Harder, better, ‘Faster,’ stronger

Billy Bob Thornton isn’t exactly pleased with what’s been coming out of Hollywood lately: “We’re living in a time when we’re making — in my humble opinion — the worst movies in history,” Thornton says. “They’re geared toward the video game-playing generation. And these video games, which I’m on my son about constantly, these games are people killing for fun. I think traditionally, in movies, there’s always been some kind of lesson in the violent movies.”

It’s that idea of a lesson that drew him to his latest film, “Faster,” a violent tale of an ex-con (Dwayne Johnson) on a bloody quest for revenge against the people who set him up. Thornton stars as the cop on his trail. “This movie doesn’t say, ‘Oh, here’s this fun guy and we’re going to do this tongue-in-cheek character right out of a video game who likes to destroy things,’”?says Thornton. “This movie actually shows what prisons create, what murder creates. It shows this perpetual, violent string of events.”

Thornton’s character, named ‘Cop,’ has issues, including a drug problem and an ex-wife threatening to strip him of custody to their son. “One of the flaws in most action movies is that the characters are usually not very developed,” Thornton says. “A lot of times you’ll have the movie-star hero and then some bad guys who are just there to be killed by the hero, and they’re nameless, faceless people. And as a result, you’re usually not afraid of them because you don’t see them ask somebody to pass the salt, you don’t see them with their kids.”


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