I screened it the other night
Fast Five (Fast & Furious 5): Movie Review
It’s been 10 years and since THE FAST & THE FURIOUS launched the careers of stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. You would think that a franchise built on fast cars and cheesy dialogue would have run out of gas by the first sequel, but it seems by the box office numbers that fans of the FAST/FURIOUS movies just can’t get enough. The most surprising thing though is that the fifth movie in the franchise is actually the best. I have enjoyed each of the films (except for 2Fast 2Furious). None of them are considered high art, but they are fun and never try to be anything more.
FAST FIVE starts out with an extended version of Dom Toretto’s prison bus escape that was hinted at in the end of FAST & FUROUS. Now wanted fugitives Toretto (Vin Diesel), his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and former FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) are hiding out in Rio de Janeiro. One of the many fantastic action sequences is when the three of them attempt to steal a few cars that were seized by the DEA from a moving train. Things go terribly wrong and federal agents are killed in the process. In comes Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Hobbs is the go-to agent that is sent to find the “most wanted” fugitives.
It turns out that one of the stolen cars had a hidden chip inside that belongs to a corrupt businessman named Reyes (Joaquim De Almedia). This chip contains the information of where Reyes hides his hoard of cash. Reyes of course wants his chip back along with Dom and Brian dead. The boys on the other hand have something else in mind. In comes just about every character that wasn’t killed in the four previous chapters. We even get one character that was killed in the 3rd film TOKYO DRIFT. It makes sense since the events of FAST FIVE take place before TOKYO DRIFT.
Vince (Matt Schulze) is back from the first film, Roman and Tej (Tyrese and Ludacris) are back from 2FAST 2 FURIOUS, Han (Sung Kang) is back from TOKYO DRIFT, and Gisele (Gal Gadot) is back from FAST & FURIOUS. They are all here to help Dom, Brian, & Mia execute a plan to steal one hundred million dollars from Reyes.
FAST FIVE works very well for a number of reasons. The first would be Director Justin Lin. Lin took over the franchise with the 3rd film and since then has made each film less reliant on street racing, allowing the stories and the characters to evolve. Brian and Dom have matured and so have their actions. In this new chapter Mia is now pregnant and Brian has to start thinking about being a father. There is a sense of family here and we finally see the blossomed friendship between Dom and Brian that has had a rocky road. Lin also knows how to film great action sequences involving cars. I already told you about the train sequence, but that is nothing compared to the two cars dragging a bank vault though the city streets, destroying cars and buildings along the way. This has to go down as one of the best car chase sequences in film history. For the life of me I can’t even figure out how it was done. This is something I hope is covered in the DVD extras.
Another reason the film excels is with the cast. All the returning members work great together. Many of them actually meet for the first time. Dom and Mia were absent in the 2nd film, so they haven’t met Roman and Tej until now. Even though I did not like the 2nd film, I did like Tyrese as Roman. Here he is given some funny moments and there is some good bantering going on. Speaking of good bantering, Santos (Don Omar) and Leo (Tego Calderon) are a hilarious part of the crew. They don’t speak a word of English but almost every other subtitled word that shows up on screen from them is gold. They bicker like an old married couple. It’s also nice to see Dwayne Johnson thrown into the franchise. Johnson brings just enough bad ass attitude to go up against Dom Toretto. My one disappointment was with how poorly the brawl between Toretto and Hobbs was shot. I knew this fight was coming but was let down by its execution.
Make sure to stay through the credits at the end of the movie for a surprise scene involving two more characters from the series past. I am actually excited to FAST SIX.
By: Marc Fermanhttp://keepitclassic.com/2011/04/fast-five-fast-furious-5-movie-review/