TRASH IN MY EYE No. 36 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux
Fast Five (2011)
Running time: 130 minutes (2 hours, 10 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
DIRECTOR: Justin Lin
WRITER: Chris Morgan (based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson)
PRODUCERS: Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, and Neal H. Moritz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon
EDITORS: Kelly Matsumoto, Fred Raskin, and Christian Wagner
COMPOSER: Brian Tyler
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Joaquim de Almeida, Elsa Pataky, and Michael Irby
My beat up Random House dictionary defines the word “furious” as meaning full of fury, and defines the word, “fury,” as unrestrained or violent anger. Fast Five is the fifth movie in The Fast and the Furious film franchise. It is unrestrained.
Fast Five picks up where the fourth movie, Fast and Furious (2009), left off. Former FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) leads an assault on a prison transport bus to free his pal, elite street racer and ex-con, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel). Brian and Dom’s sister, Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), go on the run to Brazil, where they reunite with Dom for a train heist of high-end cars. The heist goes badly, which earns them the ire and unwanted attention of drug lord, Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).
Now, backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, Dom suggests they pull one last job in order to gain their freedom – steal 100 million dollars from Reyes. They assemble an elite team of racers, techs, mechanics, and weapons experts. These include Brian’s friends from his time in Miami, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej Parker (Ludacris), and some of Dom’s associates like Han Lue (Sung Kang).
However, Reyes is not the only one hunting Brian and Dom. They are wanted by the FBI, which has assigned a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) officer, Lucas “Luke” Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), to apprehend Brian and Dom. The hard-nosed Hobbs never misses his target, and he leads an elite strike team on an all-out mission to capture the two men. As his men tear through Brazil and he gets closer to his targets, Hobbs learns that he is caught between desperate forces – Dom and Brian on one side and Reyes on the other.
Fast Five takes the best of the previous four movies and crams that into an action movie extravaganza that runs at just over two hours of massive gun battles, bone-crushing fights, and reality-bending car chases. I give director Justin Lin some credit because this movie does have some moments of genuine character drama with a smattering of poignancy. Still, Lin, his crew, and creative collaborators know what this franchise is about – street racing.
But Fast Five gives us more than mere street racing. This film is furious and unstrained, offering loud, over-the-top, absurd action set pieces. Why just have pretty girls when you can have pretty girls with their butt cheeks hanging out? Why have a car chase when you can have a car chase with two cars dragging a giant safe? Everything is bigger, louder, and sleeker, and much of it defies the laws of physics. This movie made my breath catch a few times.
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are as cool as ever, even if they aren’t the best actors. I’m sure readers want to know if this movie is as good as or even better than the others. Whether Fast Five is better is matter of taste, and I think it is. I can say one thing for sure. Fast Five is bigger, more outrageous, and more furious than anything else in The Fast and the Furious franchise.
7 of 10
Sunday, May 01, 2011