The second of the Fast and Furious trilogy finds Brian O’Connor returning only this time in the streets of Miami. Down there he has become a Dominic type character ruling the streets with his excellent racing skills earning the respect of everyone. One night his buddy Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) calls him up asking if he wants to race. Needing cash, Brian obviously agrees. After a close race including an impressive bridge jump, Brian wins. Cutting his celebration short, the police arrive after an undercover…cop Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) watches Brian’s every move. We soon learn that the authorities were rather angered with Brian when he let Dominic go. Offering to forgive this and his numerous other charges, the cops wants Brian to infiltrate a Miami drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hunter). The only way Brian agrees to do this is if he picks his partner, who turns out to be his childhood ‘friend’ Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson).
We soon learn that Monica is involved with Carter as his ‘girlfriend’ which is only so she can get inside and learn what his next move is. She brings both Brian and Roman to him along with a few others. Their goal is to obtain a package that was in the glove compartment of a confiscated vehicle. This is the test for both of them, something they easily pass. Now that Brian and Roman are on board, they can give tons of tips to the police about Carter and his newest deal right? Well, that will be found out soon enough.
The best part about this film, something that makes it better than the first, is that the film opted to tell more story and decided to hire a really solid director in John Singleton (nothing totally wrong with Rob Cohen though). Singleton brings his legendary career to the table here and doesn’t disappoint. The idea to bring the film to Miami instead of the common L.A. resulted in a fresher look to the story and the characters, including the cars they drive and, obviously, the various locales.
While the film is not something I’d watch as often as the original, I will admit that the film has a more solid approach and feel to it. Possibly this is because of the addition of John Singleton, a director with a more impressive resume than Rob Cohen. With faster cars, a better story, interesting characters, and a few impressive races, 2 Fast 2 Furious fixes the few inconsistencies of the first and races away with a solid film that’s sure to give you some entertainment just as long as you don’t expect a highly thoughtful film.
2 Fast 2 Furious is presented in a 1080p 2:35:1 widescreen aspect ratio. Similar to The Fast and The Furious and Tokyo Drift, 2 Fast 2 Furious continues the level of success.
The southern locale of Miami is brought to life via gorgeous bright colors. The green grass, bright skies and crystal clear water hasn’t ever looked as good as it does in HD. With all these bright scenes, one may expect edge enhancement and a possible lack of sharpness to the picture. Well, possibly due to this being a newer print, these common problems are nowhere to be found here. Grain is completely absent as well.
The major stars of these films are obviously the cars. Similar to the other two films, the level of detail is quite impressive when it comes to showcasing these beauties. The scene of high interest was the initial close-up of the main four vehicles racing in the opening sequence. Another scene is toward the end where tons of vehicles race out of the planned location. Everything looked truly nice here on these vehicles. Chalk up another solid effort on Universal’s part here.
Presented in the standard Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 with English, Francais or Espanol options, 2 Fast 2 Furious, the most urban film out of three, has a lot of energy via the music, cars and locale.
Speaking of the music in the film, the urban use of hip-hop throughout the film, sounds great. As a majority of rap plays, whether in the opening or closing credits, the accompanying bass pumps and delivers a truly sonic type experience in your living room. Dialogue, despite the nice bass, is clear and easy to understand never once becoming muddled requiring the viewer to reach for the remote.
Dynamic Range, particularly in the numerous racing sequences, sounds great. The rears provide that ‘zoom’ type feeling (check the sequence where Brian and Roman arrive in the impounded lot) as the cars race by our ears. The center delivers a lot of the dialogue and the accompanying fronts add any real surrounds (like gun shots, punching, the sound of NOS being used, etc). One of my favorite sequences, one I rewound a few times over, was the initial race. With lots of screeching and zooming creating a fine enveloping experience in the room (the bridge!), this scene, in my view, is quite a nice demo scene.
The only real possible negative that could truly hurt this experience would be the lack of a Dolby TrueHD track. Out of the three films, considering this one had no new extras, I was very disappointed not to find this little bonus here. While this isn’t a huge error, Universal should be ashamed of themselves.
Getting that off my chest, I will say that this is quite an impressive mix. The provided Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 really captures the true essences of the film. Despite the lack of Dolby TrueHD, this still sounds great.
- Audio Commentary with John Singleton: Here Director John Singleton sits down and speaks to us on every little area of the film. Luckily for us, Singleton is quite the interesting man and his intelligence really comes off here (he has made a lot of really powerful films in his career).
- Inside 2 Fast 2 Furious: The standard making of feature that sees the cast being interviewed, a few production designs, and basic story outline.
- Driving School with the Cast: Here we get to see some of the film’s main stars as they learned how to drive all the film’s vehicles.
- Making Music with Ludacris: Here Ludacris invites us to the set of the making of his ‘Act a Fool’ music video.
- Outtakes: Yawn. Standard bloopers.
- Deleted Scenes: I really wish deleted scenes were actually interesting and showed a bit more character development instead of being more extensions than deletions.
- Tricking Out a Hot Import Car: Here we learn how to spend tons of money on tricking out a hot import car. Like I have this type of money lying around.
- Prelude to 2 Fast 2 Furious: Here we get to learn how Brian evaded the police and found his way into Miami.
- Spotlight on the Cast: Here the characters of Brian, Roman and Suki are interviewed.
- Spotlight on the Cars: The main three vehicles, The Spyder, The Evo VII, and the S2000 are looked at.
- Animated Anecdotes: Here we get a few short stories on the film’s stars.
With the use of HD DVD, Universal really should have convinced someone on the crew or cast to sit down and do a type of Picture in Picture they did with the first and third film. Despite no new extra’s, impressive picture and booming audio, 2 Fast 2 Furious still is entertaining and worth a rental for those who own the SD DVD. If you don’t own the film, it wouldn’t hurt to pick this one up.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary with John Singleton
- Inside 2 Fast 2 Furious
- Driving School with the Cast
- Making Music with Ludacris
- Deleted Scenes
- Tricking Out a Hot Import Car
- Prelude to 2 Fast 2 Furious
- Spotlight on the Cast
- Spotlight on the Cars
- Animated Anecdotes