Friday, April 29, 2011

Fast Five

Leaving the street racing behind, 'Fast Five' is a crowd-pleasing blend of 'Ocean's Eleven' and 'The Italian Job.' Made for fans of the 'Fast and Furious' franchise, over-the-top action flicks and heist movies.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language.

Fast Five

For the first time in history, the fifth installment of a drawn-out series is the very best of the franchise. No this is not a belated April Fool’s joke. Fast Five rocks!

Fast Five makes up for the crap they put us through with 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tokyo Drift and Fast and Furious by bringing together every major character from each of the previous Fast and Furious film (with the exception of Lucas Black’s from Tokyo Drift) for an all-out heist film. Take Danny Ocean’s united team, strap them in cars like The Italian Job, set it in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and you have Fast Five.

Five opens right where four left off. Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and his girlfriend Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) are about to spring her brother Dominic (Vin Diesel) from a prison bus on a desert highway. Of course, the driving is insane and the gigantic bus crash even more so. Driving two separate cars apart from one another to avoid getting busted together, the three of them make their way to Rio to hide away with Vince, a Toretto gang character we have not seen since the original movie.

Having traveled so far, the four of them are “running on fumes,” so they take a job stealing fast cars impounded by international D.E.A. agents on a speedy locked-down train. In the process, they grab the attention of and piss off two deadly forces: Reyes, the Brazilian crime boss (Joaquim De Almeida, Clear and Present Danger) who owned the cars, and Hobbs, the meanest head-hunting U.S. special agent (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Faster).

When Mia becomes pregnant, our foursome decides they need to get out of this lifestyle and stop running, so they plan one big heist. Their plan is to steal all of Reyes’ dirty money, all the while evading Hobbs and his team before making their way to a country without extradition. But with nearly everyone in Rio being corruptible, the job seems impossible. So they employ the use of their friends.

Tyrese Gibson and rapper Ludacris return as Roman and Tej from 2 Fast 2 Furious. Sung Kang returns as Han from Tokyo Drift and Fast and Furious. Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon and Don Omar return as Gisele, Leo and Santos from Fast and Furious. And just as the credits begin to roll and you call me an idiot for claiming that every major character is back, don’t get out of your seats. Midway through the credits you will get a short scene that gives you two others and a teaser for the plot of Fast Six.

Summer blockbusters hit the screen a week early this year. Fast Five is pure popcorn entertainment. Although nearly all of the stunts are unbelievable, it is still full of crowd-pleasing fun. For anyone who digs caper movies, fast cars and a ton of car wrecks, do not miss Fast Five. The century old question of “Who would win in a fight between ‘The Rock’ and Vin Diesel” can now be answered – but you will have to see it for yourself.

Photo credit: Universal Pictures

4 out of 5

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