Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language.
Fast Five was an adrenaline rush filled with exciting action sequences and one of the craziest car chases scenes I've ever seen.
The Fast and Furious crew reunite in Rio as they're all on the run from the law after Dom is broken out of prison. They get a chance to pull one more job - stealing cars of course - and it goes horribly wrong with U.S. Federal Agents being murdered by part of their crew. Now on the run from the toughest cop in the business - Hobbes - the crew have to deal with the police along with the people whose deal they ruined. And that guy runs Rio and isn't very happy. So Dom, Brian and Mia get together a who's who of the past four films and decide to do one... last... job to secure themselves $10M each. But with seemingly the entire city on their tails, how will they ever succeed?
Back in 2001, I was one of the few people who saw potential in The Fast and the Furious and that little film has blossomed into the unlikeliest of franchises. 2 Fast 2 Furious suffered with a lack of Vin Diesel, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift suffered from a lack of anything. But Diesel made a cameo appearance at the end of the film which lead into the oddly named Fast & Furious which brought back the major characters from the first film. But Fast Five takes it up another notch in every way possible. It brings in select cast members from the previous films and adds Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, among others, to fill out the cast. And the film morphs somewhat from being only about cars to an Ocean's 11-esque heist film. So first off, I'm a huge fan of Vin Diesel and The Rock, so having them not only in the same film, but squaring off in a 3-minute balls to the wall fight sequence was astounding. And this was no boxing match, these guys went at it tooth and nail and beat the living tar out of each other. To me, Diesel is easily one of the coolest men on the planet, from his look to his name to his voice. Throw in The People's Champ and I was sold on this film before I even saw it. But when you add in a little nostalgia by having past cast members return and have some of the most amazing action sequences in recent memory, well, how can you not love the movie?
Speaking of the cast, every single woman in this movie was hot. Somehow they managed to bring in a hot cop to go along with The Rock and she might have been the most attractive of everyone. Add in some Brazilian eye candy once in a while to go along with Diesel, Walker, The Rock and Tyrese and you've got a little something for everyone. The story was out there for certain, and if you think about it even a little it's laughable, but what really sells this movie is the action sequences. There is a prison bus escape that leads off the movie that was spectacular, but just a preview of what was to come. Later in the film there's a train sequence that drew the first applause of the evening. I can't imagine what the explosion budget was on this film but it had to be pretty big. But even that paled in comparison to the final chase sequence in the film. It involves Diesel, Walker and a giant safe through the streets of Rio. Had this been real life, they would have destroyed nearly half the city in a completely preposterous but totally edge-of-your-seat chase scene. I'd pay to see the movie again just for that. I thought the special effects in Fast & Furious looked a little cheesy, but director Justin Lin ups the ante in Fast Five because other than maybe one shot, the action moments all looked pretty realistic. It was almost like the studio said, OK, just go for it. Whatever you want to do, we'll fund it.
That all being said, the movie clocks in at 130 minutes, which was probably a little too long. Don't get me wrong, I would have kept watching if it had gone on another hour, but I think they could have cut about 10 minutes out of the movie, removed some of the slower scenes, and still been OK. As I said before, the story is a little flimsy and there is sure to be some laughter when things happen, especially towards the end. There were a couple of scenes that felt out of place or unncessary to the story, but they also made the action scenes pop that much more. Yeah, I'm a mark for the series, but this is easily the best of the franchise so far. Oh, and whatever you do, don't leave when the credits start to roll because there's one more scene left and it's a doozy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I was a big fan of Fast Five. I was looking forward to it for months and it lived up to the hype (that I created in my own head). If you're not a fan of the series but are looking for a mindless action flick, you couldn't do much better than this one.