Fast Five Reviews
Fairly disappointing, overly long and actually slightly dull new chapter in this chav/hip hop racer franchise. Amazing it has lasted this long really but the films have been a roller coaster of quality for me. First film was a boy racer flick complete with dumb neon underside lighting but fairly original and fun. Second film was a bit of a rehash with colourful new street racer characters and dripping in bling...was pretty awful.
Third film was a straight to the shops deal which many didn't like BUT is actually by far the most superior of the franchise due to the excellent and very realistic drift racing making it a proper street racing film. The fourth film regroups the original cast and has a drug running plot. This means the street racing has been pushed to one side in favour of generic action man hokum.
Now we have number five which seems to have ditched a lot of the street racing element and is more of an out n out heist flick. Along the lines of 'The Italian Job' remake with flashy over the top car/people stunts, the usual regular cliched team of criminals and the usual regular cliched breaking in techniques that we've seen so often now we could all break into banks ourselves.
Still impressed with the cast continuity though I gotta admit. Everyone is back again including Bridges from number 2 and Schulze all the way from the very first film. It is also of course the first introduction of Dwayne Johnson into the franchise and he fits in perfectly in all honesty. He stands around barking orders with his chest puffed out, arms glistening and holding large weapons.
There is a hint of street racing but that's all we get...a hint, we don't see the guys winning their fast cars. I think the stupidest scene in the film is where they race police cars together, they just waltz in and steal four cruisers, apparently, then try to make us believe that these regular police cruisers are fast souped up motors!! and manual!...they do realise the US mainly uses auto? (of course they used fast cars in reality as stand in's).
Highlight is the fight between Diesel and Johnson, two big slapheads grunting n sweating over each other which is pretty decent but after that it gets silly again as both Johnson and his female partner decide to join Toretto and his criminals in the heist! The final big chase/escape sequence is impressive with tonnes of carnage and wreckage, your basic common destruction porn fix. It does admittedly command your attention, yet I wonder how many innocent people Toretto manages to kill right at the end.
If you want street racing you won't find it here, this is a bank heist flick which isn't too original. Reasonable mindless fun but nothing new, seen this kind of thing so many times and this offers nothing new. This film marks the end for the street racing aspect in this franchise and enters the saturated action heist genre.
On a final note I might add...there's no way Toretto's Dodge Charger could ever compete against Brian's Skyline GTR at the end. How many times are they gonna try and show this to us??
Never did I think I would not only be wholly recommending a Fast and the Furious movie, but that I'd be praising it as by far the funnest movie I have seen and no doubt will see all year, and quite possibly one of the slickest, coolest action films of all time! I know, I know. What am I thinking? Truth be told, I don't know. But I just came back from having the time of my life in a film that is nothing short of polished style, as polished as the wax job on the beautiful import cars that grace the screen.
Fast Five knows exactly where the previous four went wrong and not only doesn't make those narrative mistakes, it knows exactly what makes a great action film. The plot does away with most of the street racing points and centres around a crime caper. The tension gets so high that by the end, you're anxiously awaiting the big climax.
Anyone who doesn't like this movie is going to argue that it's implausible. No action movie is plausible in the sense of the world. John McLean could not single-handedly destroy an organized terrorist group in a plausible world. Keanu Reeves could not stop a bus from exploding by jumping a gaping hole in the highway. Likewise, this movie does not create a plausible universe. The over the top action is forgivable because it doesn't take itself seriously at all. The amazingly talented Justin Lin directs a fast-paced flick that fires on all cylinders while establishing likable characters who all have an identifiable personality. Michael Bay couldn't make a movie like this on his best day. This is the summer's best film, one of the best films of this year, and one of the best action films of all time!
Nate's Grade: B
"Feel the speed. Feel the rush."
I'll admit to not being the biggest fan of this series, but I really loved Fast Five. It's just better than all the previous movies. It's big, explosive, fast, entertaining, and fun as hell. From the first sequence where O'Connor takes out the bus that is escorting Dom to prison all the way through to the final action packed scene, it is thrilling to say the least. This is one of the few times I have watched an action film that is this ridiculous, and just said, "Fuck it, who care?" Justin Lin is able to make a great film despite all the stupid and impossible shit that is going on throughout the film. Halfway through, I don't care who you are; you should be enjoying yourself. If not, you're taking life a little too seriously.
Unlike some of the previous installments, Fast Five is able to make a movie of all action that goes a little deeper than one-liners and explosions. The story is great. After eluding the authorities, Dom, Brian, and Mia go to Rio where they assemble a team for one last huge job before disappearing for good. They have an agent on their tales trying to bring them back into custody. I know this has been done before. I'm not saying it is original, but the way everything plays out is extremely enjoyable to watch unfold. Plus there are some truly original action sequences in the film that will even have the action hater sitting in awe. Oh, and don't worry, there are lots of cars too.
There isn't a whole lot of downtime in the movie. The movie is a bunch of chases and a bunch of fights. But in the little downtime the movie does have, is where it sets itself apart from all of the other movies in this franchise. It is able to not sound completely retarded when the characters are talking to each other. The acting isn't bad, the dialogue isn't bad, and the stuff the characters do, relationship wise, makes sense.
If you are a huge action film fan, this is going to be like an orgasm for your eyes. But even for just the average action fan, it is going to be enjoyable. It's undeniably well made. I really wish they would leave the series at this, as it would end on a strong note; but I here a Fast and Furious 6 is on the table. With how much these movies make, they may go on forever, but I don't see any of them ever touching this one.
Picking up right where Fast & Furious left off, former cop Brian O'Conner and Mia Toretto break Dom out of a prison transfer bus and disappear. They end up in Rio some time later where a reunion with a pasdt associare leads to a job, that leads to trouble when a double cross leaves them all even more wanted than they were before, with not only a pissed off crime kingin out for blood, but a ruthless special agent from the U.S. as well.
This all leads to a big all star reunion with cast members from all the previous films getting together to pull the mother of jobs in order to finally settle scores and attain the freedom they've all been wanting but have never quite gotten, at least for long.
There's a lot to like here. Justin Lin has proven himself a master at this kind of stuff by now, and he really knows the series. I still want him to return to artsy, more thoughtful stuff like his breakout film Better Luck Tomorrow, but I'm not gonna complain if he decides to keep making awesome junk like this. The film is quite long, but never really feels that way, with things moving along at a good pace and the time just flying by. Well, the epilogue kinda slows down a tad and reminded me of Return of the King, but aside from that, this film packs a hell of a lot of stuff into it and makes it all work pretty well. The idea of getting cast members from all the films together is inspired and doen in a way that makes sense and works. It's fun revisiting friends we haven't seen in a while, and they all have a good sense of chemistry. Tha,t and the casting in general is great.
The addition of Dwayne Johnson makes this film really sing, and it's awesome finally getting to see him go toe to toe with Vin Diesel in a showdown that doesn't disappoint one bit .Diesel of course delivers a good of a performance as always, and Walker it seems finally is growing on me and not seeming *quite* as wooden. Brewster is a little underwhelming, but still works well as the glue that holds the group together. Seeing Schulze return is awesome, and his attitude really amps stuff up, and what's not to like about the fun comic relief provided by Tyrese and Ludacris?
The plot gets all kinds of nutty and ridiculous, but the film at least tries to cram in a sense of values and themes (namely family). It's good that they try to have some sort of substance here, but it gets a little overbearing at times. Not enough to derail things, but still. The film is packed with tons of fist fightd, shootouts, chases of all types, races, and one of the most outstanding action set pieces I've seen in quite some time. It's big, it's loud, it's ridiculous, goes on for a while, but it's absolutely outstanding at provinding thrills and entertainiment. I'm of course refering to the film's centerpiece: an epic robbery and chase scene.
The film knows it's not brilliant, and is just trying to deliver eye candy (with a bit of emotion and heart), and it succeeds quite nicely. There are some nice surprise cameos if you sit through the credits as well, which is cool, but it means there's another follow up likely to happen. I'm not against it, but this film set such a high bar that if a sequel happens, it better find some way (if even possible) to live up to the epicness of this one.
All in all, this is dopey ridiculous action spectacle at its finest. If you didn't like hte others, you probably won;t lke this, but if you're a fan, you'll find quite a bit to love.
And it works. This is a really fun flick to watch in an "Ocean's Eleven meets the gleeful carnage of a Michael Bay movie" kind of way that's entertaining and ridiculously over-the-top. Fast Five is easily the best movie of the series, and probably one of the most exciting movies of the year. Dwayne Johnson is a perfect addition to the cast and his confrontations with Diesel's character is among the many highlights of the film, plus it's good to see the old cast members back in action. If you want an action romp that breezes by without getting to serious, looks slick, and just doesn't know what it means to slow down, this will give you all you need and more.