Did you all know that F9: The Fast Saga (that’s Fast & Furious NINE- and it’s a GOD DAMN SAGA!) was supposed to come out LAST YEAR? The COVID-19 pandemic definitely plunged the world into chaos and effectively shut down Hollywood, but for all the Marvel movies we missed out on or the final Daniel Craig James Bond film that’s been delayed three times it was the 9th Fast & Furious film that I missed the most while the world went into apocalypse mode. But huzzah! F9 is on pace to finally be released in June, and the wonderful marketing folk at Universal Pictures have concocted FAST FRIDAYS in which every week up until F9’s release they will screen a Fast Saga (SAGA) film FOR FREE! Yeah suckas! You can visit www.fastfridays.com to check availability in your local area.
I love the Fast & Furious films, but it hasn’t always been that way. Let’s go back into our NOS-fueled DeLorean and revisit the sequel to the hit film starring MAH BOY Paul Walker and my OTHER BOY Tyrese.
Spoilers for this movie and all the other FAST movies as I work through my train of thought re-watching this incredible series of films.
2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (2003)
AKA COOL CAR MIAMI VICE OR SOMETHING COLORFUL LIKE THAT
Directed by John Singleton
Starring Paul Walker, Tyrese (Not Quite Gibson), Ludacris (Not Ja Rule), Eva Fucking Mendes, NOT John Cena, and a bunch of other dudes and a casual mention of Dominic Torreto without using his name, just his aura.
The fun of revisiting the earliest days of the FAST franchise is that back in the early 00s I had completely dismissed the franchise just like all the other movie snobs out there and I didn’t actually see my first Fast & Furious film until Part 4 in 2009. When The Fast and the Furious hit big in 2001 Universal Pictures immediately tried to race to the finish line and green light a sequel to the monster hit.
Unfortunately for Universal, Revolution Studios had already snagged Director Rob Cohen and FAST star Vin Diesel for their new EXXXXXXXXTREEEEEEME JAMES BOND flick xXx and Vin was adamant about The Fast and the Furious being a one shot deal. Most of these actors had no idea just how big these films would become, but it’s almost comical how no one gave a fuck about 2 Fast and everyone shunned the film hopping off the money train before it even stopped.
With Paul Walker returning and Director John Singleton being recruited to take the reigns over from Cohen another potential returning star completely ghosted on the franchise– and that fool was none other than Ja Rule who was tapped to set up shop in Miami and work with Walker’s Brian O’Connor, which is basically what Tej Parker AKA LUDAAAAAAA became in the story. Ludacris, knowing what the fuck was up, immediately signed on when Singleton reached out to the man, and Ja opted to begin plotting the Fyre Festival.
While not taking over for Vin Diesel, it’s very apparent Tyrese’s Roman Pearce was designed to be a Dom archetype but the beauty of Tyrese is he’s totally doing his own thing and creating a hongry weird ass character that wholly his own.
Retroactively my favorite thing about 2 Fast is that it is 100% a Paul Walker movie and a Brian O’Connor story. Without having Vin there to mumble his way into everyone’s hearts Walker gets to carry the film and your boy does it amazingly well. It’s weird looking back on past Walker roles (The Skulls, Pleasantville, Running Scared) and realizing how damn magnetic the guy was. Knowing he’s always been Vin’s second banana, it was nice to have the Brian character take center stage.
My final memory from 2003 about 2 Fast 2 Furious was the fact that my cousin MTE ended up taking our friend Tim Kilgore out for his bachelor party and having a BOYZ NIGHT OUT, which was taking him to go see 2 Fast 2 Furious in theaters with a grand dinner at Hooters. All these years later I couldn’t tell you why I couldn’t join them this wonderful night, but it still cracks me up to this day that these two went to see THIS movie on opening night.
Some other random thoughts while re-watching 2 Fast 2 Furious
- WELCOME TO MIAMI!
- Props to John Singleton for doing his own thing with this movie. It’s very much a FAST AND FURIOUS movie (NOS-4-Eva) but Singleton adds so much neon to the proceedings it blinds the eye, IN A GOOD WAY. So many franchises are drab and colorless. I love that these films are not.
- Did I mention EVA FUCKING MENDES is in this movie? She is someone that absolutely needs to make a comeback in this franchise before it’s all said and done. She got her bit cameo in FAST 5 and I need more of this amazingly beautiful woman. Have her go evil, legit this time, and have her team up with CYPHER THERON.
- This time Officer Exposition is our returning hero fed from Part One Agent Bilkins and apparently James Remar (Dexter’s Dad) who I swore was also in the first one but apparently was dead wrong.
- Recruiting Roman to be Brian’s partner and stealthily retconning Brian’s relationship with Dom to be ABOUT his relationship with Roman is some smart writing, and though I don’t think they maintained that in the subsequent sequels (WHY DIDN’T THEY OPEN A GARAGE TOGETHER???) it’s a good try. Dom is never mentioned by name, which means neither is his super secret brother Jacob played by International Icon and Chinese Agitator JOHN CENA!
- The villains in the Fast movies are always a bit more miss than hit (HELLO MR. TRAN) and usually if it’s an iconic villain/antagonist they just end up joining DA FAMBLY anyway. Verone is an okay villain, but he’s basically a punk ass bitch who got his punk ass played.
- Tej’s Garage/Water Park is the coolest attraction in Miami and I wish they would have used that as a base of operations in the sequels.
- Loved the ‘Where’s Waldo?’ aspect of the 3rd act carpalooza, but you could already see the writers stretching how to make these car movies involve cars. Don’t worry FAST, you won’t have to worry about that soon.
3 out of 5 NOS cans
UP NEXT: Tokyo Drift brings us THE FAST PARADOX!
2 Fast 2 Furious is currently streaming on HBO MAX.