2 Fast 2 Furious
2 Fast 2 Furious (also known as Fast and Furious 2 is a 2003 American action adventure film directed by John Singleton and written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. A standalone sequel to The Fast and the Furious (2001), it is the second installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise and stars Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Devon Aoki, and James Remar. 2 Fast 2 Furious follows Brian O'Conner (Walker) and Roman Pearce (Gibson) who team up to go undercover for the U.S. Customs Service to bring down drug lord Carter Verone (Hauser) in exchange for the erasure of their criminal records.
|2 Fast 2 Furious|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Singleton|
|Produced by||Neal H. Moritz|
by Gary Scott Thompson
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$236.3 million|
Plans for a The Fast and the Furious sequel were developed immediately following the box office success of the first entry. Early treatments for a sequel initially featured the returns of both Vin Diesel and Walker, however, the former declined, instead opting to star in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004). As a result of this, Universal Studios delayed the start of filming to allow for script rewrites, which subsequently allowed for the franchise's long-running characters of Roman Pearce and Tej Parker to be introduced.
In August 2002, John Singleton, who critically praised the first film, was announced to direct the second in place of Rob Cohen, who left the franchise after directing the previous installment. Principal photography began in Miami in October 2002, with the majority of filming being done on location in Miami and South Florida.
2 Fast 2 Furious was released in the United States on June 6, 2003. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $236 million worldwide, quickly becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise and the 16th highest-grossing film of 2003. It received generally mixed reviews at the time of release, with praise being aimed at the film's action sequences, but was also nominated for two awards at the 24th Golden Raspberry Awards. In later years, however, the film was reassessed by some critics who noted it as an underrated entry in the franchise. Another standalone sequel, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, was released on June 16, 2006.
After letting Dominic Toretto escape from the authorities,[N 1] Brian O'Conner flees from the LAPD to escape prosecution. He subsequently relocates to Miami and makes a living by participating in illegal street races, aided by his friend and local mechanic Tej Parker. Following one race against drivers Suki, Slap Jack, and Orange Julius, the police show up and Brian is arrested. He is taken into custody, but given a deal by his former boss, FBI Agent Bilkins, and U.S. Customs Agent Markham, to go undercover and bring down Argentinian drug lord Carter Verone in exchange for the erasure of his criminal record. Agent Monica Fuentes, who has been undercover with Verone for a year, agrees to assist bringing Brian into the organization. Brian agrees, but only if he is given permission to choose his own partner.
This prompts him to travel to Barstow, where he enlists the help of Roman Pierce, his childhood friend who served jail time for housing stolen cars in a garage. Roman, currently on parole, blames Brian for his arrest, but reluctantly agrees to help in exchange for the same deal Brian was offered. Roman and Brian are later hired by Verone, who tasks the duo to compete against rival drivers to obtain a package from a confiscated car located in a lot. Markham, who mistakenly thinks that the duo are trying to run away, follows them to the lot. However, Roman relents, and shoots at Markham to help maintain his cover. He later confronts him for interference with the mission. Brian is able to gain knowledge of the plan, however, and tells Bilkins that Verone is reportedly aiming to launder his money in Miami, before escaping on his private jet.
Later, the team challenges a pair of muscle car drivers they raced when competing for Verone's hiring, for pink slips. Despite engine and power output handicaps, Brian and Roman manage to win the race and the other two cars. Meanwhile, Roman confronts Brian about his attraction to Monica and the constant threat of Verone's men. However, the two men patch up their differences, and focus on completing the mission.
After witnessing Verone torture Detective Whitworth of the Miami Police Department into giving them a window of opportunity to make their getaway, Brian and Roman are warned by Monica that they will be killed once the drop is made. However, Markham refuses to call off the job, claiming that it's their one chance to catch Verone and before they leave, Brian and Monica kiss.
On the day of the mission, Brian and Roman begin transporting duffel bags of Verone's money, with Verone's right-hand men, Enrique and Roberto, riding alongside to accompany the duo. Before the window is set, Whitworth decides to call in the police to move in for an arrest of the drivers of the cars used by Brian and Roman. This results in a high-speed chase across the city. The duo leads the police to a warehouse, where a "scramble" by dozens of street racers organized by Tej disorients the police. Following the scramble, the police manage to pull over the cars, only to find out that they were driven by Tej and Suki. As it turns out, the duo had switched cars and had escaped in the two muscle cars they had won earlier.
As Brian approaches the destination point in a Yenko Camaro, Enrique tells him to take the Tarpon Point Marina exit, instead of heading to the airfield. Meanwhile, Roman gets rid of Roberto by using an improvised ejector seat in his Dodge Challenger powered by nitrous oxide. At the airfield, Customs agents have Verone's plane and convoy surrounded, only to discover they have been duped into a decoy maneuver while Verone is at a boatyard several miles away. Verone reveals he knew Monica was an undercover agent, and purposely gave her wrong information on the destination point. When Brian arrives at the Marina, Verone forces Monica onto his private yacht and orders Enrique to kill Brian. As Enrique prepares to kill him, Brian's ejector seat fails, but Roman suddenly appears and helps Brian to incapacitate Enrique. Verone makes his escape, but Brian and Roman use the Camaro to drive off a ramp, crashing on top of the yacht. Brian shoots and wounds Verone, who is then arrested by Monica.
Markham grants Brian and Roman full pardons, and in return Roman turns over the second half of Verone's money. The two agree to stay in Miami, and Brian suggests opening a garage - funded by a cut of Verone's money that Roman kept for themselves.
- Paul Walker as Brian O'Conner, a former Los Angeles Cop who became a fugitive after letting Dominic Toretto escape in the previous film who has now settled in Miami. He drives a 1999 Nissan Skyline GTR R34 and a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
- Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, Brian's boyhood friend who is on house arrest after serving time in prison for which he still blames Brian. He drives 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GTS
- Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes, a U.S. Customs agent working undercover as Carter Verone's aide and Brian's love interest.
- Cole Hauser as Carter Verone, a ruthless Argentinian drug lord whose organization the Custom Service sent Monica and later Brian and Roman to infiltrate.
- Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Tej Parker, a race host and a friend of Brian's. He arranges high stakes street racing events in which Brian often races and wins.
- Devon Aoki as Suki, a friend of Brian, Tej, and Jimmy. She is the only named female racer in the movie, and her crew is made up entirely of women. She normally drives a hot pink custom Honda S2000.
- Drew Sidora as Bootz, a friend of Brian, Tej, and Suki. She is Suki's assistant driver and is also a part of Suki's all girl crew.
- James Remar as Agent Markham, a U.S. customs agent in charge of the operation against Verone and Monica's superior.
- Thom Barry as Agent Bilkins, who Brian first met during his undercover work in the first movie, who has come to Miami to oversee the situation. As before, he holds a grudging respect for O'Conner's driving and street racing skills.
- Mark Boone Jr. as Detective Whitworth, a Miami detective who is forced by Verone to give Pearce and O'Conner a window to deliver his package.
- Mo Gallini as Enrique, Verone's bald henchman.
- Roberto Sanchez as Roberto, Varone's henchman and Enrique's partner.
- MC Jin as Jimmy, a mechanic who works for Tej and is a close friend of Brian.
- Amaury Nolasco as Orange Julius, a street racer who drives an orange Mazda RX-7.
- Michael Ealy as Slap Jack, a street racer who drives a gold Toyota Supra.
- John Cenatiempo as Korpi, a street racer who drives a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko S/C.
- Eric Etebari as Darden, Korpi's friend who drives a 1970 Dodge Challenger.
- Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto (flashback appearance)
Producer Neal H. Moritz makes a cameo appearance as a police officer during a chase scene.
Plans to make a sequel came about after the box office success of The Fast and the Furious, which grossed over $200 million worldwide. John Singleton had seen the first film and was awed by it, saying: "When I saw The Fast and the Furious, I was like, 'Damn, why didn't I think of that?' Growing up in South Central L.A., we had street races all the time." Singleton's rave reaction of the film as well as the culture of street racing in general influenced his decision to direct the sequel. The director also claimed that the concept of street racing could be something young audiences can relate to.
The screenplay was written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, along with Gary Scott Thompson (the writer from the first film). There were two film treatments submitted early on, one of which did not involve Vin Diesel's character in case he does not intend to return for the sequel. Singleton credited Top Gun as a major influence for the film, particularly with regard to the action sequences.
Vin Diesel was offered $25 million to return in the sequel as Dominic Toretto. However, he refused after reading the screenplay as he felt that its potential was inferior compared to that of its predecessor; rather, he chose to appear in The Chronicles of Riddick. According to Variety magazine in 2015 he was less taken with what the screenwriters had in mind for the film, "They didn't take a Francis Ford Coppola approach to it. They approached it like they did sequels in the '80s and '90s, when they would drum up a new story unrelated for the most part, and slap the same name on it." However, Diesel reflected on his decision in a July 2014 report from Uproxx, saying: "I would've said, 'Don't walk away from it just because the script sucked in 2 Fast 2 Furious because there's an obligation to the audience to fight, no matter what, to make that film as good as possible.' ... I might have had a little bit more patience or belief in the long-term of it."
Paul Walker, who had just finished Timeline at the time, reprised his role in the second picture as Brian O'Conner. Tyrese Gibson, then known mononymously as Tyrese, also became a part of the cast having previously acted in Singleton's Baby Boy, which was the singer's feature film acting debut; he portrayed Roman Pearce. Ja Rule, another prominent rap artist who appeared in The Fast and the Furious, was originally tapped for the role of Tej Parker. Ja Rule was offered $500,000 for the role, which was more than what he had been paid to appear in The Fast and the Furious, $15,000. According to Singleton, "Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars. ... He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn't return calls." The director then hired Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, a relatively little known rap artist at the time as a substitute. Bridges would later rise to prominence for appearing in the film and star in later films such as Crash and Hustle & Flow. Additional cast also included Cole Hauser as key villain Carter Verone, who appeared in Singleton's Higher Learning; Eva Mendes as undercover agent Monica Fuentes; and Devon Aoki as Suki, the sole female driver in the film.
Principal photography began in the fall of 2002, and Matthew F. Leonetti served as the director of photography. Filming was done mostly in various parts of South Florida such as Miami Beach, Seven Mile Bridge, and Homestead Air Reserve Base. Hauser's character's mansion was shot in Coral Gables, which was owned by Sylvester Stallone.
A car enthusiast himself, Walker drove a Nissan Skyline GT-R model R-34 borrowed from the film's Technical Advisor, Craig Lieberman, in the film's opening scenes. Aoki did not have a driver's license or any driving experience prior to the film's production, and took driving lessons during filming; she drove a pink 2001 Honda S2000 AP1 in the film. Gibson drove a convertible Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, while Michael Ealy drove a Toyota Supra Turbo MkIV model JZA80 that had been re-used by Walker in The Fast and the Furious.
2 Fast 2 Furious earned $50,472,480 in its U.S. opening in 3,408 theaters, ranking first for the weekend. In its 133 days in release, the film reached a peak release of 3,418 theaters in the U.S. and earned $127,154,901 domestically. The film had the 15th largest domestic gross of 2003 and the 16th largest worldwide gross of 2003; combined with the foreign gross of $109,195,760, the film earned $236,350,661 worldwide.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 36% based on 160 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Beautiful people and beautiful cars in a movie that won't tax the brain cells". Metacritic assessed, based on 35 critics, a weighted average score of 38 out of 100, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" among the sampled critics.
Despite the mixed reviews, the film has in later years been considered by some as the most underrated movie of the Fast and Furious franchise. Derek Lawrence of the Entertainment Weekly called it "the forgotten Fast and Furious gem" and praised the chemistry between Walker and Gibson and John Singleton's direction.
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