Best Movies of All Time + Vin Diesel



Fast Five is a 2011 action film directed by Justin Lin that serves as the fifth installment into the Fast and the Furious franchise. It picks up where the fourth film left off, with Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) racing to free Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) from his fate of life in prison. The three make their way to Rio de Janeiro where they meet up with Vince (Matt Schulze) who gets them to agree to aid him with a job. The job ultimately goes sour, leaving O'Conner and the Torettos bruised, both physically and emotionally. They're ultimately framed for the murder of three DEA agents, causing the United States government to send a crack team, led by a "shoot first, ask questions later" leader named Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to find them and bring them to justice. Our heroes have other ideas, however, as they try to plan one last heist that will take down the reigning kingpin in Rio while giving them over $100 million. The three call the best people they know to help, bringing a massive reunion of characters from the previous films.

As my readers know, I broke down Fast Five's trailer after initially seeing it, posing a number of questions that could have aided the movie in becoming illogical. I'm going to spend a little bit of time answering the questions I posed in this review, and I think that should give a good sense of how this movie turned out.

I initially wondered there would be any brains hidden beneath the brawn shown in Fast Five, and although there's nothing truly spectacular about the screenplay, it doesn't prove entirely predictable. Sure, there's plenty of moments where you know exactly what's going to happen, but there was one or two scenes that worked as clever little twists. It's no Inception, but considering the bulk of this film is surrounded by fast-driving cars and barrages of gunshots, I think it worked rather nicely. Oh, and my question concerning the keeping of $100 million inside a police station was actually answered relatively early in the film, and it actually makes sense. Kudos to the screenwriters for not going entirely absurd here.

I also originally questioned whether such a large, recognizable cast would prove detrimental to the film as a whole. Let me say this: there's never a question about who's running the show on-screen, with Diesel taking most of the screen-time but giving just enough to Walker and Brewster. Everyone else plays a key role, but it's made apparent that they are by no means the film's central characters. That being said, let's delve into the performances. Diesel, Brewster and Walker are bringing the same people they've brought a few times before, so you can't really expect much from them. Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris complement each other perfectly, bringing quite a bit of comic relief (although, my laughter could have easily been triggered by the laughter of the largely African-American crowd surrounding me in the theater). The only truly new addition to the franchise is the presence of The Rock. Although I wanted to hate him so badly during his opening scenes, I ultimately found myself enjoying his steady presence. He went with a type of character that doesn't necessarily fit what he's done in the past, so it takes a little time getting used to, but he's committed to maintaining that character throughout, making it a legitimate performance.

Overall, Fast Five is an over-the-top, popcorn-munching action flick, and it shouldn't be taken for anything else. The action is almost non-stop, and the filmmakers took no lengths to make any of it physically believable. But when you go to a Fast and the Furious movie, you should probably expect a lack of logic and a massive gain in explosions, and that's exactly what Fast Five delivers. Oh, and for those of you who see the film, make sure you stay halfway through the credits - there's an extra scene waiting for you...

Movie Review Summary:Grade: C-
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2011, action, Dwayne Johnson, Fast Furious, Jordana Brewster, Justin Lin, Ludacris, Matt Schulze, movie review, Paul Walker, sequel, Tyrese Gibson, and more:

Relevant to: FAST FIVE + Vin Diesel