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2 fast 2 furious

Also 2 shallow 4 words, which is only as it should be: THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001) didn't make its megamillions by being intellectually challenging. This sequel unfolds without Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto, the charismatic hijacker whom undercover cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) allowed to escape at the end of the first film. Brian moves into center stage, disgraced and badgeless in Miami, where he's fled to avoid arrest on charges he racked up while fraternizing with Dominic. Brian's established his own reputation as a street racer, found a friend in Tej (rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), who runs a custom garage and organizes underground rallies, and a friendly competitor in Power Puff vixen Suki (model Devon Aoki, who can't act her way out of a pair of La Perlas and isn't asked to). The past catches up with Brian (as it's wont to do to sequel survivors) in the form of Agent Bilkins (Tom Barry), who's working with a U.S. Customs Bureau task force to take down slick businessman Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). Verone is using his Miami-based import-export business to launder drug money, and super-sexy undercover Customs agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) has tipped them off that he's about to flee, presumably with a load of dirty cash. If they can catch Verone with the loot, they can nail him once and for all. Fuentes is lining up top-of-the-line drivers for Verone, and that's where Brian comes in. If he'll help Customs catch Verone with the goods, Bilkins will wipe his rap sheet clean. Brian takes the deal on the condition that it's extended to his childhood pal, Roman "Rome" Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), an ex-con and certified motorpsycho who also needs a fresh start. With the pieces in place, the movie goes through the motions of pretending it matters whether Agent Fuentes has gone over to the dark side, Rome and Brian rekindle their compromised friendship or Brian regains the respect of his former colleagues. But it's really all about the cars, kandy-kolored nitro-injected streamline babies with sweeter curves than a Playboy photo spread, more personality than Rome, Brian and Monica combined, and enough juice to send a fleet of rockets to the farthest reaches of the known universe. And that should be recommendation enough for anyone to whom the words "Gentlemen, start your engines" are sufficient to send shivers down the spine.