I took good movie buddie Deb, who is up for most things, even though she does pale at the thought of vampires but, to her credit, grips her seat handles with white knuckles, keeps calm and carries on!
We were a smidgin late for the start of this movie - traffic in BrisVenice of late has been excruciating - so we may have missed some vital background information. I suspect not.
The screening was in the Myer Centre and I was rather off-put by the smell that assailed the olfactory senses the further I went into the cinema. Nevertheless, the cinema, and it was a big one, was packed to the gunnels. I was impressed. No-one else seemed put off by the public toilet smell, so I rebuked myself for being a ninny, kept calm and carried on.
Two minutes later Deb whispered into my ear...."I don't think this is a chick flick." Never were truer words spoken.
I suspect that this movie is for blokes a kind of secret guilty pleasure - a bit like those silly blowsy, shopping type movies are for girls sometimes - ridiculously impossible romances, fabulous clothes etc etc.
And the title says it all really doesn't it? It's like an ironic pun on the battle of the sexes really ...Faster, he wishes....slower, she wishes....
And I could leave it there but of course I won't. I had to do my research and I feel obliged to convey the results to you.
This movie, to me, sums up just how much I don't know about the industry and probably never will. I was, for example, surprised to discover that the lead is really somebody quite famous....Dwayne Johnson. I'd never heard of him but he really is somebody. Of course it depends how you define somebody but you should know that he entered the Guinness Book of World Records because his salary was the highest for any actor receiving top billing for the first time for the part he played in Scorpio - he earned $5.5million. He used to be a big football star, then turned wrestler. He's known as The Rock. There's a wax figurine of him at Madame Tussaud's for goodness sake. And yes, the poor chap cannot put his arms beside his torso - they are so bulging with muscles - he must walk with arms akimbo like one of those ghastly toys Caspar used to love so much growing up.....Last but not least he earned a 0.7 grade point average in college. As he says, "It's pretty hard to get a point seven. You have to do close to nothing." His co-star Carla Gugino earned straight As at high school. It takes all sorts.
The movie opens with Dwayne aka Driver getting out of jail. And then he starts to run...as you do when you get out of jail. And run. And run...and run....and I'm thinking...they look like steel capped boots to me....must be bloody uncomfortable...he'll get blisters if he keeps going. After he's run...oh I don't know....a long way...he finds the car of his dreams in a scrapyard (for those that care it is a Chevelle...okay okay - a photo)
He opens the door, pulls out a leather jacket and...puts it on.....Deb and I looked at each other in disbelief...would you run ten kilometres in the heat of the day dressed in army clobber and then put on a leather jacket?
But see...that's what I mean....I'll just never get this movie. It's not for me. It's got impossibly good-looking women in very little attire or very tight revealing attire, lots of guns and lots of fast cars.
Who was I rooting for in this movie?....well, Billy Bob Thornton I suppose even though his character was incredibly questionable...
What have I learnt? That the movie cost $24million to make and that it has just about made it back already since it was released in the states in November. Australia probably gave them that last $1m they needed last week at the box office. Let's take bets on how much it will have made by next year - $50million? A $100million. I could cry for the state of humanity.....
I have learnt that Dwayne Johnson is frightened of spiders just like me so he can't be all that bad...we have something in common I guess.
This was certainly an accomplished piece of filmmaking if you like stunts and action. George Tillman Jr. was the director. He is according to IMDB a native of Milwaukee Wisconsin. So, a bit like Ben Affleck's The Town, I wonder if this is a bit of a tribute to Milwaukee...which for a while ranked among the ten most dangerous big cities in the USA. George won the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Student Academy Award and the Black Filmmakers' Hall of Fame Award in the early 90s with his short film Paula. I would like to see some of his earlier work. I suspect it and his next project Men Of Honour may be of more interest to me and that Faster is just popcorn for the masses or Mills and Boon for the other half of this great big gorgeous world.