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Driver (Dwayne Johnson) doesn't say a lot, but he doesn't have to. His actions get his point across. And if you're on the list of people he intends to kill, whatever conversation ensues will be brief.

Fresh out of prison, Driver seeks vengeance for the murder of his brother. That includes storming into a telemarketer's office and blowing his head off. So what if a security camera records the whole episode — Driver is a man on a mission.

As such, he attracts the attention of two cops: a burnt-out case with a history of drug addiction (Billy Bob Thornton) and his by-the-book colleague (Carla Gugino). Also monitoring Driver's activities is a hit man (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who seems more interested in chatting on a cell phone with his therapist than in completing his assignment.

Will Driver succeed in getting his revenge? Is this a Hollywood movie?

Working from a screenplay by brothers Tony and Joe Gayton, director George Tillman Jr. ("Soul Food") delivers solid action in the early going, but the film falls victim to second-act meandering. "Faster" plays as if Tillman studied the works of director Michael Mann ("Heat"), but got a C on the final exam. A potentially poignant scene, in which a reformed criminal begs Driver to spare his life, elicited unintentional laughs.

Johnson demonstrates a stoic resolve that recalls '70s-era Clint Eastwood. Regardless of his skills as an actor, Johnson has a strong screen presence that's ideal for roles like this.

Thornton, who won an Oscar for writing "Sling Blade" as well as receiving acting nominations for that film and "A Simple Plan," gets by on his essential Billy Bob-ness.

Only Gugino, one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood, displays emotional complexity — and do you really need that in an action flick?

Actually, yes.