Driver. Cop. Killer. Those are the actual character names given to Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thorton and Oliver Jackson-Cohen's respective roles in 'Faster,' a revenge film from 'Soul Food' director George Tillman Jr. that is rotten with placeholders. A cynic could say it's because Tony and Joe Gayton's script is a little half-baked, but the more likely explanation is that the two Gaytons thought themselves particularly clever for cutting to the chase of what people expect from an action flick about a recently liberated man (Johnson) who intends to be the judge, jury and executioner of the men who killed his bank-robbing brother.
They are not particularly clever, though they are however reliable when it does come to delivering what people expect. If you've seen even a few revenge films in your time, you'll know every beat of 'Faster' before it arrives on screen. You'll grasp concepts and key plot points well in advance of when Tillman Jr. decides to spell it out for everyone-- and spell it out he will, for 'Faster' boasts an almost commendable lack of subtlety throughout. And yet, even though this is a highly derivative thriller that telegraphs its moves, it's not quite a waste of time. There's a reason Dwayne Johnson has successfully transitioned from being a primetime wrestler to a legitimate movie star, and it's the same reason this otherwise forgettable film is tolerable: charisma.