Disgraced cop Brian O'Connor is offered a chance to win back his badge: team up with former friend Roman Pearce and go undercover as drivers for a Miami-based drug lord. Joining them is sexy agent Monica Fuentes - and so it's not just the cars' chassis that catches Brian's eye.
It's not just Vin Diesel's baldy bonce that's missing from this sequel to 2001's high-octane hit. None of the pedal-to-the-metal set-pieces really match the original's stunt-crazy highway heist, nor does the story offer much in compensation.
Returning star Walker is passable in his blue-eyed blond way, but it's a struggle to accept him as a street racer, far less an undercover cop. The discovery here is Tyrese Gibson as six-packed ex-con Roman Pearce, struggling to forgive his former homeboy's decision to join the force. Musician, MTV VJ, male model and the kid with headphones singing on a bus in the Coca Cola commercial, he's coming along nicely as a movie actor under the tutelage of John Singleton, who previously cast him in Baby Boy (and again, since, in Four Brothers).
As for Singleton, he's come a long way since becoming the youngest-ever Best Director Oscar nominee with Boyz N The Hood back in 1992. These days, he's content to crank out the action flicks, but as with Shaft, he lets himself down in the most important area: the actual directing of action. The camera zips between the speeding automobiles, but its computerised moves - plus the quips and soundbites that stand in for proper dialogue - make these bits feel like a video game that's devoid of genuine driving seat thrills.
A family sedan compared to the original's sporty convertible, this perhaps wisely injects more comedy than the original, but without Diesel's gruff presence it's more fast than furious.