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Film / Faster

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Faster is a 2010 movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton. Johnson plays "Driver", a getaway driver just released after ten years in prison, who immediately goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the gang of thugs who killed his gang (including his older brother) and stole their bank heist money. Thornton plays "Cop", a burn-out junkie of a detective looking to close out his career on a high note by bringing Driver in. Thrown into the mix is "Killer" (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a Blood Knight hit man looking to complete One Last Job before retiring to marry his girlfriend.

The film marked a return to the action movies that were Johnson's bread-and-butter before switching to more family-friendly fare.


Faster contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Implied to have happened to Driver, but it's all vaguely mentioned by his mother.
  • Anti-Villain: None of the main characters do anything "heroic", but they do have sympathetic qualities. Cop and Driver are Type I's with some Type IV traits, since their actions aren't really malicious. Killer is a more downplayed case, being closer to a typical hitman than anything. He still tends to play by the rules, though.
  • Arc Words: "Forgiveness" and "Finishing what I started" are mentioned throughout.
  • Badass Driver: Driver remarkable talents behind the wheel are showcased are multiple points during the movie: perhaps most noticeably during the flashback to The Heist where Driver's talents are the only reason the gang gets away at all. The alternate ending (available as a deleted scene on the DVD) focusses on a combination car chase/gunfight between Driver and Killer.
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  • Best Served Cold: Driver takes out his targets with the same vaguely annoyed expression on his face.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: When Driver kicks open the door of Old Guy's apartment, Old Guy grabs a pair of scissors to defend himself. Driver shoots the scissors out of his hand.
  • Blood Knight: Killer enjoys the thrilling prospect of going up against an armed and dangerous shooter (Driver) and takes offence to being dismissed by said target as a threat.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Averted, Driver is seen reloading his Hand Cannon several times using a speedloader.
    • In the alternate ending Killer is able to get off the first shot at Driver, only for his slide to lock back on an empty magazine. He reaches for another magazine and gets shot by Driver.
  • Briefcase Blaster: Killer is shown packing a suitcase with strapped-in guns and knives.
  • Broken Ace: Killer. He's succeeded at everything he's done, but he's doing it because he was crippled as a child. Consequently, he does not take losing well.
  • Car Fu: In the alternate ending Driver and Killer play a game of chicken with their Cool Cars.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The metal plate in Driver's head, which saves him from Cop's bullet.
    • On a couple of occasions Driver listens to someone on his car radio preaching about not letting violence and revenge control his life. The preacher turns out to be his last target and yes, the sermons were aimed at Driver.
    • In the first scene with Killer, in his house we see a number of one dollar bills behind glass. Near the end we learn they are the payment for his fulfilled contracts.
  • Cool Car: Driver drives a 1970 Chevy Chevelle Super-Sport, which is a physically imposing muscle car with dashing good looks. Killer has a garage full of high end, sleek looking sports cars.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Happens in the alternate ending. To the Killer.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • One of the targets Driver kills had a son and when he found out that the person calling him on the phone was Driver, he swears to kill him, only for Driver to respond if he's prepared for that road.
    • In the alternate ending, in which Killer dies, a red-eyed Lily is shown practising her shooting with a determined look on her face.
  • Dirty Cop: The fax Cicero looks at in the ending shows that Slade Humphries, aka Cop was in the Rampart division, whose CRASH unit was involved in a notorious corruption scandal. See Wikipedia for details.
  • Dirty Old Man: Old Guy is an elderly serial rapist and serial killer.
  • Disability Immunity: Driver survives being shot in the head by Cop because he has a metal plate in his skull: a metal plate that is there because of the injuries he sustained the the first time Cop shot him in the head 10 years ago.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Amazingly, almost impossibily subverted, inasmuch as Driver survives Cop shooting him, killing the latter, while Killer goes home to his wife.
    • Not originally. In the alternate ending Killer sees Driver's car and can't resist turning back to take him on. He dies and Lily is shown planning her own revenge on Driver, while Cop's ex-wife has gone back on drugs.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Driver is shown to drive recklessly, even driving backwards, during the bank robbery flashback.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Driver has scars on his head from the surgery to place the metal plate on his skull. Killer has multiple scars on his legs from the brace implants he had as a child.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shown with several characters who are trying to turn their lives around or who have people who love them.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Baphtomet, having become a bouncer years after Gary's death, decides to engage Driver in melee combat in the bathroom of the club where he works, telling the bathroom attendant to move out of the way for his own safety, and not to rat Driver out. He puts up a good fight before being incapacitated. Driver finishes him off in the hospital.
    • The Pastor does not beg for his life when Driver has him at gunpoint. Rather, he asks Driver to forgive him for his part in Gary's death, and when Driver says he cannot forgive the Pastor for his actions, the Pastor forgives him for what he is about to do, and expresses hope that Driver overcomes his desire for vengeance, even if the Pastor does not survive. Driver spares the Pastor, unable to bring himself to kill him.
    • Cop dies grimly acknowledging that he brought Driver's wrath upon him (in his words "created [his] own hell") by killing the latter's brother.
  • Forced into Evil:
    • Old Guy claims he was forced to go along with the recording of the murders, but his protests fall flat due to the fact that he is about to record himself raping and possibly murdering a teenager.
    • The Pastor actually was pressured to stand by while Gary was murdered, and while Driver himself was seemingly murdered.
  • Getaway Driver: This was Driver's role during the original robbery.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Driver is killing a list of people who were involved in his brother's death.
  • Hand Cannon: Driver's Super Redhawk Alaskan in .454 Casull. Shown capable of destroying walls.
  • Hate Sink: In contrast to the moral complexity of the other characters, Old Guy is presented as a loathsome old weasel who gets his rocks off from other people's suffering and begs for undeserved mercy when the cards are stacked against him. Furthermore, due to his involvement in snuff filmmaking, his murder is seen by the police as a public service.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Killer. He cares for his girlfriend, later wife, and as it turns out his reason for being a hitman is that he was a cripple when he was a boy.
  • In Harm's Way: Killer is a millionaire adrenaline junkie who is compensating for being a sick little boy when he was younger. He is always looking to "master" the next thing so much that he only charges one dollar as a hitman.
  • Karma Houdini: Driver, who killed a lot of people through the course of the film, and Killer, who as his name indicates is a hitman, are alive and at large at the end of the film. Also Cop's wife, who was responsible for everything that went wrong in the first place.
  • Karmic Death: Old Guy in particular is a target whose death is treated by the narrative as a public service on Driver's part, Old Guy being a prolific Serial Killer and Serial Rapist with no sympathetic qualities whatsoever. He was killed for his involvement in the death of Gary's brother.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: All of Driver's targets save for the one he doesn't kill deserve what's coming; as they were involved in double crossing them and killing his brother. And one of the first he kills is an old man with a penchant for Slipping a Mickey on the poor teenage girl that "helps" him get to his apartment.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Driver, even to the extent of not shooting Killer when he has the chance because he's not one of his targets. Killer too doesn't shoot Driver In the Back because a child is in the way.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer showed scenes from the alternate ending (the Car Fu confrontation between Driver and Killer) making the film look like an action movie as opposed to a revenge drama, and audiences to expect a final confrontation that never actually happens.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Killer spends an entire scene doing yoga in his underwear.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Killer's girlfriend, and later, wife, doesn't mind spending an entire scene in her underwear with her robe open.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Played with, though Driver isn't very chatty or polite about confronting the killers.
  • No Name Given: No one ever says Driver or Killer's real names, although a printout shows Driver's name to be James Cullen. Cop's name Slade Humphries doesn't come up until the end (and then only on a computer printout). '
  • Noble Demon: All three main characters, to one degree or another, are morally flexible. However, they all display a capacity for human decency.
    • Driver specifically targets the people he knows were involved in the death of his brother, and the latter's crew, avoiding civilian casualties and even trying to avoid confrontation with Killer, an assassin sent against him.
    • Cop may be a corrupt police officer and an addict, but he cares about his son and his ex.
    • Killer may be an assassin who charges a dollar a hit, but he cares about his other half, avoids civilian casualties, and refuses to take payments for jobs he doesn't complete.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Old Guy pretends to be far more decrepit than he actually is: feigning frailty to trick a teenage girl into helping carry his shopping to his apartment. After he drugs her, he drops his cane and starts moving a lot more spryly.
  • Pet the Dog: Driver letting the last on his list - now a preacher who'd turned his life around - live.
  • Psycho for Hire: Killer is a low-priced contract killer who fulfills contracts because he finds such work engaging. Unlike many contract killers who enjoy the work, Killer focuses on his target, avoids civilian casualties, and won't accept payment if he himself does not fulfill the terms of a contract.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Driver clears his list and ends the movie wanted for multiple murders, including a cop.
  • Retirony: Played straight with Cop while Averted with Killer.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Driver's Weapon of Choice is a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan snubnosed revolver in the .454 Casull.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Driver drives into the sunset after scattering his brother's ashes. An alternate ending has him being Chased Off into the Sunset by police cars.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Driver's killing rampage stems from his victims being responsible for the death of his brother.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon seeing the tattoo on Driver's arm, the 300 lb Samoan bodyguard just bolts, saying he doesn't want to have anything to do with a 'ghost.'
  • Serial Killer: Old Guy is indicated to have killed several people on camera.
  • Serial Rapist: Old Guy is indicated to have raped several girls and others on camera before killing them.
  • Sickbed Slaying: After learning that Baphomet has survived his first attack, Driver storms the hospital and shoots Baphomet while he is on the operating table.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Old Guy drugs the drink of the teenage girl who helps him carry his shopping to his apartment. Given he is a sex offender who makes Snuff Films, and he has just pulled out his camera, her future is not looking bright when Driver saves her by kicking open the door and killing him.
  • Snuff Film: Old Guy tapes the murder of Driver's brother and his gang. Cicero says that the tape of that murder was found when they busted an illegal hardcore video ring. The tapes Cicero and Cop find in Old Guy's apartment indicate that he has been making and distributing snuff tapes in the intervening years.
  • Storyboard Body: Driver's "ghost" tattoo is said in passing to be his score board from the fights he had in prison. And by "fights", we mean the Curb-Stomp Battles / No-Holds-Barred Beatdowns that he handed out.
  • Suspiciously Specific Sermon: Driver is listening to a radio pastor preach about forgiveness and letting go of vengeance as he drives around murdering the people who have wronged him. Then he goes up to the last guy on his list, and lo and behold, it turns out that it's the pastor, who knew that Driver escaped from the news reports, and has been preaching directly towards him in hopes that he might change his ways. He does. Sort of.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels!: Cicero says this word to word when Cop tells her that he married his informant.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: The Snuff Film of the gang's torture ends with Driver being shot in the head at close range with a large calibre handgun. det. Cicero comments that paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, but that he woke up at the hospital. Surgeons were able to remove the bullet, but the damage sustained necessitated putting a steel plate in his skull. This injury does not slow him down at all when he starts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge ten years later.
  • Tranquil Fury: It's Downplayed, but still. Driver's kills are committed with a stern and vaguely annoyed look on his face.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: The Snuff Film guy pretends to need a cane to lure a teenaged girl back to his home.
  • Treachery Cover Up: Thinking he isn't up to taking on Driver, Cop phones Cicero and asks her to tell his son he died bravely. After she finds Cop's body, Detective Cicero hides the evidence that Cop was involved in the murders.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Killer says that Driver has no skill or technique, at least when it comes to gunplay. What he does have is pure, raw fury, talent, and a complete lack of fear.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Old Guy dies blaming his co-conspirators despite being fully complicit in the murders in an attempt at begging for mercy.
  • The Voice: Baphomet's son is only heard as a voice on the phone when Driver calls him to pass on Baphomet's final message that he was sorry, and when the son later calls back to swear vengeance.
  • Worthy Opponent: Killer sees Driver as one to him. But although he had to fight him off repeatedly throughout the film, Driver doesn't really knows or cares about Killer. Their final confrontation is Killer pointing a gun at Driver and trying to force him to acknowledge that he (Killer) is good, and getting angrier that Driver doesn't cares, up until Cop tells him to cut it off. This drive to be acknowledged is what creates the Car Fu final battle that is in the deleted scenes.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: Not really shown except in the alternate ending, but Driver has an X scar on the back of his head from his surgery.