Mindless, over-the-top action mayhem that never fails to be anything but thoroughly entertaining.
Mindless, over-the-top action mayhem that never fails
to be anything but thoroughly entertaining.
Some time in the
not too distant future you will be able to look up the term ‘Guilty Pleasure’
and find a picture of Fast Five. For all its absurd plot devices and endless
story lines that never quite pan out, Fast Five is so utterly over the top, out
of the world, ridiculous fun it is hard not to sit back and be bombarded by it.
To put it another way, imagine if Michael
Bay films, like Transformers Dark of The Moon, didn’t take themselves too
seriously, had a hint of ‘yes we did just blow up that building for no other
reason that it looked cool doing it’ and you are somewhere close to the fun
that Fast Five brings.
This time out Dom
(Diesel) is in prison and on his way
to a maximum-security prison. Of course life-long ‘Bro’ Brian (Walker) and sister, and Brian’s lady
friend, Mia (Brewster) have other
ideas and bust him out. On the run they head to South America and find
themselves facing down a corrupt businessman who owns the Rio police department
and stashes his money in an impregnable vault in the police station. So far, so
furious, but things get all the more messy when the FBI send a task force, led
by none other than Dwayne ‘The Rock’
Johnson, to find Dom and Brian and bring them to justice.
What then ensues
is a ‘getting the band back together’ mentality as all the supporting cast of
the other Fast & Furious franchise are dragged from all corners of the
globe to help the team pull off a mission that is more ‘freakin insanity’ than
impossible, apparently. So imagine Ocean’s
Eleven, but instead of slick suits you’ve got sick cars, instead of
effortless cool you’ve got macho posturing and instead of intelligent, well
planned heists you’ve got enough in your face explosions and car chases to make
you whoop with delight.
acting might be po-faced and, let’s be honest here, rigid at best the script
never takes itself too seriously. Like Ocean’s Eleven the peril is less real
and more outrageous allowing you to sit back and simply revel in the sheer
audacity of the vehicular carnage on display. Long gone are the days of street
races, there is only really one here and even that is deemed a friendly rivalry
rather than edge of your seat spills. These days the franchise is focused on
the extreme, the testosterone fuelled mayhem and the babes in short skirts and
crop-tops. In other words a fourteen-year-old boys wet dream.
the film has mass appeal based simply on the fun to be had. Make no mistake Justin Lin might not be the best story
teller currently gracing Hollywood, this is his second time in the Fast
franchise having directed the fourth film, but he sure knows how to set the
pulse to high. The climatic chase sequence that sees a bank vault smashing its
way through Rio, destroying enough public property to make the Blues Brothers
smile with delight, is nothing short of spectacular. More than anything you
feel as though you are witnessing actual events as opposed to a computer game
CGI fest that has been injected with occasional green-screened actors. No
wonder Lin is being courted to not only continue with his pedal to the metal on
Fast Six but is also rumoured to be directing the next Terminator movie. Frankly if he looks beyond Vin Diesel, who does a
canny robot impression here, as the unstoppable killing machine he will be missing
should also go to Dwayne Johnson. While his character might be broadly speaking
the most homoerotic thing since Top Gun,
he is so enjoyably macho you long for him to grace the screen more. The smack
down between him and Diesel will practically shake the screen to pieces, in the
best way possible.
Fast Five is like a midnight kebab; its wrong and yet
feels right in so many ways. The advantage here is that the wrapper won’t make
you feel guilty the next morning but rather bring a broad smile to your face
that will probably result in you playing it all over again.