Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese
Gibson, Don Omar, Tego Calderon, Ludacris
Fast Five adds an
interesting twist to the Fast & Furious franchise, leaning
more towards heist flick than a street racing film.
Universal Studios has breathed new life into the series by
switching up the formula, and Fast Five won't disappoint
Fast Five reunites Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) with
cop-turned-racer Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) in the
exotically dangerous Rio de Janeiro. The gravelly-voiced
Diesel reprises his role of Toretto, this time on the run from
a high-octane federal law enforcement team led by Luke Hobbs,
played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
situation further is Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes,
portrayed by veteran actor Joaquim de Almeida of "Desperado"
fame. The only way to dig themselves out of their hole
is to pull off a final caper to the tune of $100 million,
aided by a variety of former series characters.
What makes the latest
addition to the Fast & Furious franchise a success is the
ridiculous amount of adrenaline injected into the film.
Fast Five is chock full of tense moments, fast cars and
shootouts. Adding a bit of levity to an otherwise
hardcore action flick are the duo of reggaetoneros Don Omar
and Tego Calderon, who return to the series bringing comedic
relief with them. Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana
Brewster, Sung Kang, and Matt Schulze also reprise their roles
to lend a sense of familiarity to this heist film.
Fast Five's musical score
is a stew of high-energy tracks with greater variety than other soundtracks from the franchise.
The film's score doesn't feature as much American rap as
earlier films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, though it makes up for
it with the
inclusion of urban Portuguese-language songs from Brazil.
International music ranges from Rio's rap to Brazilian Funk,
plus the ridiculously infectious "Danza Kuduro" by Puerto
Rican reggaetonero Dom Omar, who returns to the film as the
pessimistic Rico. Fast Five is the third film of the
franchise that composer Brian Tyler contributes to, with songs
ranging from cinematic to industrial rock.
There are two elements of
the film that definitely stand out. The first being the
too-good-to-be-true clash between Dom and federal strike team
leader Luke Hobbs. The two reaching their inevitable
on-screen collision hits with the force of a scud missile
soaked in testosterone. It's been a hot minute since
action aficionados have been treated to some of the biggest
badasses in cinema slugging it out a la Riggs vs Mr. Joshua in
The other element is the
final car chase of the film. Gone are the intricate CGI
shots of the mechanical workings of the cars involved. But
what Fast Five loses in computer imaging, it makes up for with
hardcore driving. The ultimate chase scene in the movie
is far from what you've seen in other heist flicks, and is
sure to please even the pickiest of action junkies.
That's not to say that Fast
Five is Oscar-quality, of course. To truly enjoy this
film, you have accept in advance that this isn't Shawshank
Redemption. While much of the cast have experience in
film and television, the majority serve up mediocre acting at
best. Vin Diesel looks all of his 44 years in this film,
and his acting ability hasn't improved much over the years.
While he and Paul Walker both are well-suited for action
flicks, don't expect profound performances from either.
Diesel is given more of an opportunity to flex his acting
chops in Fast Five, with it's emphasis on relationships and
heartbreak, but Tom Hanks he's not.
Dwayne Johnson carries the
greatest screen presence of the entire cast, giving off an air
of intensity that resonates throughout every scene. That
being said, however, he isn't given an opportunity to show off
any real range of emotions in the film.
Despite Fast Five having
it's fair share of action and suspense, the film does drag on
a bit longer than necessary with it's runtime of two-plus
hours. While the film's conclusion is somewhat clear,
it's given an open-ending that paves the way for the
franchise's sixth effort, and the possible return of a
significant character from the series.
Overall, Fast Five is
simply a fun watch, a guilty pleasure if you're a fan of heist
flicks, or action movies in general. If you're a motor
head, you might be a bit let down at the abandonment of the
franchise's original formula, though the change still make for
a welcome spin on the series. Definitely give this one a
rent, or cop the Blu-Ray/DVD combo to own one of the better
movies in the Fast & Furious series.