|Screen shot from Doom|
Fast Five answers my question with a reassuring smile and a sensuous back rub. This, the fifth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, picks up right where Fast and Furious: Faster and Furiouser left off; Dom (Vin Diesel) is on a bus, heading to prison, while his buddy, Brian (Paul Walker), and sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), head a team of fancy car drivers, intent on jail-breaking him. It's the opening scene, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they are successful. Breaking out of jail is kind of a big deal, though, so the trio head South to Rio de Janeiro. Once there, they find themselves strapped for cash and take an ill-advised heist job. They were hired to steal some cars from a train, and they were going to be working with some sleazy dudes. It turns out that the dudes worked for drug kingpin Hernan Reyes (Joaquim deAlmeida) and the cars on the train were actually his seized property; that means that the DEA is escorting the cars, too. One thing leads to another and the good guys wind up stealing a car that has a computer chip with Reyes' drug operation basically programmed into it; in the process, though, the bad guys kill the DEA agents and place the blame on Dom and Brian. That brings in some heavy hitters from America, like DSS agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), to bring in these rapid and angry hoodlums. The rest of the film has the good guys on the run from the police and the drug dealers, and trying to figure out a way to turn the tables on Reyes. Preferably, in a manner that would include cars.
|...like ghost riding the whip|
How's the acting in Fast Five? Man, I'm hilarious.
Actually, the acting is about what you'd expect from a movie that is all about wrecking cars. Vin Diesel won't win any awards for this one, but he acts tough and delivers some truly awful dialogue with enough conviction to actually sound reasonable. This was the meanest character I have seen Dwayne Johnson play, but he was a serviceable mean good guy. Basically, his job was to look enormous and frightening enough to make a musclehead (Diesel) look tiny, and he succeeded.
|His bicep is the size of her waist|
|Pictured above: enough acting to fill a tiny, tiny hat|
Honestly, though, does any of that really matter? These actors are just in place to provide a weak excuse for extended chase sequences. Fast Five absolutely excels in this regard. Who should get the credit for this? Maybe director Justin Lin. This is his third Furious movie, and each one is better than the last. That doesn't take much, since Tokyo Drift is truly one of the worst movies I have ever seen, but the entertainment value of his past two films is undeniable. Perhaps the credit should go to the stunt coordinators. Whatever the case, Lin deserves some recognition for not letting too much character development get in the way of some pretty cool ridiculous stunts.
|Waiting for a stunt, or emulating Pacino in Cruising?|
Fans of the franchise should note that Fast Five maintains the homoerotic tension that made it famous. That is why people went to see the first one, right? This time around, it's not about Diesel and Walker, or Walker and Gibson; this movie is all about waiting for the fight scene where Diesel and The Rock would start squirming on the ground and "accidentally" start making out. I won't spoil when or if that happens, but I think we all agree that it should.
|This is what it sounds like when doves cry|
As ridiculous as this movie is, I actually genuinely enjoyed Fast Five. It's not trying to be anything but a big budget action movie, and it's a pretty solid one. The plot, while still convoluted as all hell, makes more sense than any of the other F&F plots to date. The stunts are pretty wicked awesome; I'm not a car guy, but some of these car stunts are spectacular. Most importantly, the film delivers on the promise of having two of this generation's baldest and muscleiest men pound the crap out of each other. My only complaint is that Diesel and The Rock never shook hands while flexing their biceps, like Carl Weathers and Ahhnuld did in Predator. I won't go so far as to call this a great movie, but it is certainly fun to watch. Fast Five is definitely the best and Furiousest film in the series to date.
As an added bonus, here's a Vin Diesel sound board I stumbled across. Personally, I prefer sound boards that focus on one or two words per button, but this one is still pretty fun to play with.
Vin Diesel (Sound Boards animation) | Watch more