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FAST FIVE (2011)

>> Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vin Diesel? More like Vin Regular... Paul Walker? More like shoot me in the f**king face...

What do you get when you mix The Italian Job with Ocean's Eleven and throw in a little bit of Fast and the Furious? You get Fast Five, a movie that has almost nothing original to offer. Does that mean you won't have a good time? I guess it all depends on what you're looking for in film. If you're a fan of the first four films in the series, than yeah - you'll probably enjoy this fifth installment. Don't expect any racing though. The one time Fast Five even hints at an old school race akin to any previous films, it cuts it out completely - which is kinda bullshit. I think including a simple race for pinks in this film would have shown just how far the series and characters had come. Instead, Fast Five ignores that point as if to comment on how it's past all that juvenile shit and is now focusing on what the series has become - a heist thriller that we've seen a million times.

But I digress and for a brief second will focus on the plot of Fast Five so you know a little more about what I'm speaking of. Brian O' Conner (Paul Walker) and his now-preggo girlfriend Mia (Jordana Brewster) have ended up in Rio de Janeiro looking to lay low after their previous adventure. To be honest, while I saw Fast and Furious (the fourth one), I couldn't tell you what happened just because it was that forgettable. In Rio, the couple meet up with Vince (Matt Schulze) and the hero and brother of Mia, Dominic (Vin Diesel). Vince says he has a job for them and it's easy money - but when it's at the beginning of the film, you know it's anything but. Of course, it is and they end up getting into some big shit with the drug lord that runs Rio - Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Reyes isn't the only one trying to bust their nut either, enter Federal Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) who isn't taking his sweet time tracking down the fugitives.

In order to make it out of Rio alive and have enough cash to disappear from the Feds forever, Dominic, Brian and Mia must do one final job to land them enough cash to make sure they're never found again. But it won't be easy - they have to rob a ginormous state-of-the-art vault. How will they do it? With the help of all of their Facebook friends, played by several gust stars that have appeared throughout all four of the films. Just when you think it's getting exciting - they hatch a plan that's more lame and less enjoyable than both The Italian Job and Ocean's Eleven - and I do mean less enjoyable. Cue the exit of interest, and commence the remaining 100 minutes of running time.

Now, am I being hard on a movie that I did have had some fun in? No. As aforementioned, I think fans of the whole series may have a good time. My problems lie in the unoriginality, style and beats of the film that seem to be shameless when it comes to ripping off other movies - especially when none of the material seems to come from any of the previous four films in the franchise. Like, come on! You have fans there already - expecting nothing short of an equivalent to what you've already set up and they don't get one damn decent race? This is all outside of the fact that Paul Walker still can't act himself out of a cardboard box and The Rock's lines sound as if they were written by someone with ADD and an affinity for bad, cheesy movie lines. I don't know if The Rock knew they were bad and played them up, or if he thought his lines were a serious thing - all I know is that I've never rolled my eyes so much at a character. Talk about a movie that never ends - and I do mean that. Just when you think Fast Five is over, be prepared to spend another ten minutes in the theatre - this includes the additional 'bonus' scene that appears about five minutes into the credits. So fans of the franchise - stick around.

Obviously, Fast Five is getting its fingers slammed in a closed car door. I think when it comes down to it, while I had a semi-good time in this film, I'm disappointed it didn't end up better. The beginning gave me hope, the cumulative cast showed promise and it was a great opportunity to restart the franchise anew and give us confidence in the upcoming sequels. But it did none of those things. Instead you end up with cheesy lines, a ripoff premise and vault scene (which is partially in the trailer) that defies the laws of physics. Fast Five may be fast, but it didn't pull a fast one on me - I know a bad movie when I see one.

*Stills courtesy of Universal Pictures


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