Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Fast Five - review

Released ten years after the original film Fast Five or The Fast and The Furious Five, is, unsurprisingly, the fifth instalment of the Franchise.  Following on from it's predecessors The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) and Fast & Furious (2009), this film reunites the original cast core cast members and adds Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to it's roster.

Here's the thing about me and the 'Fast and The Furious' franchise, I've never really been a huge fan.  I don't hate them, I don't love them, they exist, I've seen them, I could get on with my life quite happily without ever having seen them.

The reason for this, I believe is that I grew up in a household which worshipped motorcycles.  My Mum was a biker, my Dad still is a biker, I have been a biker though I don't currently own one, I occasionally borrow my Dads.  We go to bike rallys, we admire cool bikes, I dream of one day owning a Vincent 1948  Black Lightning.

So cars have never really interested me or seemed half as cool as bikes.  Most kids (well, make, British kids at least) grow up worshipping James Bonds cool cars or the Batmobile, I worshipped Biker Mice from Mars.

Vin Diesel, is the man.  He's cool, I would be Vin Diesel in the next life if I had a choice, so I go into watching Fast Five really, just to enjoy Vin Diesel being a badass.

Fast Five's cast brings to the table a good cross section of actors and gives a lot of excitement on the screen.  Fans of the franchise will love the car chases and explosions as the main characters try to pull off their 'Rio Heist'.  The Thing about Fast Five is that it's really a heist movie, rather than a car movie and whilst not as clever as Oceans 11, it's fast paced and fun to watch on screen.

The Rock is a terrific actor, but I feel is a little under utilised in this film, anyone familiar with his previous work knows that he actually has a pretty broad range and is capable of putting genuine emotion and realism into his roles and his part as 'generic angry action cop' in this film seems a little below what he is able to do, but none the less is good.

Now, I genuinely feel awful for saying this, the man oozes cool, he's 43, I don't honestly expect him to have the body of a 25 year old anymore, but most of the way through this film, whenever I saw Vin Diesel on screen, I couldn't help but think, 'Wow, Vin's getting a little chubby.'  Now the guy is still fit, look at his arms, he's still buff, but he's got a little bit of a gut coming in, which there's nothing wrong with, especially when he's now middle-aged.  So I think this is a poor choice of the costume department to keep putting him in tight, white, vests.  If the guy is get the six-pack wielding guy he was 10 years ago (and honestly, who expects him to be?)  Don't put him in clothes which are wrong for his body type.  He's Vin Diesel, he's always going to be cool.

The female love interest for his character is well cast and whenever they share the screen together it oozes sexuality and is straight up sexy.  She does not get enough screen time, along with Jordana Brewster, playing Vin's sister.  This is definitely a 'boys' movie and though there's actually 3 female characters in it, it often feels they are either being sexed up or protected at all times, there's the feeling of them being somewhat objectified and that makes me feel a little dirty.

The Rio slums, biggest slums in the world, provide the backdrop for many of the chase scenes, they are well used and appear in other films doing much the same thing, it works for this film, though one wonders now that they've been beautified in real life, where film makers are going to set their chase scenes in the future.

The secondary cast are good, though a little on the pointless side, the movie could have been made without them and it wouldn't have made that much of a difference.  The Big Bad is played by the Big Bad from Desperado, which made me all excited, though it also made me just want to watch Desperado again instead of Fast Five.

At two hours long, the film feels like it's about half an hour too long, the beginning drags a little, then speeds through what would normally be the middle to climax into the actual middle of the movie where there's many filler scenes where bear little to no importance on the plot, but have a couple of nice character moments.

The plot jumps around a bit with some cliché moments and at times some very silly and unbelievable moments, there's a couple of nice surprises, however, so it's definitely the kind of movie where you just enjoy the ride.  See MST3K Mantra.

Stick around during the credits for a little stinger scene which will prove exciting for fans.

7 out of 10

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