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Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Mike Epps, Tom Berenger, Maggie Grace

Director: George Tillman Jr

The plot is straightforward to the point of predictable – Johnson gets out of jail after serving time for a bank robbery and sets about avenging the death of his brother in the botched bank heist that put him behind bars.

Johnson says little as he proceeds to shoot, shoot and shoot again but you can hardly blame him for remaining a man of few words and many bullets: the dialogue in the formulaic screenplay by Joe and Tony Gayton is pretty dreadful.

Thornton, whose constant constipated expression suggests he is trapped in shoes that are two sizes too small for him, turns up as the cop on the case, joining fellow officer Gugino in the hunt for Johnson along with somewhat fey killer-for-hire Jackson-Cohen.

What we get is a lot of lethal gunplay and four-wheeled action, with Johnson dealing out death impassively and scorching the tarmac in his Chevvy. Tillman Jr’s direction is just that – direct and in the best ‘B’ picture tradition, getting the images down on film without much in the way of inspiration. Ultimately Faster boils down to a throwback to the long-ago days of double features, where it would have been just about okay at the bottom of a double bill.

In case you’re wondering who is playing the brief role of the prison warden at the start, it’s Tom Berenger, He’s lucky enough to get out of the film before the show starts to sag.

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 21 Mar 2011