Fast Five (2011)

Movie Photo
IMDb Rating
7.3 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

Former cop Brian O'Conner partners with ex-con Dom Toretto on the opposite side of the law. Since Brian and Mia Toretto broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro,

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(Based on 0 Ratings)
MPAA Rating:
130 Minutes
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Justin Lin
Chris Morgan

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on April 27th, 2011

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What a difference three movies can make, huh? I vaguely recall watching the first installment in what I had no way of predicting would be a Fast & Furious franchise. I neglected to see the following three movies. Prior to my screening of Fast Five, a local radio station threw t-shirts out to the audience in exchange for correct answers to INSANELY SPECIFIC trivia questions relating to the Fast & Furious series.

Walking in basically cold on this fifth installment is like hanging out with a tight-knit group of friends and struggling to decode their intricate series of in-jokes. Every sigh of recognition the crowd gave upon favorite characters sauntering onscreen made the distance between Fast Five and me grow.

So ... these movies are about cars, right? I seem to remember The Fast and the Furious revolving much more around street-racing, and less around murder and drug lords and daring heists. Fast Five is pretty unrelenting in that regard. And the one time that it seems like a drag race is about to break out, we just cut to another scene after the presumably awesome race is over.

But never mind. We catch up with our three heroes, Toretto (Vin Diesel, sedated and pushed in front of the camera), O'Conner (Paul Walker, blandly handsome) and Mia (Jordana Brewster), as Toretto is being broken out of jail. As you know, O'Conner used to be an undercover officer before learning the simple joys of drag racing. After the three flee to Rio (and we get treated to the first of one million helicopter shots of that giant Jesus statue), they get sucked into a "simple job," that turns out to be so not simple.

From then on, the three - and their colorful group of racers - must face off against Brazilian gangs, drug lords and a federal agent played by Dwayne Johnson. Johnson, it must be said, is a one-man-army of silly, straight-faced one-liners, and very nearly succeeds in single-handedly raising the movie up to a kind of ?ber-macho absurdity.

For as many shoot-outs and chases as the movie boasts, its chief export is dialogue, and there is a whole bunch of it. Fans of this series, as it turns out, are quite emotionally invested in these characters and demand in-depth updates and revelations about them - except that none of the three leads are really up to the challenge of emoting. Or, you know, acting like humans. Every speech that Vin Diesel gives about la familia is more unintentionally funny than the last.

Here's something weird: In the F&F universe, Fast Five, along with all the other installments, is apparently supposed to take place before The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which was made in 2006. So, we are to believe that - even though the leads have aged 10 years since the first F&F installment - Fast Five takes place before 2006. Either that, or Tokyo Drift exists in some bizarre vision of a future where everything just looks like 2006.

It's a shame there wasn't more on the screen to keep me from once again pondering time travel. - Two stars

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