“Fast Five” Keeps the Fast and the Furious Alive

The Fast and the Furious movie series burns more rubber in the 2011 installment “Fast Five.” The movie set April sales records at the box office, but was it a deserving champion?

“Fast Five” follows a great deal of the characters that have popped up in the film franchise as they band together to rob a drug lord of his money. The bad guys are not the only problem though as a special law enforcement task force has been sent to capture the protagonists as well. One last job and they all disappear; that always turns out well, right? The movie stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, just to name a few.

The Fast and Furious franchise consist of movies that I consider to be guilty pleasure viewing. You may not want to admit you like them, but they work as mindless entertainment, even perfect for repeat viewing. The first movie “The Fast And The Furious” remains the classic best for the series in my opinion, but “Fast Five” spins right into second place.

“Fast Five” does not rely on a great plot or great acting. It is all about the action and creating set pieces for fun and pandemonium. “Fast Five” leaves the illegal street racing scenarios behind and takes a stab at the heist film genre, which purist (if there is such a thing) have every right to complain about. However, it still works and Vin Diesel himself is no stranger to changing movie types while being the same character ala the character Riddick that he portrayed in “Pitch Black” went from the horror, science fiction genre into the science fiction action genre with the follow-up film. This fast sequel does not cut any new ground and does not stand up next to many heist films, however, it is not going for that exact tone. It’s not trying to be “smart,” not exactly. “Fast Five” is best when approached as a “The Expendables” type of movie. The characters will be delivering their lines in all seriousness and you might laugh, and if the filmmakers are worth their salt they surely were self-aware of this aspect.

The action is high octane and over-the-top ridiculous, and sometimes the scenes were not perfectly handled, but an A+ isn’t needed to get a passing grade. “Fast Five” was better than the previous sequel “Fast and Furious” in which action seemed to take the back seat to poorly delivered emotional drama and a murder/ revenge mystery.

After the credits of “Fast Five” there is a small clip giving a peek into what direction the franchise may go in another sequel. I liked what they came up with and think it is a step in the right direction for fixing some of the wrongs perpetrated in the previous sequel. Of course I cannot tell you what I am talking about exactly, so you will have to go see the movie yourself. Yes, “Fast Five” is a nice action flick to go watch at the theater and I am not surprised at all of the moolah it raked in.