Latest Movie News Headlines

Review: Fast Five

Apr. 28, 2011by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: After the events of the last film; Dominic (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are now fugitives, and hiding out in Rio De Janeiro. After a heist goes wrong, they find themselves marked for death by a drug lord, with their only hope of escaping Brazil being to take down the kingpin before he gets to them. Meanwhile, they're also in the cross-hairs of a special FBI task-force headed by the relentless Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).

REVIEW: I can't believe the FAST & FURIOUS franchise is already ten years old! I remember the first film coming out the summer before I started university, and being all the rage around the suburban area I grew up in. Truth be told, I was never big on THE FAST & THE FURIOUS. I always liked Vin Diesel, but I thought the film was little more than a rip-off of POINT BREAK, and having re-watched it again about a year ago, I'm amazed at how badly it's dated (particularly the Ja Rule-heavy hip-hop soundtrack).


The less said about the sequels the better, although I thought TOKYO DRIFT was OK. The last FAST & FURIOUS didn't really float my boat, so I wasn't terribly enthused to hear they were doing a fifth. That said, the trailer was great, and the buzz on the film has been fantastic, so I went into it cautiously optimistic.

In this case, the buzz was right. FAST FIVE is a slam-bang action flick, and easily the best film in the franchise by a wide margin. While it's certainly connected to the other films (with a lot of cast members from throughout the franchise popping up) it really feels like a franchise reboot, as the car-culture/street-race vibe of the other films has been more or less completely dropped. This is a hard-core action/heist flick, and if the thunderous reception it got at the sneak preview I attended is any judge, the start of a whole new FAST franchise.

One thing that's obvious right off the bat is that Universal pumped a ton of money into this thing, with this being the first film of the series to really look and feel like a tent-pole summer flick. While he's taken a bit of good-natured ribbing over the net the last few days, Chris Morgan's screenplay is pretty damn effective for an action flick, especially one from this series. One of the worst things about the other films was the cringe-inducing dialogue, but here, things are operating on a higher level. Don't get me wrong- it ain't David Mamet, but compared to some of the other tent-pole movies we've seen lately, the script and premise are pretty tight (although, as the Hollywood norm, the laws of physics seemingly don't apply in this film).


Justin Lin, who also directed the third and forth films, deserves his share of credit too- with the action sequences being top-notch, with a minimum of CGI, no shaky-cam (thank God), and clean, crisp cinematography (my big issue with number 4 for that the night-time action sequences were hard to decipher). Despite being the longest of the series at 130 minutes, FAST FIVE actually feels a good deal shorter than the other films, due to the tight pace, and lack of flab in the film's midsection (which which is always were the other films really dragged). The action sequences are a lot of fun, with a good mix of car chases, gunfights, MMA-style throw-downs, and even some parkour thrown in for good measure.

For Vin Diesel, FAST FIVE feels like a near-return to XXX territory, with his Toretto being more of an action superhero here than he was in previous films. Audiences really seem to love Diesel in this kind of thing, and he's more energized here than he's been in a long time. One thing that really impressed me was his big mano-a-mano with The Rock, as I never pegged Diesel as much of a hand-to-hand guy (his fights in BABYLON AD were atrocious). Their brawl is pretty damn cool, and it looks like both did a lot of the work themselves, with this being one of the few fight scenes to come along in recent years with easily discernible action. Diesel really fits the action-hero mold here to a T, with this being the first time that I've walked away from one of his action flicks completely satisfied.

While taking a backseat to Diesel (and even The Rock at times), Paul Walker is pretty solid here, with him coming off as less of a pretty boy then he did in the other films. The extra decade looks good on him, and like Diesel, he handles himself well in the action scenes (with him having a nifty foot-chase early in the film).


As for The Rock- like Diesel, FAST FIVE is the first time I've really been satisfied by one of his films. While he always seemed to be a promising action hero, the only movie of his I kinda liked before this was THE RUNDOWN, but he's got a perfectly tailored part as the hard-as-nails fed tracking our heroes down. Fans need not worry, he gets a lot of screen-time here, and it's pretty obvious this isn't the last the franchise has seen of him.

It was also fun seeing a lot of the supporting cast from the other films come back, even if I wasn't keen on their respective installments. Jordana Brewster gets her best role in the franchise to date as Mia, and it must be said, she's still a gorgeous woman. Same goes for the luscious Gal Godot- not to mention Elsa Pataky, as a new love-interest for Dom. Sung Kang, despite being killed off in TOKYO DRIFT is still alive and well here, which I suppose makes this a prequel, and fan-favorites Tyrese and Ludacris are also back, with them more or less being the comic relief. Matt Shulze, also makes his return to the franchise, with him once again playing the possibly two-faced Vince, who still resents Walker's ex-fed for having busted up the gang in the first film.

All in all, FAST FIVE was a blast, and a damn fine way to kick off what I hope will be a summer of fun tent-pole films. One thing's for sure, this isn't the last you've seen of the FAST gang, which is made explicitly clear in a post-credits tag scene everyone should make a point of sticking around for. For the first time in this franchise's history, I'm totally pumped for another film, and if they continue in this lean, action-heavy direction, there's no telling how much life this franchise may have left in it.

Extra Tidbit: Is it just me, or does The Rock always look like he's covered in about a liter of sweat?
Source: JoBlo.com

Related Articles

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

4:01AM on 05/04/2011

Great Summer Movie

So glad to see this movie get some awesome reviews. Here is mine: [link]
So glad to see this movie get some awesome reviews. Here is mine: [link]
Your Reply:



4:18PM on 05/03/2011
im a serious hater of the entire series...but ill check this one out for the hell of it..the trailer was pretty intense
im a serious hater of the entire series...but ill check this one out for the hell of it..the trailer was pretty intense
Your Reply:



3:19PM on 04/29/2011

Cringe-inducing dialogue

I'm not hating on the movie, but "Forget Mission:Impossible, this just got mission in-freakin-sanity!"
I'm not hating on the movie, but "Forget Mission:Impossible, this just got mission in-freakin-sanity!"
Your Reply:



1:39AM on 04/29/2011
Devon Aoki didnt come back?! I'll miss deadly lil Miho =(
Devon Aoki didnt come back?! I'll miss deadly lil Miho =(
Your Reply:



-3
10:45PM on 04/28/2011
Sigh. I hate to rain on everyone's parade of anticipation or enjoyment, and I'm pretty sure I'll receive hell for this, but I just didn't care for it. Flat characters, scarce plot, and not enough action, the last of which is crucial for a film like this. The third act is simply one of the most absurd things I've seen in all my years of going to the movies and had me laughing quite a bit rather than being thrilled. Granted, most people are seeing this just for the action, and that's fine, but I
Sigh. I hate to rain on everyone's parade of anticipation or enjoyment, and I'm pretty sure I'll receive hell for this, but I just didn't care for it. Flat characters, scarce plot, and not enough action, the last of which is crucial for a film like this. The third act is simply one of the most absurd things I've seen in all my years of going to the movies and had me laughing quite a bit rather than being thrilled. Granted, most people are seeing this just for the action, and that's fine, but I felt that, even as a guilty pleasure, it just didn't work.

It's interesting you mention a "tight pace" and a "lack of flab in the midsection" since, to me, the pace felt incredibly lax especially with all the flab crammed into the film. There was at least a good 30-45 minutes that could have been cut from the two hour(!) runtime in order to give it a tighter structure and a quicker pace.

I'd go on, but my review pretty much sums it all up:

[link]

I stand ready for the plethora of thumbs down that are about to be sent my way.
Your Reply:



9:35PM on 04/28/2011

Wow!

This review really has me super pumped. I always enjoy these movies, but to hear the direction they are going in is exactly what I want to spend my money on when going to the theaters. Can't wait to see the return of Schulze. Loved his character in TFTF
This review really has me super pumped. I always enjoy these movies, but to hear the direction they are going in is exactly what I want to spend my money on when going to the theaters. Can't wait to see the return of Schulze. Loved his character in TFTF
Your Reply:



8:23PM on 04/28/2011
really hope Ludacris says the word "ludicrous" in this.
really hope Ludacris says the word "ludicrous" in this.
Your Reply:



+1
6:19PM on 04/28/2011
I liked this movie more than Thor. It was freaking awesome. Physics were just thrown out the window. Fantastic.
I liked this movie more than Thor. It was freaking awesome. Physics were just thrown out the window. Fantastic.
Your Reply:



+1
5:27PM on 04/28/2011
Rock has always been swollen but he has gotten huge for this movie. Dude is jacked up. The scene between him and Diesel was very enjoyable.
Rock has always been swollen but he has gotten huge for this movie. Dude is jacked up. The scene between him and Diesel was very enjoyable.
Your Reply:



+1
4:16PM on 04/28/2011
Great Review, saw it earlier this week and it is one of the few films I have seen over the last few years, where I came out of the cinema completely hyped up, totally amazing last half hour and I could easily go and watch it again and yes The Rock Vs Vin Diesel is definately worht the entrance fee alone
Great Review, saw it earlier this week and it is one of the few films I have seen over the last few years, where I came out of the cinema completely hyped up, totally amazing last half hour and I could easily go and watch it again and yes The Rock Vs Vin Diesel is definately worht the entrance fee alone
Your Reply:



2:09PM on 04/28/2011
awesome they haveing a midnight showing here, Im so there!! I just watched the 1st and 4th ones last week... I think the 1st one is still pretty damn enjoyable and I liked teh 4th one alot more on a rewatch than I had when I first saw it.
awesome they haveing a midnight showing here, Im so there!! I just watched the 1st and 4th ones last week... I think the 1st one is still pretty damn enjoyable and I liked teh 4th one alot more on a rewatch than I had when I first saw it.
Your Reply:



1:50PM on 04/28/2011

Great Review!

Good lord i couldnt be more amped for this movie.
Good lord i couldnt be more amped for this movie.
Your Reply:



1:03PM on 04/28/2011
Really looking forward to this movie, but seriously quit using the word reboot, regardless of all the sequels all these movies are connected they just finally got the storyline to make sense.
Really looking forward to this movie, but seriously quit using the word reboot, regardless of all the sequels all these movies are connected they just finally got the storyline to make sense.
Your Reply:



1:17PM on 04/28/2011
Also i think this franchise is a nice hard R movie next
Also i think this franchise is a nice hard R movie next
12:53PM on 04/28/2011
I need to see this movie!
I need to see this movie!
Your Reply:



12:39PM on 04/28/2011
Now I am truly excited. I have been saying that trailer looks amazing and better than any other Fast and the furious movie. Being that I have seen all four I am hoping this will surpass the first.
1. The Fast and the Furious
2. Fast and the Furious
3. Tokyo Drift
4. 2 Fast 2 Furious
Now I am truly excited. I have been saying that trailer looks amazing and better than any other Fast and the furious movie. Being that I have seen all four I am hoping this will surpass the first.
1. The Fast and the Furious
2. Fast and the Furious
3. Tokyo Drift
4. 2 Fast 2 Furious
Your Reply:



12:22PM on 04/28/2011
I have never seen one of these films. Never felt the need but, this one actually sounds like it might be pretty good and the trailer did get my attention. Maybe a matinee is in order.
I have never seen one of these films. Never felt the need but, this one actually sounds like it might be pretty good and the trailer did get my attention. Maybe a matinee is in order.
Your Reply:



+3
11:08AM on 04/28/2011
It definitely looks excellent.
It definitely looks excellent.
Your Reply:



11:40AM on 04/28/2011
I guess how much of a star Stallone is he would be able to see movies for free.

He should direct Fast and Furious Part 6 featuring himself playing every new character.
I guess how much of a star Stallone is he would be able to see movies for free.

He should direct Fast and Furious Part 6 featuring himself playing every new character.
11:45AM on 04/28/2011
You desperately need to get a life.
You desperately need to get a life.
11:03AM on 04/28/2011

Rock vs Diesel...

This clash of titans sold me instantly!
This clash of titans sold me instantly!
Your Reply:



2:10PM on 04/28/2011
Almost as good a tease as Rock vs Hogan Wrestlemania 18 was
Almost as good a tease as Rock vs Hogan Wrestlemania 18 was
10:22AM on 04/28/2011

Thanks CBum

Man, I don't think i could be more pumped for this flcik now. its actually getting good reviews for the first time in the franchise. It looks like the perfect way to start the summer.

and personnally i love this franchise as the first thing I ever did after getting my first drivers permit was going to see the first movie haha. and i remember learning to drive stick in the movie theater parking lot (in MTL suburb of Kirkland! MTL represent Bumbray!) and there was F and F fever everywhere
Man, I don't think i could be more pumped for this flcik now. its actually getting good reviews for the first time in the franchise. It looks like the perfect way to start the summer.

and personnally i love this franchise as the first thing I ever did after getting my first drivers permit was going to see the first movie haha. and i remember learning to drive stick in the movie theater parking lot (in MTL suburb of Kirkland! MTL represent Bumbray!) and there was F and F fever everywhere around me. it was awesome
Your Reply:



-1
10:19AM on 04/28/2011
wow, this is great, too bad i cannot watch it on my country T_T, because tax problem between my goverment and MPAA,so sad, i just can wait it on the blue ray in another 4-5month...damm
wow, this is great, too bad i cannot watch it on my country T_T, because tax problem between my goverment and MPAA,so sad, i just can wait it on the blue ray in another 4-5month...damm
Your Reply:



10:12AM on 04/28/2011
Great review. Can't wait. Looks like the best one yet.
Great review. Can't wait. Looks like the best one yet.
Your Reply:



9:47AM on 04/28/2011
great review
great review
Your Reply:



9:36AM on 04/28/2011

Fast 6: Deisel vs.Rock

Was not a big fan of the others, something always seemed to be missing. This had it all! A keeper on BR. Now where's No. 6? Ps I'll never look at a Safe the same way again.lol
Was not a big fan of the others, something always seemed to be missing. This had it all! A keeper on BR. Now where's No. 6? Ps I'll never look at a Safe the same way again.lol
Your Reply:



9:28AM on 04/28/2011

Totally agree

Saw it last night an all out blast how big is the rock now he's like the hulk in this! as for the post-credits a genuine woah moment from the crowd
Saw it last night an all out blast how big is the rock now he's like the hulk in this! as for the post-credits a genuine woah moment from the crowd
Your Reply:



9:14AM on 04/28/2011
I've been saying most of the above review for the last week,this film is so much fun.I'm thinking about going again and I'm a oncer when it comes to films.
I've been saying most of the above review for the last week,this film is so much fun.I'm thinking about going again and I'm a oncer when it comes to films.
Your Reply:



8:44AM on 04/28/2011
I agree with you on everything but one: Jordana Brewster look anorexic in this movie (look at her face, it's obvious when you compare to the pictures of her through the franchise in the end credits). I like the post end-credits sequences with it's guests (in flesh and in picture).
Overall a nice bumb-but-fun summer flick !
I agree with you on everything but one: Jordana Brewster look anorexic in this movie (look at her face, it's obvious when you compare to the pictures of her through the franchise in the end credits). I like the post end-credits sequences with it's guests (in flesh and in picture).
Overall a nice bumb-but-fun summer flick !
Your Reply:



8:01AM on 04/28/2011

Awesome

You know, I haven't seen a Fast film since the first sequel (which was an alright action movie but is also shockingly dated) but I was thinking about seeing this and now I'm sold.
You know, I haven't seen a Fast film since the first sequel (which was an alright action movie but is also shockingly dated) but I was thinking about seeing this and now I'm sold.
Your Reply:



11:04AM on 04/28/2011
Why on earth did anyone thums-down you for this?
Why on earth did anyone thums-down you for this?
3:49PM on 04/28/2011
I have no clue what that was about. Perhaps FF enthusiasts who consider it blasphemy to speak ill of any of the FF films and by my admission that I didn't see Tokyo Drift or Fast and Furious I was somehow insulting the series. Who knows?
I have no clue what that was about. Perhaps FF enthusiasts who consider it blasphemy to speak ill of any of the FF films and by my admission that I didn't see Tokyo Drift or Fast and Furious I was somehow insulting the series. Who knows?