Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris
'2 Fast' starts slow, gains speed
By BILLY NORRIS
Published June 9, 2003
Movie: 2 Fast 2 Furious
Rating: Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), formerly an undercover Los Angeles cop, has moved on to compete in illegal street races in Miami for extra cash. His finely tuned driving skills have landed him an opportunity to redeem himself after blowing a huge investigation. U.S. Customs agents practically force him to infiltrate the world of the leader of an international money-laundering operation, Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). With the assistance of an old cohort, Roman Pearce (Tyrese), and the inside help of another undercover agent, Monica Clemente (Eva Mendes), he gains the partial trust of Verone, who sends them on a mission to deliver some dirty money. They just have to make it through before Verone catches on to their scheme to bring him down.
My View: The opening race sequence of this sequel to the 2001 summer hit The Fast and Furious did not bode well for the fate of the film. The seemingly amateur and almost laughable acting, and the constant revving of engines bearing more horsepower than a small airplane, made me question the movie's potential. The opening appeared to be a setup for a superficial movie. Surprisingly, the film became progressively tolerable. Tyrese, a successful R&B recording artist and former model who is relatively new to acting, made a nice showing; he was hired when Vin Diesel decided not to do the sequel. Tyrese slipped easily into his role, and he was the most humorous and entertaining member of the cast. 2 Fast is an improvement over its predecessor, but it's up against some tough (and better) competition at the box office. I'm eager to see how it fares; it could go either way.
Recommendations: This is a fast-paced, high-flying, adrenaline-filled good time that caters to its targeted teenage male audience. The violence, language and sensuality (lots of women in skimpy clothes) are the main factors in the PG-13 rating, but it should also carry a disclaimer stating, "Don't try this at home."
- Billy Norris, 15, will be in the 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.