Structurally "Faster" is as blocky as its star. Fancy camera angles and changes in hue cannot camouflage its stumbling, blunt-force narrative style, in which plot turns are dropped like bricks.
Johnson's performance is one of seething rage camouflaging emotional scars as ugly as the physical ones, a grim, single-minded figure straight out of a Jim Thompson or Richard Stark novel.
Rotate the plot, change the period, spruce up the dialogue, and this could have been a hard-boiled 1940s noir. But it doesn't pause for fine touches and efficiently delivers action for an audience that likes one-course meals.
There are a couple of plot twists that -- carefully seeded into the story -- are intended to shock and surprise but actually come across as contrived and highly implausible.
The Killer subplot looks and feels like it was grafted on with Krazy Glue. Thornton's character never adds up. And the film's big whiplash surprise ending is a real you've-got-to-be-kidding groaner.