“Everything that was tried succeeded; everything that had been tried before was perfected.”
Last night I had the absolute pleasure of watching Fast Five, and I had honestly forgotten just how much I love that fucking movie. Fast Five picks up right where Fast & Furious leaves off: the gang is breaking Dom (Vin Diesel) out of (a) prison (transport bus). But you can’t just break someone out of (a) prison (transport bus) and then do whatever, no you have to go on the run; and that’s exactly what these guys do. The movie then takes us to Rio de Janeiro where they start to commit crimes again. But this time Luke Hobbes (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a very angry FBI agent, is the only thing standing in their way of the biggest heist they have ever pulled off.
What I love about Fast Five is that it is like The Avengers for the Fast and Furious franchise. Fast Five manages to take every single movie in this franchise, all of which had not much more than their names in common, and finally make us believe that they are part of the same universe. Of course Brian O’Conner is still in touch with Roman Pearce, of course Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) still works at the FBI, of course Han still hasn’t gone to Tokyo yet; all of these things were only wishes until Fast Five brought them all to life. And to add to taking things in the right direction: Fast Five finally embraced just how fucking absurd the premise of these movies are. Finally we have characters actually enjoying themselves while they make quips and drive really fast dragging a ridiculously heavy vault behind them. Fast Five finally understood why fans of the franchise are fans of the franchise; and because of that they gave us exactly what we’ve been begging for since the beginning. This sense of fun is going to be a big topic to discuss, so let’s break it down into categories. First of all Fast Five finally decided to amp up the action that we are seeing. I appreciate that the other movies tried to keep the action closer to reality, but finally we can truly have fun with what these characters are doing. I don’t care about two dudes racing down a road, but I do care about two dudes racing down a road with a huge block of metal dragging behind them destroying everything in their path. I want every single action scene in every Fast and Furious movie to be the real-life representation of how little boys play with their toy cars. I want outrageous stunts, big explosions, and gimmicks that only a child (or a man in touch with his childlike wonder) could come up with; and Fast Five delivered on all points. And its not even just the big stunts that got amped up, but the smaller scenes as well. Finally Fast Five embraced what we’ve all been thinking, and made every character a fucking superhero. Now they can jump off of rooftops, engage in some of the most brutal hand-to-hand combat I’ve ever seen, and stand in the middle of gunfire and still be home in time for lunch. I appreciate Fast Five because it knew what it wanted to be, and it didn’t try to be anything else. Fast Five literally perfected everything that the other Fast and Furious films tried.
Now to continue on let’s talk about the acting in Fast Five. There have been concerns in the past with the acting in many Fast and Furious films, but I think this change in tone helped that a lot. There wasn’t one performances in Fast Five that I thought was bad; every single actor added to the film in their own perfect way. The funny characters got a chance to be funny, and the serious characters got a chance to be serious; but what’s important is that the movie didn’t sway too far in a single direction. Sure the funny characters were funny, but they could also be serious when the film called for that. And the same goes for the serious characters being able to laugh at jokes, which helped to lighten the mood at times and make sure that the audience was having fun. And I truly am happy to see Han again, if only to get a second send-off for his character. Speaking of characters, the inclusion of The Rock in Fast Five might have been the best god damn decision in the history of the world. Finally we can have an equal for Dominic Toretto, a man who beat a guy within an inch of his life with a socket wrench. And this isn’t even wishful thinking on my part, having The Rock in the movie payed off almost immediately with a fucking amazing fight scene that really cements my superhero argument from before. Seeing these two characters exchange blows was some of the coolest shit I have seen committed to film, and I’ve seen some cool shit. Every single thing in this movie is fucking flawless. Even the effects were amazing, which is surprising considering how big some of these stunts were. It’s hard to put into words just how much I love Fast Five. Hell, even the story manages to be engaging by introducing a heist element; and it turns out that Fast Five is also a great heist film too. Everything that was tried succeeded; everything that had been tried before was perfected. Fast Five might just be a perfect movie.
Overall Fast Five managed to perfect the formula for the Fast and Furious franchise. It upped the action, lightened the tone, and introduced The Rock which really speaks for itself. Fast Five is a great movie for Fast and Furious fans, and people who have no idea what the Fast and Furious is alike. From the second the movie starts to the second the movie ends it is pure, unadulterated fun.
I give Fast Five an A