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Walker, Tyrese Team Up for Car Racing Sequel <i>2Fast  2Furious</i> - 2003-06-06

The high octane world of fast cars and illegal street racing comes back to the screen in the sequel to the 2001 hit The Fast And The Furious. Alan Silverman has a look at 2Fast 2Furious.

2Fast 2Furious is set deep in an American subculture where modified engines and specially "tricked out" cars roar down city streets in impromptu and very illegal competition.

The police are usually working to shut down these clandestine races; but a couple of the skilled drivers may be just right to help bring down a notorious drug lord.

Paul Walker stars as the only character carried over from the original film. In The Fast And The Furious he was an LA police officer sent undercover into the California street racing scene. This time the action moves east to Miami, Florida. Walker's character has lost his badge, but still finds himself working on the right side of the law.

"Making this movie is more just about having a good time," he says. "You come in, remember lines, and pretend to be cool and race around a little. That's the joy about doing an action movie. It's n-o-t rocket science. You try to do the best job that you can and have as much as you can while you're doing it."

Walker, who has experience behind the wheel on legitimate sanctioned tracks, says the cars in the sequel are better than the first film; and that's directly because of what he heard from fans of the original Fast And The Furious.

"They love the movie, but their one criticism was 'man, you should have better cars.' I made it a point to make that happen and I think the studio pretty much knew that's what they had to do," he says. "They had more money now anyway, so they'd better throw a little more into and get some better rides. The cars are definitely more ridiculous and that's important to the people that are really living this and are into the Fast And The Furious thing.

Vin Diesel, who catapulted to stardom after the original film, opted n-o-t to make the sequel; so this time Walker's slightly disreputable partner is rap music star-turned-actor Tyrese Gibson.

"They had to slow us down. Paul and I took over Miami together . . . and that's beyond the set," says Gibson. "We went to parties; we were with a gang of girls; we were wild; we were in cars speeding up Miami streets. We would say 'yeah, we're just practicing officer.' It got ugly, man. We had a good time out there."

The car scene has plenty of sexy young women too and 2Fast 2Furious features curvaceous Cuban-American Eva Mendes as the undercover police officer assigned to work with the 'boys.'

"It was so 'fourth grade' in the best way possible: grammar school playground. Do you know what I mean by that? It was fun, there was a lot of wrestling, and just good clean fun and they're so sweet. They're just sweet, really nice guys and they're really unattractive, so I thought 'they could be more attractive, but besides that . . .' No, I'm joking. They're just ridiculously beautiful," she says.

Director John Singleton says he knew real street racing characters from growing up in inner city Los Angeles; but he feels moving the action to sunny, sultry Florida adds a new dimension.

"Miami is great because it's the only place where you have people on the East Coast meet Latin America meet people from the South and Europe," SIngleton says. "So you have all these different types of people within this place and it's all about partying. It's all about looking good and there are all these different, sexy people. It's a very sexy town. We were thinking about how we can make it really new (and) to take it from LA to Miami takes to a whole other level."

2Fast 2Furious also features Chris Bridges, better known by his rap music moniker Ludacris and supermodel-turned-actress Devon Aoki adds some glamour to the high speed action.