Movie: Fast Five (PG-13)
Release Date: April 29th, 2011
Watched On: April 26th, 2011
Ticket Price: Press Screening
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson & Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
Director: Justin Lin
Runtime: 2 hr. 10 min.
Rating: Worth a Full Price Ticket
Synopsis: A former undercover cop and his girlfriend have been on the run after breaking her brother out of custody. Hiding out in Brazil they take on a job, but after things go sideways they end up on the wrong side of a corrupt businessman. So, they decide to go right at him and plan one last big score that will allow them to disappear and stop running. They set out to assemble a team and complete the job before U.S. Federal Agents, local corrupt cops or the businessman’s henchmen catch up with them.
Review: Fast Five is just a flat out good time at the movies. Just as previous versions, it’s both completely ridiculous and totally awesome all at the same time. It’s got cool car chases, big fights, plenty of humor, lots good-looking guys and gals, and wildly spectacular stunts. What more can you ask for, as the ever earlier summer season gets off to a great start.
While Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are both back along with Jordana Brewster, the standout here is newcomer to the franchise Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s a bigger, badass version of Tom Lee Jones’ U.S. Marshal character in The Fugitive. He gets a lot of the good lines and delivers them to great effect. Note, if they really spin this character off into its own movie, I’d totally go see it.
Johnson doesn’t dispense all the humor though. There is some fun stuff between Diesel and Walker that plays on their racing history. The opening sequence picks up right where Fast & Furious left off and provides some ridiculous fun. Plus, there are a couple of surprises that left the audience laughing.
Fast Five kicks things up in the action and stunts department. While the car goes off a big cliff felt very similar to another Vin Diesel flick, XXX, it still looked awesome. Yet, totally ridiculous in that nobody would survive that far a drop into water. But, it is preceded by an impressive sequence of them stealing cars off a moving train. Combine that with the two cars pulling a giant vault around the streets of Rio and you have a set of stunts that feel fresh. Can you recall anything like them? This is a pretty impressive feat in itself being the fifth film in the franchise. Best of all, none of them feel fake, like the tunnel driving in the fourth outing.
Yes, the story is pretty thin and the way they end up in the middle of all this madness is accidental and kind of weak, but that’s not why we go to these types of movies. We want kick-ass fights, like the one between Diesel and Johnson, fast rides, which are plentiful, pretty people and there are plenty of those, and to laugh. And, it’s got more than enough of all of them to burn.
Overall, Fast Five is a phenomenally fun follow-up to the previous four flicks in the The Fast & the Furious franchise. It’s totally worth a full price ticket. If you’ve enjoyed any of the previous, you’re going to love this one.
One last thing, don’t get up and leave when the title credit sequence plays at the end, there is another scene that you don’t want to miss that follows. While all of these films end in a way that they could make another one, this one ends in a way that says there definitely is going to be a sixth. I’m already looking forward to it.
I’d love to hear your take on Fast Five in the comments.