snuff film with a drugged-up, unwilling teenage girl. Yuck!

Then he stops by the sister from Dexter’s house and seems like he’s going to kill her, but instead we find out she’s his ex-girlfriend (getting pounded flat by your mountain of a boyfriend keeps you skinny and beautiful) whom HE dumped from inside prison, even though she was pregnant with his (obviously) HUMONGOUS baby, so she got an abortion. The end about that! Except: come on, a lady the size of Jennifer Carpenter wouldn’t stand a chance in the sack with Dwayne “The Rock” [hard] Johnson [get it?]—she’d be a cloud of dust in ten seconds. Love her though! Cash them chex, grrrrl.

Driver stabs some dude through the <3 with an ice pick at a titty bar, but he survives, so Driver shows up at the hospital and shoots the fuck out of him while he’s getting surgery. Then he calls the dude’s son from the dude’s cell phone a couple times. Ice cold. The dude’s son is like “I’m gonna kill you revenge-o style,” and Driver’s like “good luck, son,” or whatever.

Billy Bob Thornton seems to know all of Driver’s next steps beforehand, and you know it’s not his dope whispering sweet truths in his arm-holes. The “mystery” begins to unfold as Driver reaches the end of his list—a Revival-style preacher named “Preacher,” played by my #2 All-Time TV Crush (you’re safe, David Puddy from Seinfeld–all 300lbs of you): ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE, better known as Mr. Eko from Lost.

Oh, you better fucking watch it, Mr. Eko from Lost, I’ve been known to be a real Smoke Monster in the sack. I’m gonna burn this tent DOWN. Oh, and if you and Maggie Grace happened to have any sort of nasty reunion in your trailer, maybe happened to film it on your Zune, please don’t be shy about sharing it right now. “Faster! Mr. Eko! Faster”—John Locke.

Sadly, ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE wasn’t nearly as topless in Faster as he was in Lost. Come to think of it, no one really was. There was an amazing close-up of Dwayne “The Rock” [hard] Johnson [get it?]’s nipple in the opening scenes, the Heaven-Yoga performed by topless Killer, and that was pretty much it for the male nudity. But, luckily, when dealing with a cast as buxom and pumped-up as this one, no shirt (or leather jacket, for that matter) stands a chance against the visibility of gigantic, hormone-marinated slabs of bovine man-tit. It’s there, alongside loud car chases, gun-shots-to-the-head where that trail of CGI blood leaps through the air in slow motion, Carla Gugino purring the words “dude” and “popped,” and an action movie so stripped-down of style and stunt-ery that it watches the way a hit-list reads. It’s no Walking Tall, a Dwayne “The Rock” [hard] Johnson [get it?] masterpiece to beat all Dwayne “The Rock” [hard] Johnson [get it?] masterpieces, but, what the fuck is, right?

Comments (61)
  1. This will never be able to touch the original novel.

  2. I request a feature called “Movies for Bois” written by hard Gabe. Up first: Burlesque.

    • I request a feature called “Movies for Lady Dudes” … the Monster women of Videogum would heartily approve? (Or ridicule such things with abhorrent fervor… whatevs. Either way hilarity.)

      • Honestly, I am just thrilled that these movies are being ridiculed. Far too long have I been made to feel that chick flicks are the only terrible movies (not by yous guys, don’t panic)!

        I actually typed out a long comment here, but it was actaully really mean. Instead I will do us all a favor and:

  3. Am I the only person who first heard about this movie just now?

    • no. but i DID have to explain it to my relationship problem like five times:

      Time 1:
      “What’s ‘Faster’?” – him
      “It’s the new the Rock movie.” -me
      “The Rock, like Nicolas Cage?” -him
      “No, The The Rock…the actor. The movie looks like a lame ‘Kills Bill.’” -me
      “I did enjoy him in ‘The Tooth Fairy.” – him
      “….I bet you did. I bet you did.”

      • Time 2:
        “What movies are playing?” -him
        I open the Palazzo’s webpage. “Rapunzel in 3-D?”
        “You mean Tangled. and no, thank you; no GIRL movies.”
        He leans over my shoulder, “What is the ‘Next Three Days?”
        “A Beautiful Mind breaks Jack Donaghy’s Baby momma out of Jail.” -me
        “That’s the plot or the actors?”
        “hmm…what else.”
        “Well there is ‘Faster’…”
        ‘What’s that?”
        “….The Rock’s new movie. Killing and action. We just saw the preview.”

        • Time 4:
          “Let’s go to a movie.” -him.
          “We couldn’t decide on one.”
          “No? That doesn’t sound like us”
          “Did you want to see ‘Faster’?”
          “I don’t know what that is.”
          “*sigh*Let’s just go see ‘Due Date.’”

          AND WE DID.
          …even though he already saw it without me.
          ……which is why we couldn’t decide on a movie in the first place.
          turned out it was funny.
          *the end*

  4. I liked this movie better when it was called the other 90 exactly-the-same action movies Hollywood poops out every year.

  5. Ten years ago I thought DtRJ was going to be the next big action star. I was totally behind the idea. LARGELY because it seemed like Hollywood wanted Vin Diesel to be the next big action star, and he was the worst at the time. So I openly opined that I wanted a movie made where DtRJ and VD were enemies who were sort of hunting each other down in a jungle, and I really wanted DtRJ to win. For some reason, I felt like the metaphorical victory would destroy VD’s career. Ten years later, VD took care of his own career, and DtRJ is kind of finally on the right track. Good story, right?

    • Can you just talk about Vin Diesel and The Rock a little more? I think if you keep going, I’ll finally fit them into the same fantasy I’m having where they are covered in oil and working out in my bedro- OH MY GOD IT WORKED. THANK YOU.

    • Except DtRJ never would have beat VD, because he would have discovered that the only reason they were in the jungle hunting each other was because the weaselly son of an oil tycoon needed VD dead because VD had discovered his secret plans to assassinate the Supreme Court and he needed DtRJ framed for it because DtRJ was the only FBI agent he couldn’t buy, and so finally DtRJ and VD would TEAM UP and then the weaselly oil kid would become the hunted, in a jungle of high rises called Tokyo, or depending on the budget maybe just Bangkok or Encino.

      • Yeah DtRJ really went haywire for a while. He wouldn’t kill people in his movies. He must have had a kid or something. Even in The Rundown when he eventually went ‘berserk’ and starting shooting off guns, the violence was Wile E. Coyote-esque. I don’t think he even killed Christopher Walken’s villain character. I think some random in the town pulled the trigger. I’m glad that he’s finally willing to pull the trigger. Because murder rocks.

        And for what it’s worth, VD actually kind of impressed me in a weird little movie called “Find Me Guilty.”

      • replace “oil tycoon” with “trust fund eco terrorist” and you’ve got a hit! I have a feeling those dudes are pretty into fossil fuels.

    • I think you mean DtR[h]J[gi].

  6. They should put this movie out at the same time as whatever Jason Statham’s latest revenge kick-everybody-dead movie happens to be, and then at the end of each movie the hero gets to the last person they have to kill, and it’s each other! And everyone will be like “whaaat?” and they will have to go see the other movie that they didn’t see to trace back how Jason Statham / The Rock got to the end of The Rock’s / Jason Statham’s movie. And everyone will be like “this is the best” and of course the end of each movie will be Jason Statham and the Rock going home to play Nintendo together, because they’re bros.

  7. Further proof that pimps don’t commit suicide.

  8. For me, this movie is now been renamed, “Well, hey there, Maggie Grace.”

  9. I look forward to his next role, starring as Jack Handle, a retired cop who is roommates with a retired criminal. they’re the original odd couple!

  10. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  11. Soft Gabe you seem to have a thing for shoulders, but I should warn you that ITS A TRAP! Hahahaha bodybuilding.

  12. So wait, he has to be a Tooth Fairy as part of his parole? Arghhh, I think I read the review too fast.

  13. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  14. Deb Morgan can sex with the best of them! She is my all-time tv hero.

  15. I’m partial to how I imagine Helen Mirren looked in boarding school.

  16. Oh, now I get it!

  17. BTW, ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE is better known as Adebisi from OZ.

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