17 may. 2011

My Review: Fast Five (7/10)

¨I suggest you make peace with whatever demons you have left cause come tomorrow, I will find you.¨

The Fast and the Furious franchise is back with its fifth installment, Fast Five, and I must say this is probably the best one of the series. Almost all the characters from the previous films are back and director Justin Lin has managed to bring the franchise back to life. I thought Tokyo Drift would definitely bury the series without Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, but then they managed to bring all the main characters back, mix them together, and now it seems we will have plenty more fast cars coming our way. The screenplay was written by Chris Morgan, who also wrote the third and fourth ones, and the story works really well although that isn`t the reason why we go see these movies. There are probably better actors, better scripts, and more believable heist thrillers than this one, but we still go see these movies for the cars and the great action sequences. The situations these guys go through is unbelievable, we know that the way these characters drive they should all have died in the first Fast and Furious, but we know this is just a fun and entertaining franchise and we try to make peace with the screenplay as best we can because it is just fun to see these guys go at it. It`s fun to see them drive cars off a running train, or speed by busy streets without crashing into each other while at the same time avoiding all sorts of bullets and explosions. Fast Five might be the most unbelievable and improbable film of the franchise, but it is still the best one.

The film picks up right where the fourth one left us, Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are breaking Dominic (Vin Diesel) out of custody while he is being transported to jail. They successfully manage to free him, and all three of them become fugitives. They are forced to continually be on the run and end up in Rio de Janeiro with very little money left on them. In Rio they stay with Dom`s longtime friend from the first film, Vince (Matt Schulze), who is now living in the favelas with his girlfriend and baby boy Nico. Vince tells Brian he has a job for them and since they are short on cash they have to accept. Unfortunately something goes wrong in the job and the guys make a new enemy: Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), a corrupt businessman who owns the entire police force and gangsters in Rio. Now Dom and Brian have all the gangsters, the Brazilian police, and special Federal Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne ¨The Rock¨ Johnson) along with his elite team after them in beautiful Rio. Dom and Brian decide to pull off one last job in order to teach Hernan a lesson, but in order to do so they will need to assemble an elite team. That is where the rest of the crew from previous films come in. First we have Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) from the first sequel, then there`s Han Lue (Sung Jang) from the Tokyo Drift film, and finally Gisele (Gal Gadot), Tego (Tego Calderon), and Rico Santos (Don Omar) are back from the latest installment. Together they hope to pull off one of the biggest heists of their lives worth 100 million dollars, but being able to pull it off doesn`t seem that easy.  

Fast Five delivers what it promises and even more. There are a lot of action sequences and they are shot extremely well. The cars move really fast, but that isn`t all Fast Five has going for it. The addition of The Rock to the story sets up an interesting fight scene between him and Dominic. The Rock helped boost the series even more and brought something fresh to the franchise. There is also the plus that the film took place in Rio de Janeiro and the scenery there is just so beautiful. There is a great chase scene that takes place over the roofs of the favelas, reminiscent of the Bourne Ultimatum scene in Morocco. Yes, the story is improbable, but we still are allowed to have fun with it. I didn`t get into the movie that much until the second half of the film, but let me say that the second part really delivers. This movie also has the best ending and it really leaves you expecting the sixth part, which I really didn’t feel that excited about in the other films. Fans of the franchise will surely be satisfied and Fast Five might even add a few new converts along the way because it is the best one so far. The soundtrack is also great and Don Omar really is hilarious in this movie. He delivered most of the funny scenes in the film. Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson also did their part in sharing the workload. It was just good seeing all these characters together and the cameo in the ending is just the cherry on the pie. I was surprisingly entertained with Fast Five.

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