Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Fast Five

Grade: A

After breaking Dominic Toretto out of jail, Brian O’Connor and Dom’s sister, Mia, go on the run from the law. They head to Rio de Janeiro where an old friend has been living for several years now. While they wait for Dom to show up in Rio, Brian and Mia decide to take a job in order to get some cash to hold them over. Dom shows up just in time to help but all three of them get double crossed on the job and barely escape with their lives. The incident piqued the interest of the DEA and they send their best, Agent Hobbs, who is determined to find Toretto and his gang by any means necessary. Instead of going on the run again, they decide to pull one last job in order to get even with drug lord who tried to kill them and framed them with the murder of three DEA agents. In order to pull off the job, they call in the help of some of their old friends to assist in planning and executing their plan. The crew is forced to tread carefully while being hunted by a ruthless drug kingpin and a determined, and dangerous, DEA agent.

Fast Five is the fifth movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise. It also may be the best, or at least most exciting, movie in the series. It is everything I had hoped for out of another Fast and Furious movie. It is loaded with great action, outrageous stunts, cheesy dialogue, a corny, and clichéd storyline and skin tight muscle shirts galore. The makings of a fun movie, not a quality movie. To start, the story is very hackneyed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. It hits all the marks, double-crossing, pregnant girlfriend, an unconventional “family”, a team of people each with their own specialties and the most clichéd, stereotypical Latin bad guy… ever. The action is intense, from the ridiculous opening scene where they bust Dom out of a prison bus to all the crazy chase scenes culminating with climatic scene where two cars tear through the streets of Rio with a vault in tow, destroying everything in their wake. The stunts are insane as there are many roof top foot chases with people daringly jumping from house to house and jumping through windows. And then of course there is the dialogue, oh the dialogue, Not terrible but there are some scenes and specific lines which are just so bad they make you cringe. Again though, all of this is what makes the F&F series fun and one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

The movie stars Vin Diesel (The Chronicles of Riddick, Knock Around Guys) in the role of Dominic Toretto. Diesel was made for these kind of roles and he is great in the Fast and Furious series. It’s really fun to see him back with this gang and still kicking tons of butt. Paul Walker (Takers, Timeline) is back as ex-cop Brian O’Connor. He is as enjoyable as he can be, I really don’t think this guy is a good actor, but thankfully you don’t have to be in this movie. Dwayne Johnson (Southland Tales, The Rundown) makes his first appearance in a F&F movie as DEA Agent Hobbs. He is extremely enjoyable in this movie as an ultimate badass type and one of the best parts of this movie was a fight scene between him and Vin Diesel, a fight I’ve wanted to see for around 10 years now, ever since the two were vying to be the next big action star. Jordana Brewster (Fast and Furious) is back as Mia. Thankfully he had a slightly more significant part in this movie. Sung Kang (Ninja Assassin, Live Free or Die Hard) is back as Han. This is the part of the movie I was probably most excited about. Han is, in my opinion, the best character in the entire series, it’s just too bad he was in worst movie of the series and it’s even more tragic that they killed him in that movie (spoiler alert). Thankfully he has a much more significant part in this movie. The movie also features Tyrese Gibons (who seems to have the worst of the worst lines), Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Elsa Patky and more.

This is my warning to you; if you are not a fan of the Fast and Furious series or if you are looking for a quality movie with decent writing and plot, Fast Five is not for you. It is a ridiculous and over the top (at times completely unrealistic) action movie. It is fun to watch and is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I think Fast Five is now my favorite movie of the series.

Great quote: “So did he smack that ass or just grab it?”

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