Why were there more group hugs than drag races in Fast Five? How does the Rock have a beard and manage to survive? And what the hell was I doing in cinema … 8?
Now if you’re like me and you’ve seen bits of the first film and you’ve heard vaguely about how cool (?) Tokyo Drift was then you’re just as informed as I am regarding this particular franchise.
The title alone promises no boring bits because it’s supposed to be fast, damn it! And I enjoy fast-paced action: so long as it’s entertaining, sort of plausible and leaves me wracking my brain over some moral dilemma or excellent twist in the plot—oh, what a twist.
The opening awesome scene demonstrates how naughty and desperate our main characters are. Oh look, they’re stealing cars from a moving train.
Now that’s fast.
Some dudes are driving their buggy alongside the train and each criminal is allocated a car to literally drive away in. I wanted something to go wrong. Like, you know, see a car dive, crash and burn or watch the metal from the side of the train shear off and kill the guys with the welding tools.
The blue GT looked nice (I have exhausted my knowledge of automobiles). Soon the annoying couple, who I assume are from earlier films, meet Baldy—Vin Diesel—during the heist and they defy the original plan and stuff happens. Federal agents on the train get shot, bad people die. Annoying woman gets away while Baldy and annoying man pull off manly stunts to survive—they fall in the water. Unfortunately, they don’t drown.
Fast and Furious fanatics will understand the character dynamics better than me. What’s with the hugging? These people are experienced bad-arses. Every decision they make is radical and could mean death. You’d think they’d be over the whole hugging thing.
The narrative continues, stuff happens and now Baldy and the annoying couple are running from the Po-Po in Brazil. By the way, is there a stipulation in location contracts where every film that is filmed in Rio has to show gratuitous panning and rotating shots of Christ the Redeemer? I should’ve counted how many times I saw that statue. It was more than twice.
So there’s lots of shooting, which was fantastic. Everybody packs heat in downtown Rio. The chase in the Favelas was exciting because it reminded me of that level in Modern Warfare 2. The Rock and his team of American cool people enter the story here and spend most of the film fragging the gang guy’s men. There are these scenes at the end of these gunfights where corpses litter the ground and there’s this guy who stands among the dead like he’s disappointed that he missed the fight or something.
Oh and there’s lots of pro-masculine stand-offs with old pals and hostile folk. Baldy stands proud and it’s like his pectorals are doing all the work! It got so intense my testes were close to bursting—too much testosterone, man.
Halfway through the movie Baldy and the annoying couple realise that they need a team to pull off a plan to screw over this dude with lots of money in Brazil for reasons that I’m not too clear on. Something about dissing annoying woman because she’s Baldy’s sister?
So we have more annoying people in the flick now and wow—stereotypes! Black dude jokes aren’t funny. Seriously, it’s uncool. The only likeable character was the asian guy, until he kept having eye sex with that new chick. He had potential. And doesn’t he die in Tokyo Drift? Does that mean the film is set before that one? Me confuzzled.
Fast Five is slowing to a crawl by now. Some revelations are made, some characters talk a lot of crap and there’s a little bit of car driving but nothing that could’ve been paraphrased by a montage. A montage would’ve been so much faster and furiouser!
The movie is still going and Katie has been nudging me. I lost track of what was going on because we were fighting our own fast and furious nudging battle. Who won? Of course, Katie did. Gawd!
Back to the action on-screen.
Our buff/slim, professional criminals pull off a scheme similar to what the terrorists achieve in that Die Hard film where they steal all the money and say they’re gonna dump it in the ocean and then—oh snap—the people were duped and the terrorists actually intended to keep the monies but the fast and furious folk manage to succeed.
They get the monies! They’re all rich! They all have what they want, which is freedom and monies. There is no reason for a sequel. No reason at all. Just because the Rock survives and says Baldy has 24 hours before he comes after him does not mean that another movie should be made.
One thing that (cue for Peter Griffin) really grinded my gears was the lack of death on the ‘good’ side. One friend cops it in the waist and dies like a beardy bitch. Baldy’s motives would’ve been more justifiable if his dear sister, annoying woman, took a car rim through the neck.
Overall, the events throughout this fantasy were more convenient than [insert shopping market of choice here]. This film is for the fans who care about the characters. Fast Five does not work as a standalone adventure so it does successfully alienate those who are new to the franchise. Fans might be disappointed by the lack of racing, but I’m sure the explosions made up for it.
Go see Paul. It’s not as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but it will help you rise from the well of depression you might be languishing in for enduring that terrible movie they call Fast Five.