Fast Five: one and a half stars
Rated: PG-13 for violence, language and mature subject matter
If I’m being honest, I have only ever seen the first Fast and the Furious movie in its entirety. The rest I’ve just caught pieces here and there, which, in my opinion, is more than enough to string together some rudimentary semblance of a story line. They’re all pretty much the same: fast cars, big explosions, hot chicks, and macho guys. If I’m wrong, please let me know; as I’ve said: the first is the only one I could stomach all the way to the end.
Perhaps my lack of Furious history makes me a lousy candidate to review this movie. Sue me; I’m doing it anyway.
Fast Five is pretty much a useless entry into the film franchise. It reunites big, bad ex-con Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) with former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). This time they find themselves on the wrong side of the law in Rio, Brazil. I could spout facts at you all day of what this film is about, but facts really have no place when you’re reviewing a movie of this sort. You want advice about your genre expectations. The 2001 story was kind of fun with its fast cars and ambitions, placing Diesel and Walker in L.A. in a Need for Speed type street race. The 2009 version was miles away from the original storyline. Both made boatloads of money.
What it all boils down to is 130 minutes of mindless violence with characters that can jump through roofs and get shot at by innumerable bad guys and still walk away without a scratch. I can’t help but compare it to Salt, a fantastic film that also put the characters up against impossible odds. Except come the end of that movie, I could barely recognize Angelina Jolie. Her actions all had consequences; when she jumped off a bridge she didn’t walk away unscathed.
Salt also had laughs, which is something I missed here. In fact the only laugh I got was at the end of the film when we were all reminded that the stunts in this film were done on a closed course by professionals, and that any attempt at duplicating what we saw could result in injury and death. I’d like to one-day meet someone who thought it was a good idea to drive their speeding car off a cliff into a lake five hundred feet below and think they’d walk away with all their bones in one piece.
‘Til next time! See you at the movies.