Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: The Fast and the Furious #5
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris
Director: Justin Lin
Release Date: 29 April 2011
Length: 131 minutes
Movie Rating: PG-13
View Format: DVD
Former federal agent Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and ex-con Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) flee to Brazil to escape a long prison sentence. Desperate for some quick cash, they make a bad call and get involved in stealing a powerful drug lord’s cars. The theft goes all wrong and three DEA agents are killed during the heist. Blamed for killing the federal agents and with the most powerful drug lord in Rio (Joaquim de Almeida) on the hunt for the information they stumbled across, Brian and Dom have to find a way to start fresh and elude capture by the best federal agent the US has to send, Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
The Fast and the Furious franchise went through a rocky patch when Vin Diesel bailed after the first movie was over. I gave up on the series after watching the horrible 3rd movie, Tokyo Drift, but decided to pick it back up again after I heard that the original cast was coming back in this one. I am glad that I did as I was not disappointed! This movie was fun, action-packed and full of surprises. I am not what you call a car lover, but the way they filmed this movie made me fall in love with the vehicles that they used in the movies. I can barely drive a stick shift, but I was lusting after the muscle and race cars that they drive in this film! The car thefts and chase sequences were really well done and had me on the edge of my seat. I wish that I saw this movie on the big screen, however, as I am sure that the stunts are even more impressive.
Paul Walker is a handsome boy who is solid in his role, but it is when you pair him with Vin Diesel that he becomes something better than average. There is something special about the combination of these two opposites that really works. Bring in a set of supporting actors including Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Tego Calderon and you get plenty of laughs with all the boys showing off and acting macho. Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot, Elsa Pataky provide plenty of eye candy for the target audience of the movie, but unfortunately are not given very big roles to really show off their acting chops. While Vin Diesel and Paul Walker get top billing in this movie, Fast Five is an ensemble movie that is at its strongest when the actors are sitting around talking and making fun of each other.
The main problem with this movie is that the lines between the good guys and the bad guys are so blurry that they are practically non-existent. The crew breaks Dom out of a prison bus in the first scene of the movie and they just continue to break more laws as they go along. Compared to the drug lord (Joaquim de Almeida) in the movie, Dom’s crew look like angels, but that isn’t saying much. Dwayne Johnson plays Agent Hobbs, a by-the-rules lawman who has no gray in his vocabulary. Everything is either black or white and Dom and his crew are definitely in the black. I was rooting for Dom’s team the whole way, but I had to remind myself that they are not the good guys. I wish that there was some way for them to redeem themselves and clean the slate, but it is not going to happen in this movie.
If you are looking for a high-octane thriller with plenty of exciting car chases and an overload of testosterone (most of it very attractive), look no further than The Fast and the Furious series. Now that Vin Diesel is back with the regular gang, I am looking forward to seeing more hot cars in my future!
This movie contains a lot of violence and death. Characters are shot, blown up and beaten to death. The good guys don’t always win. There are scenes with strong language, sensuality, sexual humor and innuendo, pregnancy out-of-wedlock, and drinking. The main characters steal cars for a living and do everything they can to avoid the police. Police corruption in foreign countries and the drug trade is a strong theme in this movie. Make sure that you talk with your teenagers about what is right and wrong before or after they see this movie. Recommended for ages 13 and up.