Sunday, September 4, 2011

Movie Review: Fast & Furious 5 (2011)

You don't usually get a review for Hollywood action films around here but this weekend we saw the movie that I took to dubbing 'The Expendables Without The Wheelchairs' and had such a blast that I thought I'd try to detour from what's expected. Kaboom, first car pun.

Fast Five, is incredibly the fifth movie in franchise about illegal street racers and Justin Lin's third stint driving it. Bam, second car pun. There it's out of my system, I shall try to refrain from now on.

What happens? There's some not so bad guys, one of whom used to be a good guy played by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker being hunted by the good guy, The Rock himself, Mr Dwayne Johnson. In the middle of it is a Rio De Janeiro underworld kingpin taking the tag of actual bad guy, Joaquin de Almeida. The not so bad guys plan to rob the bad guy and outwit the good guy.

What you are treated to may as well be Gone In Sixty Seconds meets Oceans Eleven. It's that generic. There's cars, but no street racing, simply some nods to where the franchise has come from with some gratuitous car chases and an incredibly absurd final heist. There's a 9 man crew instead of 11 but it fits the bill nicely with Vin playing George Clooney if Clooney was unable to speak properly.

Yes the plot is obvious and no I don't remember a thing from the other 4 movies, aside from the awesome truck heist from the opening of Fast 4, but it's enjoyable all the same. OK action scenes, fun car chases that don't include explosions (that I can remember) a whole bunch of truly absurd things happening and The Rock stealing the show.

Whatever happened to Vin Diesel? I swear he used to act occasionally, speak words and stuff. This movie would never have happened if it wasn't for his performance in the original movie not to mention how cool Pitch Black was and how not bad xXx is. He is no longer somebody I particularly care about seeing in an action movie after this however as he can barely grunt and at one point he tries to smile whilst taking a sip of beer. Bad move Vin. If his inability to act is troubling the fact that he now looks quite similar to That Yellow Bastard from Sin City is downright scary.

I love watching Dwayne Johnson in movies. Personally I think he has some real talent and a massive amount of potential if he can find the right roles. In Fast Five he steals the show completely. His ridiculous beard was obviously required so you could differentiate the two muscly bald guys fighting each other but other than that he is on a whole other level to Diesel.

The franchise now belongs to Dwayne Johnson, if he doesn't kick Vin's ass once and for all then I'm not sure I can be excited for Fast 7. This movie knows exactly what it is and delivers exactly what was expected, nothing more and nothing less.

So that's my first attempt at writing about something I can't take seriously, my first admission of having a dirty little secret, my guilty pleasure is here for the whole world to see. Feel free to criticise in the blahs.


  1. If I've only seen the first installment, would I have a hard time following the story in this one? ;)

  2. I cannot take this seriously either. I'll add it to my watchlist (NOT!)

  3. BT - unfortunately due to the dense plot that heavily relies on previous knowledge of these characters you'll have to resort to finding some enjoyment in the implausible scenes involving cars.

    Tyler - i don't blame you at all. it's mindless, it's cheese, but you could do worse if you ever feel like a night off.

  4. This was far from the worst of the franchise. I enjoyed it because it was so stupid and I didn't have to think too much. You are right about Vin Disel..he has gone of the boil. Maybe starring in mindless rubbish like this has something to do with it??!!

  5. I've got to say they were much worse without him, 2 & 3 were totally forgettable.

    Check out his filmography. I'm blaming his attempt to make disney happy. THE PACIFIER 2005 then pretty much nothing until the 4th F&F in 2009.

  6. HAHAH As you know I fucking loved this film!! Complete nonsense and utter rubbish, just need to stop fighting it and enjoy!!


  7. SL - Bonkers that I enjoyed it? Bonkers that we agreed on a movie? or bonkers for that scene with the cars and the safe?

  8. There totally was a street race, remember where they were waiting at red lights and having an inside-voices conversation across four cars with closed windows, and raced each other for $1 million? In police cars?