To steal a phrase from a past Fast film, ‘you’re not in control, till you’re are out of control…’, well there is some serious out of control shenanigans in this fourth sequel to the original The Fast and Furious (2001). When I realized there would be yet another testosterone filled, fuel injected sequel, you could audibly hear my long, drawn out eye roll. Really? Hollywood has really nothing better to do than create another carbon copy of first four films? As you can probably tell, I am not a fan of the series. I enjoyed the first one, watched half of the second, then just gave up after that. Nothing against fast cars with overly attractive people driving them, but it’s just not how I want to spend 2 hours. With all that said, I think Fast Five did a fast one on me.
Not sure on the timeline or events that preceded it, Fast Five picks up with Diesel’s character, Dominic getting freed while in transit as a federal prisoner. After some craziness, Walker’s O’Conner, Brewester’s Mia, and Dominic are all reunited as a loving fugitive family. After crossing a Rio drug lord, they hatch a plan to steal his $100+ booty with the help of their old ‘Fast’ buddies. At this point, Fast Five transitions from focusing on the auto racing scene and turns into Ocean’s Eleven- on wheels. The re-assemble cast is agreeable. They share a few laughs but doesn’t quite hit the level of camaraderie that viewers are hoping for. They work well together but fail to share a real connection throughout the film. I guess it could be a lot worst and there is credit for that.
The biggest improvement (and necessity) is the addition of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Although being a massive and imposing human being, he has a fun/light tone which allows him to fit in well with this cast. He is a larger than life presence and it boosts the overall experience of Fast Five. Although, his nick name should go from The Rock to The Mountain! I’ve never seen him this yoked before, geez.
The best part of this film is the commitment to real world stunts and practical effects. The amount of collateral damage to the streets of Rio is epic and whether they actually did, you felt like the stunts were real. I didn’t notice one CGI effect of a silly ‘camera’ swirling around, fly through a car and down a street. The stunts are more ridiculous than the last and it concludes appropriately for this type of film- which means predictable and safe. However, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable ride and made me glad I jumped in the passenger seat.
One thing I got to say. The intensity shared between Vin Diesel and The Rock, in my opinion, is borderline homoerotic. At the end, I didn’t know if their intense hatred and respect for each other was going to lead them to some serious angry sex. There longing stares into each other’s eyes can only be rivaled by Frodo and Sam’s type love. These HUGE men show little interest for all these beautiful, smart, and sexy women around them but instead have a super intensity for each other. It was just funny to me…and a little weird.
All is all, Fast Five proves to be possible the best out of the whole series. With a larger scope and more interesting cast, it might actually eclipse the first. For what this is, I was pretty surprised and would recommend it if you love crazy car chases, exotic cars, and muscle-bound men staring longingly in each other’s faces.
I give Fast Five a 3 Babbles out of 5.