2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

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Released 20-Oct-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Audio
Alternative Version-Choose Your Ride - Alternate Menu
Audio Commentary-John Singleton (Director)
Featurette-Spotlight On Paul Walker
Featurette-Spotlight On Tyrese Gibson
Featurette-Spotlight On Devon Roki
Featurette-The Ride ( For Each Car- 3)
Featurette-Actors Driving School (3)
Featurette-Making Of-Inside 2 Fast 2 Furious
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Tricking Out Hot Import Car
Featurette-Supercharged Stunts
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Making Music With Ludacris
DVD-ROM Extras
Informational Subtitles-Animated Anecdotes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 103:11
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Singleton
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Paul Walker
Tyrese
Eva Mendes
Cole Hauser
Ludacris
Thom Barry
Devon Aoki
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music David Arnold
Ludacris


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Danish
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Norwegian
Swedish
Icelandic
English Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Hebrew
Hungarian Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Swedish Audio Commentary
Icelandic Audio Commentary
English Information
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Pepsi and Mitsubishi
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Too Facile. Too Spurious.

    The Fast And The Furious was an adrenaline soaked, fun-filled action film with a novel plot. It was so popular on DVD that it even warranted three different releases in Region 4 including a Superbit version, the review of which can be found here. If ever you needed proof of the rule (yes, sure there are exceptions) that anything with the numeral "2" in the title is likely to be an inferior product, 2 Fast 2 Furious is surely it.

    At the end of the first film, the young cop, Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker),(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) threw his car keys to Toretto (Vin Diesel), allowing him to escape from the pursuing police, and seemed to be facing some imminent career limitations - having just broken numerous laws himself. This film can start in one of two ways, either viewing a "prequel" sequence (see extra features) which links the first movie to this one, or by heading straight into this film. I would suggest watching the prequel footage as it does help to tie the two films together.

    Brian is now a fugitive without a badge and is making a living as an illegal street racer on the boulevards of Miami. Despite never having been terribly accomplished in the first film, his skills now allow him to win every race he enters. During one race he spots a beautiful young woman in the crowd. The woman turns out to be - wait for it - an undercover cop named Monica (Eva Mendes). She wants Brian to help her apprehend a major drugs dealer named Carter Verone, whom she has been working on for almost a year. Brian is to run some of Verone's dirty money across town, so that Verone can take it out of the country - of course unbeknownst to him, the police will be waiting for him and he will be caught in the act. For some reason, Brian needs to have a second driver to help him, so he revisits an old friend named Roman Pearce (Tyrese) as he knows his ability as a wheel man. If Roman helps Brian, they will both have all criminal charges against them dropped, and be given a clean record. From here on in, the film is essentially a standard "buddy movie" as the two duck and dodge to prevent themselves being killed by the bad guys or accidentally tripped up by the various law enforcement agencies.

    The plot is flimsy at best - so flimsy you can actually see right through it in several areas. Why doesn't Verone pop his money into the Express Post? Why doesn't he get some of his existing army of henchmen to drop it off on their way to the shops? Perhaps he could get someone to deliver it at night, rather than in broad daylight using two of the most head-turning cars in Miami, travelling at permanently illegal speeds? The entire storyline appears to be nothing more than a simple excuse to string together a series of racing scenes and special effects shots. To be fair it manages to do this rather well, but even the race 'n' chase scenes actually become, well, boring. The original movie managed to generate some suspense with the "whodunit" element of the truck robberies, and the street racing was an essential plot element in a half-decent story. Here the racing is largely pointless and there is little doubt about the likely outcome of the "plot" after the first few minutes. Similarly, in the previous film Walker got to play a naive character, who could evoke some sympathy from the audience as he was obviously a fish out of water. Here, he has suddenly become terribly "street" and is just not very convincing - every time he said "bro" I had to suppress a snigger. Whilst Tyrese is passable as the surly buddy Roman, he does not have the edge that Diesel brought to the Toretto character. The supporting cast are not as strong or as believable as the first film either, with the villain Verone (Hauser) and the undercover babe Monica (Mendes) playing roles we have all seen dozens of times before - and they do not bring the credibility that Matt Schulze, Jordanna Brewster or Michelle Rodriguez brought to the earlier piece.

    Of course, in a film such as this, the cars are the real stars. The use of American "muscle" cars to contrast the Japanese pocket rockets is a welcome twist, and one which I am sure was calculated to please the more traditional American petrol heads. The special effects during the numerous racing and chasing scenes are well done, although you cannot help feeling that you have seen it all before...and you have, in the original film. There really is little innovation in this movie and it is simply not as engaging, exhilarating or entertaining as the first film.

    2 Fast 2 Furious is unsatisfying in many areas. The plot, scripting and acting are all fairly weak. The special effects are all pretty good, the locations are attractive and some of the cars are downright gorgeous. The excellent sound and visual effects are not enough to save this from being a classic example of style over substance. I always though Vin Diesel looked a little...less than highly intelligent. The fact that he managed to avoid appearing in this fluff makes me look at him in a slightly different light. Watch it with low expectations for anything other than in-your-face sound and visual effects and you will not be disappointed. Worth a rental for some truly mindless entertainment, but it is not as good as its predecessor.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this transfer is generally very good indeed. It is presented 16x9 enhanced in a ratio of 2.35:1, which is the original theatrical aspect ratio.

    The overall transfer, whilst generally excellent, does have one or two instances of noticeable grain (for instance at 3:42 and 72:38), but otherwise is so sharp you could cut yourself on it.

    Black levels are coal mine deep and absolutely rock solid, without a hint of low level noise. The shadow detail is excellent at all times. Colours are richly saturated and wonderfully rendered without a hint of colour bleeding. There are some wonderful tones on display here, from the shocking pink of Suki's car to the neon glow beneath Brian's. The Miami streetscape also allows for a very vivid palette and it has been exploited to the hilt. Skin tones look natural throughout.

    There are no noticeable MPEG artefacts to spoil the transfer. Edge enhancement was frequently visible as a halo around the characters (for example at 22:39) or around buildings (for instance at 39:42), but I never found this to be a significant distraction from the generally great transfer. When viewed in progressive scan, there is virtually no aliasing or shimmer in the image (one mild example can be seen on the trailer at 72:16). If viewed in interlaced however, aliasing is a much more significant problem. There are numerous examples, some of which can be distracting (for instance on the roller doors at 0:53, the skyscraper at 62:22 or on the cables at 72:33).

    The transfer is almost free from film artefacts and I did not notice any significant problems. There are one or two minor specks or flecks (for example at 2:55 or 71:44), but they are very fleeting and non-intrusive.

    The English subtitles for the Hard of Hearing are well timed and legible, but they do drop a fair number of words. The audio cues are frequent and nicely descriptive of the music and sound effects.

    This disc is single sided and dual layered (RSDL formatted), with the layer change evident at 70:13, during the middle of Roman's monologue at the pier.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The overall audio transfer is extremely good, being pretty much of reference quality.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is encoded at 384 kbps. It is free from major defects at all times, with no clicks, pops or dropouts noticed. Dialogue was always crystal clear and is never overpowered by the pumping musical score and abundant sound effects. Audio sync was faultless throughout.

    The original music is credited to the highly accomplished David Arnold (Zoolander, Die Another Day) and to Ludacris (the rapper contributes the title song). It is a thumping and anxious score, which does a reasonable job but generally plays second fiddle to the engine noises, turbos and screeching tyres of the sexy cars.

    The soundstage is fully enveloping and highly effective throughout. The front speakers provide some very nice panning and separation and the surround speakers are used almost constantly to deliver a vibrant and powerful ambience. There are numerous examples of localised sound effects, front to rear panning and cross soundstage panning.

    The subwoofer is heavily used whenever music is played or a car moves - which is about ninety per cent of the time. It is not quite as powerfully used as in the first film, and whilst still very good, it does not feel quite such a visceral experience.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are heaps of extras present - although not quite as many as there might appear at first glance. Many of the extras can be accessed via various routes, so it seems like they are never-ending until you actually begin to access them.

Menu

    There are actually three main menus. When you play the disc, after choosing your menu language you are presented with a static picture of three cars from the movie (Brian's, Roman's and Suki's). By choosing a car, you get access to the rest of the menu features, including some shared extras, and some unique to each car chosen. I will describe the shared extras first, and then list the ones specific to each car choice. The general options available are playing the feature, selecting one of twenty chapter stops, language and subtitle selection or viewing the extensive collection of extra features.

Shared Bonus Materials

Prelude to 2 Fast 2 Furious

    This worthwhile and interesting extra runs for 6:13 and forms a link between the end of the first movie and this feature. It is presented letterboxed at 2.35:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. The video is however of a very high quality and the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 448 kbps (which is better than the 384 kbps of the main feature). If selected it plays and then leads almost seamlessly (except for some brief credit screens) into the main film.

Audio Commentary

    The director (John Singleton) provides a mildly interesting commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps. Despite his obvious pride in the movie, he spends too much time describing what is already patently obvious on the screen so it is not overly enlightening.

Inside 2 Fast 2 Furious

    Running for 10:03, this is essentially an EPK fluff piece which is presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. Nothing much to warrant a repeat viewing.

Deleted Scenes

    Each scene is introduced by the editors, and they explain the setting and the reason for the deletion of the scene. Running for 6:07, they are presented letterboxed at 2.35:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Outtakes

    Running for only 2:44, this collection of scenes is presented at 1.33:1 and with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. It is your standard "fluffed lines" and "goofing around" between the cast members.

Tricking Out A Hot Import Car

    Running for a slight 3:22, this extra can apparently be found on the Tricked Out Edition of The Fast And The Furious. It follows a Playboy bimbo as some car nerds explain how to spend $50K making an already ridiculously expensive car into a gauche pimp-mobile with a stereo the size of a condominium. It is presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Supercharged Stunts

    A detailed breakdown of how the car-on-the-boat stunt was created. Running for 5:29 and presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Making Music with Ludacris

    A behind-the-scenes of Ludacris making the video for the theme song from the film. Running for 5:00 and at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Animated Anecdotes

    A trivia track which will throw up trivia sporadically during the movie.

DVD ROM Features

    I give up. Perhaps someone out there can work out how to run this Interactual player and access the special features, but I for one have better things to do than go on a seemingly futile quest to access the material. According to the Region 1 release, there may well be a game demo here but I cannot get the software to do anything other than play the movie. Maybe I'm getting too old?

Brian's Car Exclusives

Spotlight on Paul Walker

    A back-slapping session from the cast and crew, extolling the virtues of Walker for 2:18, presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

The Ride

    The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII is discussed and drooled over by cast and crew for 4:13, presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Driving School

    Walker takes some driving lessons, so he can look like a professional during the film. Running for 2:46 and presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Roman's Car Exclusives

Spotlight on Tyrese

    A back-slapping session from the cast and crew, extolling the virtues of Tyrese for 2:17, presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

The Ride

    The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder driven by Tyrese is discussed and drooled over by cast and crew for 2:38, presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Driving School

    Tyrese shows his cone-hitting skills and trashes an engine or two at the driving school. Running for 2:46 and presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Suki's Car Exclusives

Spotlight on Devon Aoki

    Aoki gushes about her first acting role for 2:25, presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

The Ride

    The shocking pink Honda S2000 driven by Aoki is discussed and drooled over by cast and crew for 2:26, presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Driving School

    Aoki had never driven a car before making the film so her learning curve was huge. Running for 1:48 and presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The extras on the Region 1 versions of this film appear to be almost identical to our own, with minor changes in subtitle and language options and a video game preview (which may be buried in the DVD ROM features on our release). The film is available separately as either a widescreen (2.35:1) or a full frame release (1.33:1) in Region 1. Unless you particularly want a full screen version, I would suggest you buy whichever widescreen version can be found cheaper.

Summary

    2 Fast 2 Furious is lightweight nonsense in the plot department, but does provide some well realised special effects and a pumping soundtrack for the racing scenes. Worth a rental perhaps, but nowhere near as good as its predecessor. Fans of the first film will be disappointed in this sequel. As the director points out in the audio commentary, "Cars and girls - that's what it's all about".

    The video quality is extremely good.

    The audio transfer is extremely good and is almost of reference standard.

    The extras are numerous, but of debatable quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Monday, September 29, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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DVD Rom Extras -