Monday, May 30, 2011

Fast And Furious Five (2011)

There is nothing I love in the summer more than some dumb action movie that puts logic squarely in the back seat in favor of high octane thrills. There is no way that the escape plan that starts the movie and gives Vin Diesel's character Dom his freedom would have ever worked but it's a convenient way to get over the little problem of his 25 year jail sentence from the last 'Fast and Furious' movie.

Like everything else in this film the story doesn't linger too long on anything that doesn't advance the story and this one is chock full of story. The filmakers know exactly who their characters are and give the audience more that what they are looking for from any ordinary action moive.

This movie assumes that you already know the back story of it's three main characters - Vin Diesel as Dom, Jordana Brewster as his sister Mia and Paul Walker as Mia's boyfriend and the ex-undercover agent who tried to bring down Dom's car stealing ring in the first 'Fast and Furious' movie and was the one responsible for putting Dom in jail in the first place. However his respect for this outlaw and the love he had for the outlaw's sister, makes him chose the life of a fugitive. Check out the trailer from 2001's original.

I also appreciate a movie that doesn't show me the same stunts I have seen a thousand times. There is a hiest of cars that takes place at the beginning of this movie, the likes of which I guarantee you have never seen before. The way Vin Diesel, Jordan Brewster, Paul Walker et al steal those cars off a moving train is both thrilling and original.

Setting the movie in the Rio is also interesting. From the crowded slums to the beautiful beaches the city is another interesting character and one that isn't often the setting for this type of movie.

I am a fan of Vin Diesle when he plays roles like Dom. He is only slightly less bad ass than his other famous character, Riddick, from 'Pitch Black' and 'The Chronicles of Riddick'. He is the 'man with the plan' who is really all about the family he creates with the people he choses to surround himself with.

Another huge surprise was Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) as a hard, take no shit D.E.A Agent who is hot in pursuit of our car stealing trio after three D.E.A agents are killed in the train job. I loved him in this film. It was a huge get to bring in an action star of Johnson's quality in such an important supporting role. He just elevates a whole important sub-plot that I believe would not have resolved itself in such an awesome way with anyone else in the role.

If that wasn't enough of an obstacle to overcome for our 'heroes', there is a Rio crime boss, Reyes, (Joaquim de Almeida playing another version of the same bad guy he has played reliably for the past couple of decades) who is after a computer chip that is in one of the cars that was stolen.

That chip contains information that gives our trio reason to put together a crack team of individuals with the kind of skills necessary to not only bring down Reyes but insure that they will never have to live the fugitive life any longer because stealing this crime boses money would insure it. That's when the movie really got interesting for me.

I enjoyed how even with this large of a cast, we were allowed to get to know a little about everyone gathered for this job. Each is quirky and interesting so that when things go down we actually care about how it all turns out for them There is a nice couple of scenes at the end where we get to see thier immediate futures.

I don't want to spoil it for you but let me say that like everything else in this movie, the hiest plan fit right into the goofy logic of the world this movie creates and it was the last thing I ever expected.

So high marks from me for a viewing experience that was not only exciting but full of cool characters that I would be happy take another ride on the wild side with. I so appreciate a film that didn't fall into the same old predictable trappings of a genre that can often be by it very nature, predictable.


I posted the trailer because that is my habit with my reviews but I encourage you NOT to watch it if you want to fully enjoy this movie. It is a terrible trailer. Watch it until 2:01 because the end contains a major spoiler. Go back after you have watched the film and tell me if you don't agree with me.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fast and Furious meets Ocean's Fourteen - I thought it was awesome!