Sam Strange Remembers: 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS

The legendary Hollywood producer explains how he followed up THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS without including Van Gasoline.

So now it’s time for The Fast and The Furious Part Two: Twofast Twofurious. After all the broken hearts and high drama of the last film, I wanted this one to be bright and sunny and fun. This meant some major changes. For one, Van Gasoline, no matter how much he means to the series, could not appear because the muscles around his mouth prevent him from smiling. Two, the film would have to take place in Miami, the only bright and sunny place left once you’ve done LA.

On top of that, Paul Walker would have to be a little different, too. In keeping with his undercover nature, he can change personalities at will. This time he’s a wisecracking, what-me-worry type. His hair is a little shorter, but it still holds some golden locks of boyishness.

When we reunite with Paul Walker, he’s no longer a undercover cop pretending to be a novice street racer. He’s now just a regular old underground street racer. His new pit crew is nowhere near as cool as the old one. There’s sort of a motor mouth salesman (Chris Tucker), a Mexican mechanic, and a moon-faced Japanese girl called Suki because all slightly chubs Japanese girls in movies have to be called Suki.

Just writing that paragraph makes me ache for the old days. And that’s just the point. Racing like an idiot for idiots makes Paul Walker feel like an idiot. He needs to be out there in the action. Luckily, while racing one day, cops shoot his car with a NO5 nullifying Trident and bring him in.

They offer him a deal. Work with the FBI and he can avoid jail and maybe even become a cop again. He asks what the job is, and Agent Ajax fills him in:

“Surveillance cameras randomly got a shot of this man leaving an Apple Store the other day. We believe he looks kind of like Cole Hauser. Guys who look like Cole Hauser are trouble.  Now, we can’t just go up and arrest him for looking like Cole Hauser. Fortunately, Cole Hauser’s IMDB page says he’s in to street racing. You can race for him, get to know him, and tell us if he’s doing anything illegal, and we’ll go from there.”

Paul Walker agrees. When they ask if his loyalties will get confused again, he reminds them that Cole Hauser isn’t a bald, muscular man of questionable race. He then demands a partner of his choosing.

We cut to a Florida demolition derby where one driver reigns supreme: Roman “Rome” Romeo, Paul Walker’s first love. Now, I know Romeo isn’t of questionable race, but this character was burned as a child, so he has those permanent white blotches on his face, which was good enough for Paul Walker’s back when he was a pimply high school kid. It’s kind of a heated reunion because Romeo blames Paul Walker for his two year stint in prison (where he did time with Dom), but after a short, Tom-n-Huck fistfight, the two have sex and bygones are bygones.

So they discover that the guy who looks like Cole Hauser is having driving auditions. But to enter you have to be driving a Ford. They don’t have Fords because no Underground racer of note would drive an American car. Luckily, they find some Jackasses that do and challenge them to a “loser walks home” race. This is a tricky race. Instead of just going in a straight line, you have to suddenly turn around halfway through and come back again, making it incredibly difficult to know when to push your little red NO5 button. Romeo pushes it at the wrong time, but Paul Walker pushes it at a better time than anyone else and wins the race.

Now that they have their crappy American car, they can go audition. The race is tricky simply because they’re all handicapped by Fords. This, of course, was the guy who looks like Cole Hauser’s point. Paul Walker and Romeo win not by coming in first, but by crashing their Ford into the other Fords until their Ford is the only Ford still running.

Having won the race, they can finally meet the guy who looks like Cole Hauser. To everyone’s surprise, it’s the real Cole Hauser, and he’s just as sleazy and dangerous as we all expect him to be. To prove it, Hauser brings in a fat dude and inspires a rat to eat through his tummy-tum-tum, feeding it not only the cat he ate for lunch, but the rat that the cat ate for breakfast, too. Now that’s cruel. That rat never intended to be a cannibal.

Paul Walker and Romeo piss on flux capacitors for breakfast. They’re not stupid. Knowing now who they’re dealing with, both start working on a back-up plan for when Cole Hauser inevitably turns on them. This brings them back to Paul Walker’s Miami pit crew and all the underground racers connected with that cliche. To re-prove they’re cred, they have to drive at each other, jump off of opposing ramps, and do a high-five mid-air, which they do.

After seeing to that, they just have to wait around for Cole Hauser to contact them. Finally the day arrives. Paul Walker and Romeo fill their trunks with Cole Hauser’s incriminating money. Instead of driving alone to the predetermined meet point, they each get stuck with a henchman sitting shotgun. Then, in the middle of the ride, the meet point gets switched. Now the cops waiting to back them up will all go to the wrong place. Romeo ditches his henchman with a NO5 powered ejector seat. Paul Walker’s ejector seat doesn’t work, though, so he just kicks him out the old fashioned way.

The changed meet point isn’t a problem, either, because all their Miami street racer friends used NO5 to wormhole their way into tomorrow and found out the new location via a pre-planned conversation with their future selves. So, except for the ejector seat not working, Paul and Romeo know everything that’s going to happen for the rest of the film.

Cole Hauser can secretly manipulate NO5 wormholes, too. He finds out just in time what Paul Walker and Romeo’s plans are and tries to escape in a yacht. He doesn’t realize that we was fated to see the future and fated to freak out and fated to have Paul Walker and Romeo drive their cars onto his yacht and fated to have all eight of their tires land on his nutz.

The cops arrive at the new meet point and arrest Cole Hauser for being Cole Hauser. Romeo and Paul Walker are turned into cops and given 1/2 of Cole Hauser’s drug money. They also get to keep their cars and gain assurance that whenever they feel like racing, the Miami PD will look the other way.

All in all, it’s a perfect ending for our heroes except for one thing… What became of Dom? To find out you’ll have to watch not the next film but the one after that. After all, this is a story spanning time and space, told one quarter mile at a time. Stay tuned up…

(three stars)