Earlier this year we saw the brilliant Fast Five which continues the Vin Diesel/Paul Walker starring car franchise. One new addition to the fifth movie was Dwayne Johnson who happened to also release Faster earlier this year. While we never saw this film at the cinemas the feeling from trailers was this was another car chase style movie, but the truth is somewhat different. While there are plenty of fast cars in this mvoie, the plot is actually quite different.
An ex-con (Dwayne Johnson) sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop (Billy Bob Thornton) and an egocentric hit man known only as Killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).
Ever since his ealiest movies Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been an actor I've enjoyed watching. His screen presence is magical and despite a couple of family films is a genuine action star. Faster sees his first action role for a couple of years, and it's a great return to form with a character that will have you in two minds - can you like such a cold-blooded killer?
For some reason Billy Bob Thornton isn't an actor who I generally like. He's never done anything that I hated - well, actually, Bad Santa is a movie I despise - but he never stands out. Faster has changed my perception a little bit as I actually think he steals the scenes in which he appears.
Alternate Ending with Director's Introduction (12:42/HD): After a lengthy introduction we have what must be one of the lengthiest alternate endings which runs for around 11 minutes in total. Without spoilers this alternate ending is a much more "Hollywood" action packed ending, but ultimately what's in the final film is probably my preference as well. This scene is only presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 192kbps which is a bit weak, but the video is impressive.
Deleted Scenes (10:50/HD): Five deleted scenes are presented here of varying quality and which include "Cop & Marina Outside Safe House", "Killer Takes a Picture", "Lily Helps Killer", "Cop Takes Car of Marina" and "Marina & Lily".
Criminals & Cops: The Cast of Faster (12:12/HD): Cast and crew talk about other cast and crew in the movie which is a bit EPK-ish but there's some interesting stuff here too.
Animatics (12:22/HD): Four animatic sequences ("Bank Heist", "Old Man", "Hospital" and "Joust") are presented here and they are pretty good quality overall with some being 2D drawings, some almost rough 3D renders, some with visual effects, with light music and temp speech included too. Actually quite impressive.
Trailer (1:19/HD): Not very exciting with Sony simply putting on a Blu-Ray promotional trailer for several of their titles. No individual trailers.
MovieIQ (HD): MovieIQ is available on this Blu-Ray and provides up to date details on actors and music in each of the scenes. We're still not completely sold on this item on Blu-Ray discs - especially as it requires a download from the Internet - but some may find it useful.
Review By: Dave Warner