Matthew's Review of Fast Five
After the annoyingly dour Fast and Furious, Fast Five returns the series to its fun roots. I was surprised by how positive the reviews were (a first for the series) so I kind of raised my expectations for the movie, and overall I was satisfied, but I can't help but add an I guess to that sentence.
The plot is essentially Dom and Brian pissed off the big corrupt baddy of Rio who decides to pay them back and they decide to retaliate by stealing $100 million from him, but they can't do it alone. So they round up all of their old friends who use the line "I had another life before we met" to introduce a bunch of skills that we never even knew they had. Meanwhile, Dom and Brian end up jumping to the top of the FBI's most wanted list and have to dodge a super determined Marshall who has been sent to arrest them.
But what is there to say about the movie, the cast is game, they all seem to be having fun with their roles and each other, minus Matt Schulze as Vince (who we haven't seen since the original movie) who got stuck with all of the movie's "serious" moments, but I gotta say, he churned out the best performance. Paul Walker is as wooden as ever, The Rock (I'm not calling him Dwayne Johnson) makes due with some of the cheesiest dialogue I've ever heard ("give me the veggies"), and Vin Diesel is just Vin Diesel. I'm just glad Jordana Brewster actually had something to do in this movie besides cry (that's literally all they had her do in the previous movie). And its nice to have the old gang back from previous movies, they just keep extending Han's life, at the end he says "I'll go to Tokyo eventually".
The movie still has that laugh at sensibility. One can't help but chuckle as Dom and Brian jump out of a car they drove off a cliff and free fall into the water. The homoeroticism is as apparent has ever. Muscled men in tight shirts just get in each others faces to talk without actually hitting each other, at one point Vin Diesel and The Rock look like they're about to kiss, I know what I saw. The movie does have some emotionality at times, but they simply strengthen the motivation of the characters, without ever ruining the fun. I love how they made it out to seem that every single cop in Rio was corrupt to justify all of those deadly car crashes in the finale.
The stunts are great as you would expect and they defy physics in so many ways, but I felt that the movie was missing that "holy @#$%" moment. The Rock/Diesel fight does not disappoint by any means. The issue I mainly had with the movie's action is some of the quick cuts, there are some great stunts at work here, but the camera doesn't focus on a lot of them long enough. It wasn't an issue in the finale, but in other scenes, it was a bit of a bother.
Overall, Fast Five is fun enough time at the movie theaters, it's a bit overlong, and the cuts are annoying, but hey, you get to see hot women, a lot of car crashes, lots of wise cracks from the cast, and its Vin Diesel vs. The freaking Rock, that's all you really need. And definitely stay after the credits.