Fast Five - 3 out of 5
I'll be honest, I enjoyed The Fast & the Furious. The film is a decent popcorn film filled with fast cars, fast action and hot chicks who would never acknowledge my existence--so, other than their superior appearance, they're not much different from all other women. Sure the story is simple and the characters are one-dimensional. Sure the movie made me want to smash my TV screen every time I had to see that pretty boy Paul Walker show his douchy face but, in the end, I thought it was a pretty entertaining flick. I'm still not sure why it spawned a franchise that has continuously produced sequels that are more mind-numbing than the last but I guess if it'll get the dudes in their suped-up Honda Civic to shell out the dough they were saving for their LED lit rims and spend it at the cinema, then I guess Hollywood's work is done.
Wasn't this in xXx?
Fast Five is the fifth (still can't believe they made it this far) in the series and takes place directly after the last one (Fast & Furious--getting rid of the "The's" make the title fresh and original). After being freed by his sister and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and crew head to Rio because...well, obviously they are being chased by Federal Agents because they are criminals. And since they are criminals (but remember, they are the ethical kind of criminals, not the usual bad kind), they get a job, get this, stealing some cars but the metaphoric shit hits the fan and the gang is in it bad with the criminal king of Rio de Janeiro. How bad is this guy? He has the entire police force under his command!
Wait a second...this scene was in xXx, too.
So Dom and the gang decide that it's time to knock this guy down a peg or two and take away the millions he has stored. But they can't do it alone, so they dig into the past sequels and bring together all the old players. Tyrese Gibson returns from 2 Fast 2 Furious and is just as annoying in this one as he was in that one. Ludacris is back from the 2nd film as well and continues to prove the stereotype that rappers can't act. Gal Gadot from the previous film and Sung Kang from Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious is back as well and, well, those two are actually decent members of the gang. Oh, almost forgot, remember those two arguing, poor excuses for comic relief in the last movie? Yeah, they're back...not really sure why.
Tyrese's performance made me wish for a quieter dignity that Chris Tucker could have brought to the role.
So, while the plan to rob the bad dude of his money is organized and put into action, the gang is being hunted down by not only the armed thugs of the criminal overlord but by the United States Government. And they're sending in the best of the best to get them! The best in this case is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who is not only the toughest, jargon spewing man in the DEA but also a tight shirt connoisseur. The film culminates into an outrageous third act where enemies become allies and an orgy of collateral damage begins as Toretto and O'Connor literally murder hundreds of innocent bystanders and corrupt cops in a chase sequence that runs dangerously close to hitting the iconic comedy scene of the cop cars piling up in The Blues Brothers. But remember...they are the ethical criminals so the deaths of the innocent bystanders and cops in the massive chase are not shown and are only implied if you use rational thought.
The Rock...always on the lookout for tighter shirts.
Fast Five, to be honest, isn't really that bad of a movie. It surpasses the other sequels and actually is able to freshen up the franchise by removing all street racing elements (those parts are only hinted to and never actually shown). Wait, don't go blowing your gasket, racers, because there is tons of high speed action--just none that involve pink slips.
"Hi, Han here. Just reminding you that this takes place before Tokyo Drift--the one I die in."
Removing the film from its roots and making it more about a heist makes the film a little more interesting than what we've seen in the past films. Sure the action is really, REALLY over the top and a majority of what occurs exists only in the world of film but it's all about entertainment. If Tyrese's performance doesn't make you want to turn your DVD player off and the severely forced camaraderie the group shows (seriously, none of these people look like they want to be in the same room as each other), you'll find a movie that can kill some time and keep you entertain while doing it. The biggest example of how this movie achieves this is the presence of The Rock.
The Rock is trying to open the safe with his mind.
Sure Dwayne Johnson's character can come off cliche but is there a character in this franchise that isn't a walking cliche? You can bet your NOS booster there isn't. So, I can forgive that--especially since there some great action sequence involving him. Including one that sees him and Vin battle it out. That scene has the face pounding violence that will make the dudes happy and has the two sweaty muscle-encrusted man meat to make the ladies happy.
Yep, they're still not funny in this one.
Fast Five isn't going to win any Academy Awards. The story isn't something you need to pay close attention to because there aren't really any details or twists to work out. It's just has fast cars and hard-hitting action that can keep you entertained for two hours before it's time to go back to reality.