Each of the three central characters is provided with not-so-original name-tags rather than real names (though if you pay attention you will be able to figure out each one of their names). So we have the 'Driver' (Dwayne The Rock Johnson) who's itching to get out of prison & he wastes no time in letting the audience know why, when he storms into an office and shoots a man right between the eyes. Hes on a mission; a mission to avenge his brothers death from ten years back. The 'Cop' (Billy Bob Thornton) is a junkie, ten days away from retirement with his marital relationship on the rocks. Cop teams up with another (Carla Gugino) as they try and piece together the puzzle of who the Driver is and why is he mowing down people left, right and center. The third point in this trifecta is the 'Killer' (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), an internet billionaire who gets his rocks off by being a killer-for-hire. He is given the contract to take down the Driver and starts to relish it when the Driver is more than a match for him. Thus armed with a list of everyone who wronged him and his brother, the Driver plows on with the Cop & the Killer hot on his trail.
The Rock had been touted as taking the action-hero mantle from where Arnold Schwarzenegger left off. He did well early on but a string of family-friendly flicks quickly turned that perception around. Now with this movie and the fifth Fast & Furious part due out next year, things seem to be back on track. The guy doesn't walk, he doesn't strut, hes like a towering hulk filled to the brim with rage who'll knock down anything and everything that comes in his path; definitely one of the positives from the film.
Billy Bob Thornton could play this kind of role in his sleep and still be damn good at it. Oliver Jackson-Cohen is just about passable with his ridiculous British accent and gets a raw deal when it comes to his story that seems more than just a little out of place in a revenge tale.
Clint Mansel's pumped-up background score helps the kinetic cinematography by Michael Grady. The pacing however feels choppy in parts thanks to some pointless character moments which add nothing to the plot nor contribute in building the characters.
One of the most interesting points about the otherwise 'by-the-numbers' script was the moral dilemma presented to Driver as he moves from one kill to another. The people he kills were all bad (and some still are) but its been such a long time and somewhere the script brings up the age-old adage about forgiveness which even though half-baked still holds some promise. Though I still didn't root for Driver because I simply wasn't given a convincing enough reason to do so.
My advice to you is, wait for it to arrive on DVD so you can skip over to the best parts.view less