Fast Five (2011)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 3:01 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 7.8/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 8/10

FAST FIVE (2011) - Justin Lin

Racing movies have no plot. There is no way around that. However, they are fairly tense throughout. Men addicted to cars often express their obsession through the Fast and the Furious movies. At the end of the day, in terms of storyline, they are exceedingly dull. Yet the movie industry still manages to release a new racing movie every year, like every lame Saw sequel or Resident Evil sequel. They have no fuel to stay alive. 

Before 2011, there were a total of four Fast and the Furious movies: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousFast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, and Fast & Furious. I wondered, "Why not just call it Fast and the Furious 4? Or even Fast and the Fourius?" Instead, the creators simply remove "The" and change "and" to "&". Most illogical for a sequel's title, especially for the fourth one in a series. It is believable and anticipated that afterFast & Furious, a sequel would arrive sometime. Now we are given Fast Five, which to be honest, is a clever title at last.

Fast Five is the fifth movie in the popular franchise, directed by Justin Lin, who did the previous two entries. Vin Diesel returns as the notorious racer Dominic Toretto, accompanied by the familiar Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster). This time, Diesel has found himself a rival who appears to be of equal "badass-ness": Dwayne Johnson. During development of Fast Five, Universal Studios chose to depart from the street racing theme in the previous films and transform the movie into a heist action series involving cars. According to Universal, this was an attempt to attract a wider audience that might otherwise be put off by an emphasis too heavy on car culture. As much as I became a new fan to the franchise because of this transitional film, I do like to question why the company took four movies ($284 million total budget) to finally figure this out.

The first to bear an interesting plot, Fast Five follows Vin Diesel and his comrades as they play a heist to steal $100 million from a corrupt businessman while being pursued for arrest by a US Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent (Dwayne Johnson). Unexpectedly, Fast Five opens with a rather loud and fast-paced breakout scene. With cars that toy with reality, we see a truck flipping over The Dark Knight style. Soon enough, the title of the best Fast and the Furious movie comes careening towards us in the foreground with a swift.

Unlike the first movies that bore mindless racing scenes, Fast Five cleverly uses a combination of comedy and action sequences to entertain. For once, the action sequences that question the laws of physics are not as preposterous. Diesel, a hardcore tough guy, is consistent throughout and shows some forms of facial expressions, unlike Jason Statham or Daniel Craig. I personally have not much to say about Walker and Brewster. However, they both do their parts and have more room to show their characters than before. Johnson is by far, the best part of Fast Five. Every moment where Diesel and Johnson are on screen together is an intensity that is different from the usual adrenaline-charged action.

In addition, Fast Five, helped by the heist plot, successfully brings each minor member of the group to life. We no longer see a gang of males just standing around. We are now given witty jokes that help create such group chemistry. The previous movies, all dreadful, are notorious for being nothing but loud visual cacophonies that have no meaning. People just race and race and went on and on. Make it end. It is so loud and so obnoxious. For once, Fast Five knows when to slow down. As far as I am concerned, this film actually has a well-written script that can be compared to other solid thrillers.

Despite its jazzy visuals and standard popcorn entertainment, Fast Five is two hours and ten minutes long. In reality, the movie felt three hours long. Even though the dialogue is better written than before, there is simply too much of it. The writing feels wheezy and desperate, and the actors stand in their places with hard looks on their faces for too long. Indeed, they help the movie slow down when it needs to. However, they are poorly executed to the point of having us "check out". In the end, one cannot help but say, "I no longer care. Just get them out there and blow stuff up".

In the end, Fast Five is a high-octane action movie. It is arguably the best Fast and the Furious movie and, from this critic's perspective, the only good one. I will be returning to the theaters with high expectations that the sixth movie will be just as enjoyable. Unlike the predecessors' stiffness, Fast Five is imaginative and dazzling and is a great film to start the summer. The finally-found originality in this piece is what keepsFast Five from running on fumes. In conclusion, Fast Five is a full-throttled Mustang that finally has found the road to speed along to. I can proudly say, "Fifth time's the charm". Fifth time? Yes, fifth time.

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