Fast Five

Rated PG-13 130 min. 2011

I cannot make a case that Justin Lin’s latest Fast & Furious entry Fast Five is exactly a good movie. But I also can’t deny that it’s a generally entertaining wild ride that’s fun for most of its length. The story picks up where Fast & Furious (2009) left off with Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) breaking Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) out of a prisoner transit bus by causing it to crash and roll over several times. Since they’re the good guys, of course, no one is killed in this preposterous jailbreak. The movie’s like that. You either go with it, or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’re probably going to be unhappy. Since the law frowns on this sort of thing, everyone heads south of the border with Brian and Mia ending up in Rio to wait for Dom. But money’s tight, so they agree to take part in a patently absurd heist involving — wait for it — stealing cars off a moving train. I don’t believe the sequence for a second, but it’s undeniably a splendidly executed blend of action, stuntwork, CGI, and plot. The ridiculous train set-piece is what drives the rest of the movie, since there’s more here than meets the eye. It’s not the cars that are really wanted, it’s something in one of the cars, something involving the DEA and a Brazilian drug lord named Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). This cannot be good. But it’s worse than that, because our heroes are going to get fingered for killing some DEA agents, which means that ultra-hard-ass Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is sent to Brazil with a small army to take them down. This isn’t about reality, believability, logic, or anything else. It’s about guys with necks that are bigger than their heads driving fast cars and engaging in various bouts of combat, armed and unarmed. It’s about seeing Vin Diesel square off against Dwayne Johnson with the latter being so bad that he spits out a mouthful of glass after he crashes through a window. (Perhaps he bit his way through the glass.) But here’s the point: it’s done with some style and some elan, with action scenes that actually fit together, and with a degree of obvious respect and fondness for its characters.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.fastfivemovie.com

Director: Justin Lin

Writer: Chris Morgan

Producer: Vin Diesel and Neal H. Moritz

Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon and Don Omar

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Fast Five

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