Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) returns for another adventure of fast cars and undercover policing. Brian has gone on the run from the police in Miami beating other street racers in competitions hosted by Tej (Ludacris) when he is apprehended and forced to work with Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) if he wants to stay out of trouble. Unimpressed with the partner Agent Bilkins (Thom Barry) assigns to him, he suggests his old partner in crime Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) accompany him on the sting. The two racers are put into a fierce competition to impress the crime lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) and win his trust.
For what this sequel lacks in quality, it makes up for with color and new insane driving stunts as Brian swerves around in his lime green car going backward on the highway to beat the other criminals competing for the job. When the cops show up, Roman fires at them and Brian discovers that their cars have tracking devices on them. They make it back to Verone to win themselves a job, despite Roman's tendency to rub people the wrong way.
They are invited to a late night club rendezvous with Verone, but first, they have to win new cars in a street race against muscle car drivers. Verone shows his cruelty to a cop Detective Whitworth (Mark Boone Junior) with a unique torture method and also displays his power over authority. Using this power, Verone buys a fifteen-minute window for Brian and Rome to drive his cargo to an airfield. Brian falls for Monica and their relationship puts them both in danger as Verone is clearly jealous and suspicious.
Brian and Rome set off on the high-speed highway chase pursued by dozens of police cars and even a police helicopters. The cops hope to get the drop on Verone at the airfield but when Brian and Rome escape with the help of Tej and Suki (Devon Aoki), their passengers, Verone's henchmen, inform them that they are actually going to a secret dock where Verone can make off with the money by sea, not air. Rome manages to dispose of his passenger with an ejector seat but Brian knows that Monica will be in danger if he doesn't comply. The two have to use their driving skills and wits to stop Verone's escape and save Monica, earning a pardon as a reward.
2 Fast 2 Furious shows the potential of the series with outlandish car chases and colorful cars. I recall being especially enthralled at the time with the wild driving and silly plot. Still, the series was not hinting at any sort of quality or longevity and appeared to be more of a minor cash crab than the continuation of a blockbuster series. Without even including its biggest star, the series seemed to be declining towards video-on-demand and the memory of past glory instead of charging into the future. The greatest addition this sequel added was the introduction of Rome and Tej who would become recurring members and the comedic relief in films to come.