High Octane Thrill Ride
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson
Stars: Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson
RANT: I did enjoy visiting family during the Easter holiday. I saw my parents, my grandmother, my brother, my sister an her family, and my aunt. But all of that visiting left nothing for movie going. Of course, I did pull The Conspirator out of my hat to keep movie fans satiated, but I know cinema fans require and deserve more. This is my attempt to "rectify certain inequities" (name that quote, if you dare)!
SYNOPSIS: Dominic, Brian, Mia and a new crew find themselves pursued by a relentless federal agent after they unknowingly pull a car heist for a Brazilian drug lord.
Justin Lin, director of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and 2009's Fast and Furious, returns to the franchise with the non-colon (:) fifth entry of the series with Fast Five. Already, Fast Five more than doubled the Universal Pictures midnight launch numbers set by Fast and Furious with a $3.6 million haul, setting a record as the biggest midnight start ever for Universal Pictures. Since Fast and Furious reenergized the franchise with a $359 million box office, a fifth film was a given. The question is whether Fast Five is super charged or asleep at the wheel.
Fast Five is mix of mint classics we demand to see in all of Fast films like Vin Diesel's Dominic, Paul Walker's Brian and Jordana Brewster's Mia. Some models that were cool off the assembly line in 2 Fast 2 Furious, but never saw enough track time come back in Five like Tyrese Gibson's Rome and Ludacris' Tej. Sung Kang (Han Lue) has been around since Tokyo Drift and is back in action. Characters Tego Leo (Tego Calderon) and Rico Santos (Don Omar), who originated in the 20 minute Los Bandoleros, returned in Fast and Furious and again in Five. Hell, even Vince (Matt Schulze) comes back from the original. And, of course, you have the 2011 models with the new car smell still intact with Dwayne Johnson as the Federal heavy hitters pursuing Dominic and his pit crew.
Based on a concept that was set to be the followup to The Italian Job, Fast Five has all the ingredients for a phenomenal high-speed cat-and-mouse actioner. Diesel as Dominic is the ex-con with the heart of gold and code of honor that we can all root for. Walker as Brian is still the ex-federal agent just starting to get used to a life on the lam. Tej and Roman are the first tier of male-bonding comic relief, while Leo and Santos fill in the rest.
The crew has to pull one more job after dropping on the radar of Joaquim de Almeida's Rio drug kingpin Reyes. In tow is The Unit's Michael Irby as Zizi, Reyes right hand gunman. Reyes is a professional but brutal tyrant, while Zizi is just brutal. On the other side of the coin is Dwayne Johnson's federal manhunter Hobbs, who O'Conner coins as an "old testament" hail of bullets hunter.
The action is fierce and fast, each chase more accelerated and more dangerous than the last. From the bullet raining getaway across the Favela's shanty rooftops to the third act vault heist that spills into the downtown streets, almost action moment is adrenaline filled. A perfect blend of exotic locales, deafening engines, an impossible heist, relentless adversaries, levity, honor and family, Fast Five may be the best of the franchise.
Just be sure to stay through the first half of the end credits for a sneak peek of possible story lines.
WORTH: Opening Night and BluRay