FAST FIVE: RIO HEIST
The fifth installment of the Fast and Furious series is Universal’s attempt to try and jump start a flagging film franchise. So back in come most of the original cast, a few of the big hitters from the other films and why not throw in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in for good measure. Don’t be fooled by any understanding of numerical values though, as Fast Five sets itself somewhere between the third and fourth film in the series, though Fast Three and a Half just isn’t quite as catchy a title.
Fast Five begins with a big escape scene, with cars nonetheless, to set the pace. As will follow there is an absolutely absurd amount of destruction. We jump to Rio where Dominic Toretto, Mia and Brian O’Conner (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster) are on the run. They become involved in a botched heist and fall between the bad side of a local drug lord and a bloodhound federal agent. To try carve a life and a way out, they decide to go for one last heist and recruit a team.
There is a shift in focus from the previous films (don’t worry all the car porn is still there), they forgo the juvenile street racing and flashy neon kits and concentrate on the heist element, this works in it’s benefit to be more engaging. After all most people are there for an action film, I couldn’t really care less what is under the hood. In fact, the film even knowingly self references itself in regards to this.
The cast for the most part deliver what you would expect. Except, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as Hobbs, a spec ops agent dispatched by the FBI to capture Toretto. He comes in from left field and is instantly like-able, delivering some of the best one liners, he reminds me of a young Arnold Strong (Schwarzenegger). His character is hellbent on capturing his mark with one track mind, he pretty much acts as the Anti-Vin Diesel, so of course they must have a brawl which involves crashing through walls.
Of course you have to switch your brain off during this film and embrace the ridiculous with a smile. Disregard any notion of Newtonian physics come basic gravity that you may have. What is great about Fast Five is how it doesn’t take itself seriously but acknowledges this aspect, whilst also delivering on adrenaline fueled action that is well done and paced. The amount of destruction in the finale alone is mind boggling. This is a success in terms of bringing new life to the franchise, although it’s strength probably lies in the establishment of the characters. I enjoyed Fast Five, but equally the audiences’ shared laughter and clapping at ridiculous moments helped make it a fun experience.
MOVIE RATING: 3.5/5