I will start with this, Fast Five is an 80’s action movie, it is silly and crazy and it starts the summer movie scene with a huge bang. There will be SPOILERS in this review if you can call them that. So I remember seeing the first film in theaters and loving it. It at the time was gritty and about under ground racing, it had action, sexy chicks, and everything else you would want in a film. It was a huge hit and lead to a sequel that frankly was a mess. 2 Fast 2 Furious felt like an A-Team episode, it only starred Paul Walker and didn’t have our favorite Mr. Clean look a like in Vin Diesel. The producers I guess felt the title “Fast and Furious” could sell itself without its stars. Then the third film Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The film actually wasn’t that bad and had Vin Diesel in it for the final second. After that Paul Walker and Vin Diesel’s careers went no where, so they returned for what really should have been the first sequel. The fourth film was good and had some classic moments, this film though eclipses all of them, this film is frankly epic.
If you’ve seen the fourth film you remember the ending, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster attempt to break Dom(Diesel) out of prison. Well Fast Five opens with showing us how they do it. This scene simply explains to the audience that the film will be over the top and won’t make sense. Also why in movies, when convicts are being transported do that buses always drive on secluded country roads and not highways? Anyway our leads flip a prisoner bus and Vin Diesel escapes. From there we find ourselves in Rio. Our heroes meet up with a guy from the first film who sets them up with a job. This job is insane… They steal cars, that were being watched over by DEA agents, from a train. The job is being run by Brazilian drug runners. This scene is intense, over the top and just frankly amazing. Sure there are CGI moments, but I can’t tell where, the action scenes in this movie flow so well that I was actually blown away. Anyway after things go wrong on the train Diesel and crew find themselves on the run from Brazil’s biggest criminal. They are also being tracked down by a DEA super agent named Cobbs played by who else but THE ROCK!
The film slows down after another amazing action scene involving gun men chasing are heroes down. The film changes gears and is obviously trying to change the franchise. These movies used to be about racing and having criminal themes mixed in. Here this film avoids racing whenever it can. If anything the film tries to be Oceans Eleven as characters from the other films come in to help Walker, Brewster and Diesel steal one hundred million dollars from the Brazilian drug lord. We spend a long amount of time watching them prepare to steal a vault from a police station. This is the only problem with the film is that they do all of this planning and then basically everything falls apart. The bad guys pretty much figure out they are going for the vault and half The Rock’s team of DEA bad asses are killed. So in a way they decide to just wing it and go after the vault anyway… Why they didn’t do this in the first place isn’t clear.
The last twenty minutes of the film is worth whatever you spend on the ticket price. It includes a pretty brutal fight between Diesel and The Rock. Obviously nicely shot and cut to avoid seeing that Rock is about a foot taller than the D-man. But once the team steals the vault things get crazy! They have two cars basically dragging a bank vault down a street. They destroy city roads and wreck about two dozen police cars. Don’t worry though the film makes it clear to us several times that the cops chasing them are “dirty cops”. They do this because some of the crashes, well no one would survive them, so they tried to make it clear we shouldn’t care for these cops who are dying horribly.
So Fast Five isn’t ground breaking, it’s not a different twist on something we’ve seen, if anything it is filled with cliches and hammy dialogue. The thing is that the film never at any point tries to be something else. It loves that it is a B-action movie and plays up to it. The Rock’s lines are hilarious, I mean I just ate it up. This movie is also just action packed and heavily violent, I’d say at least thirty drug dealers get shot in this film. Still I enjoyed myself pretty much all the way through, I think this is actually the best film in the series, mainly because how much fun it is. Though for the sixth film, and stay after the credits, there will be a sixth film, they need to stick with more racing, don’t pull away from the thing that made this series stand out.