Friday 22 April 2011

Fast and Furious Five - Review

Remember the A-Team TV series when the only time we saw blood was when Murdoch life was briefly threatened by a bullet?  I sat watching Fast Five last night being constantly reminded of this.  Along with constantly being reminded that we were in Brazil.  More on that in a moment.

Having never been to see a Fast and Furious movie, yesterday I asked Twitter what I should expect.  The responses were many and varied.  Actually they weren't.  Essentially fast cars, pretty girls and BOOM.  And on those levels Fast Five hit the spot brilliantly.

It opens with one of the most ludicrous stunts I've ever seen in a film.  Van Diesel is on his way to a life sentence for stealing one too many cars or something and his buddies break him out by flipping the prison bound coach.  It tumbles along a country road, bits fly off, glass breaks, it crumples into an almost unrecognisable mess.  No one dies.  I chuckled in my seat.

Next up we are in Brazil, Van Diesel his sister and her former cop boyfriend all on the run together.  There's some references to going to other countries which don't have extradition treaties with the US, which sort of begs the question, 'Why go to Brazil in the first place?'  The answer to that appears to be to get some nice shots of the favelas and the Christ statue from a helicopter.  In case you don't realise where the film is set director Justin Lin slips in a few regular fly byes of the statue to keep you in the loop.  By the umpteenth time we'd seen it I wish I'd started counting.  There's a drinking game in there somewhere.  'Hello Jesus,' take a shot.

Not knowing the backstory didn't seem to have much of an impact on understanding what was going on, the dialogue didn't get far beyond, 'Stay out of my fucking way,' but in a film like this it barely matters.  I sat there giggling at the words, smiling at the pretty girls and watching in awe as cars and vans and bad lines flew past at a rate of knots.  Fuck yeah.

The Rock is fucking massive isn't he?  Yep, The Rock is in it.  Do his close friends call him 'The'?  He's a 'cop' or something sent down form the States to catch Diesel and his friends and send them back for another high security coach journey.  It's all guns and grumpy with The Rock.  He and Diesel square up a couple of times, they have a fight which ends up looking like The Hulk v's Sasquatch: walls come down, minor tremors are felt in Argentina etc. 

It is at times laugh out loud ridiculous.  The trailer had shown a huge safe being dragged through Rio by two cars and the scene is wonderfully cartoon like.  It reminded me of one of the crazy missions from GTA where you'd have half of the worlds police trying to stop you so you kill them all.  And beneath the surface of this buddy movie with cars there's a lot of messy deaths by huge steal safe, but thankfully we're spared that and just focus on the crushed cars.

It's throw away, the dialogue is awful, the stunts are ridiculous and I'm pretty sure at thirteen I would have thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.  Unfortunately, I'm 38.


  1. "Unfortunately, I'm 38."

    So, does that mean you didn't like it? F&F is my guilty secret - I've enjoyed the previous F&F as escapist rubbish, like James Bond. Was this not the same?

    I'd be interested in what you think after watching one of the earlier ones.

  2. I liked the stunts. It is escapist, and there's nothing wrong with that, but the acting at times was so wooden I chopped it down and built a shed.