Billy Bob Thornton Talks “Realness” of ‘Faster’ & Why Most ‘other’ Movies Suck

Movies & TV

RI Reeves | November 23, 2010 - 1:25 pm

Billy Bob Thornton plays the dope-addicted cop hot on Dwayne Johnson’s trail in the new revenge action ride, Faster and he’s giving folks the straight fix on the film which hits theaters on November 24th. He says the movie is old school in all the right ways and is as real as it gets for moviegoers.

“People are saying Faster is like a 70s movie and it kind of is. Most movies today are fantasy ones about vampires, 3D, eagles or whatever they’re about, but this movie didn’t rely on computers. We’ve done something real here,” says Thornton referring to the actors, who skipped stunt doubles to attend driving school so that they could command cars in speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour— sometimes in reverse.

Faster tells the story of an ex-con (Johnson), named Driver who is out to avenge the murder of his brother after being released from prison. And Driver sets off on a Terminator-style death parade of hits, one by one until revenge has been served, morgue-ice cold. But Thornton adds what makes this multi-layered character driven morality adventure different from much of the bad action movies today is that it isn’t influenced by cartoonish video game violence.

“In my humble opinion, we’re living in a time where we are making the worst movies in history—because they’re geared toward the video game playing generation. And in these video games are people killing for fun,” says the 55-year old actor. “There’s always been some kind of lesson in [traditional] violent movies, at their core they’ve always been morality tales. And Faster doesn’t say ,’Here’s this fun guy Driver and we’re gonna do this character right out of a video game who likes to destroy things and you can laugh about it.’”

Thornton says the movie also looks at the consequences of violence and hints at bigger themes like the effects of incarceration. “Faster shows this perpetual violent string of events; how this thing creates that which creates this,” he says. “This film shows what murder creates and what prisons create—dark characters [people] who are in trouble.”—Ronke Idowu Reeves