Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Five keeps series’ fans revved up
MONTE YAZZIE ~ SPECIAL FOR THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS ~ 5/18/2011
It’s hard work crafting a sequel, as countless films have demonstrated before. So one would have a hefty hesitancy wanting to watch the fifth installment in a franchise. Typically, most films boasting more than three sequels would warrant a straight-to-video release in today’s video-on-demand market. However, this is certainly not the case with Fast Five, the action-packed, high octane, car caper that ushers in the summer blockbuster season.
Fast Five picks up shortly after the end of The Fast, The Furious (yes, the titles have changed to avoid the cliché numbering title). With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Jordana Brewster’s characters’ staying one step ahead of law enforcement while fleeing to Rio de Janeiro. Running low on funds, they decide to take a job that is supposed to go smoothly, with the help of an old acquaintance. Things go bad and the crew gets involved with Rio de Janeiro’s biggest bad guy. If things weren’t worse enough, they have landed at the top of list for the government’s best bounty hunter, played with bravado by Dwayne Johnson (formerly The Rock). With the addition of former crew members from previous Fast and Furious films, the ensemble cast crack jokes, drive faster cars, dodge bigger explosions, and seem to enjoy it just as much as I did in the audience.
The film is long, a little over the 2-hour mark, but it doesn’t feel extensive. The cinematography boasts striking scenery shots of Rio de Janeiro and softens the excess camera shake during action scenes that the previous films used considerably. There are less racing scenes, which might upset some looking for that aspect, and more chase scenes, both in cars and on foot. The story is simple but effective; it focuses on what was good about the previous films. The acting is probably the biggest flaw with this film, stiff and emotionless are two ways to describe it, especially from the top billed stars. One might figure that the actors would have something more to offer considering they’ve been doing this for ten years now. This film is probably the best since the first film, primarily due to the ensemble cast and the big action sets, however, a little more time on the script and with rehearsals might have added some better attributes and vaulted Fast Five to the top of the franchise.
Monte’s Rating: 4.00 out of 5.00.