Synopsis: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in Fast Five. In this installment, former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Dwayne Johnson joins returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon and Don Omar for this ultimate high-stakes race.
Release Date: April 29, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Fast cars? Check. Sexy women? Check. Big guns? Check. Car chases? Check. Sarcastic humor? Check. Muscles? Check (times two). Result: An entertaining fifth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise.
Fast Five is more of a continuation piece than a stand-alone sequel, or spin-off, of the 4th film in said franchise, 2 Fast 2 Furious. Beginning right where the last left off we find Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), and Mia (Jordana Brewster) on the run from the authorities after breaking Dom free from the bus that was taking him to prison for a life sentence. The three of them have traveled far to avoid their wanted status, all the way to Rio in Brazil.
The idea of laying low seems to be the smart thing to do but the decision to take on an easy job with an old friend soon lands them in a world of trouble with the resident Rio Mobster, Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Adding to their problems is the arrival of bad-ass DEA agent, and fugitive hunter Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who is set on capturing the three of them no matter what he has to do to achieve his goals.
As anyone knows who has seen the prior films in the franchise this “family” of fugitives/criminals never makes anything easy for the authorities, and they never concede to living the simple life. So we enter the ‘one last job’ portion of the film. Ignoring Hobbs obtrusive presence in Rio, and the seemingly imminent arrest they all face, Dom and Brian call on some old friends to help them with the ultimate score (friends you will remember as well from the prior films). An amazing one-hundred million dollars awaits them if they can steal it from Mobster Reyes without getting themselves killed in the process.
These three main storylines of the film create an incredible amount of material to process and make sense of; as well as creating a slight lack of focus on anything in particular. But it does not seem to matter in the overall scope of the film, and they do all make their way together by the end. The fun and exhilarating momentum one expects from a film such as Fast Five is there in moderate force. The action could have used an extra punch once in a while but the climax makes up for it in spades.
There are instances of awkward editing. It seems quite evident that scenes were shaved, or omitted altogether, for reasons unknown. The most notable being a car race between Dom and a local driver that cuts way before they even enter the cars to show the outcome. For a film that is cemented in car racing it seems strange to have left out this scene, but at a running time over 2 hours, and with the clear knowledge that this race is not all that important, it is forgivable.
Fast Five is a movie made for action lovers, and those who watch it with the intention to be entertained by the fast cars, big muscles, sexy women, and so on will leave completely satisfied (and maybe wanting more).
If you have watched the trailer for this film than you know what to expect in terms of action–or at least you are hopeful they saved something for the film, outside of the trailer. Well, you are in luck. Fast Five, of course, offers up plenty of car chase action. The fast cars remain the backbone of the franchise, although they are not as flashy and fun as in prior versions they still hug corners like no other and the sounds of the engines roaring, shifting into gear, is as thrilling as ever.
The stunt work may not be the most original but it serves its purpose. People jumping off of rooftops and chasing each other down corridors is standard fare, but it is never boring. The main gem of the film comes in the final climactic car chase. With a safe dragging behind them, Dom and Brian maneuver their cars through the streets of Rio, the safe skidding along behind them, demolishing everything in its path. The thought of taking your eyes away from the screen during this entire sequence would be criminal. It is a fantastic ending to an otherwise traditional action film.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Justin Lin
- Producer(s): Chris Morgan
- Screenwriter(s): Vin Diesel (Dom), Paul Walker (Brian), Jordana Brewster (Mia), Tyrese Brewster (Roman), Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (Tej), Matt Schulze (Vince), Sung Kang (Han), Gal Gadot (Gisele), Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs), Joaquim de Almeida (Reyes)
- Editor(s): Peter Wenham
- Cinematographer: Brian Tyler
- Country Of Origin: USA