It’s not that I didn’t like the Royal Wedding, it’s just that I needed something to wash the taste of it away and Fast Five is perfect for the job.
Somehow this movie franchise manages to keep itself from going into the ridiculous zone that most movies that hit three sequels go into. Maybe it’s the overdose of steroids injected into nearly every scene. Maybe it’s the muscle cars and the edge of your seat driving. Maybe it’s the ridiculous tough guy dialogue. This form of escapism still works for me.
This time, Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his racing buddy Brian (Paul Walker) find themselves in Rio de Janeiro, assembling a crack team of thieves, anxious for a big payoff in one final heist. Yes, that does sound like Oceans 11. No worries about how they got here. You’re caught up within a minute of the intro credits. There’s a few twists; a pregnant girlfriend, a evil Brazilian power monger and Super FBI bad guy catcher Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) on their tail.
The end credits warn you not to replicate the stunts you see in the movie. That’s good, because I considered jumping my Honda Civic off the side of moving train, then later dragging a gigantic bank vault attached to a wire behind it. Seems like something I could pull off.
Still, you can’t really pick apart the stunt work. Its one piece of a ridiculous pie that has hot chicks, reckless driving, muscle flexing and automatic weapons on the ingredient list. These are all good things. I’m just happy they pulled it all off with a straight face.
Another part of the reason that these super-charged movies work is because of the honor among thieves. When he’s not flexing his muscles, Dom is the patriarch of his band of bandits and his number one rule is family first. You’d think people willing to rob another person of millions of dollars would be more focused on the money. No, Dom raises his bottle of beer and says money will come and go, but his patched together family is more important.
A technical side note. In my opinion, this is not the fifth Fast and Furious sequel. There are five movies that bear a one form or another of the title: The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast and Furious (2009) and Fast Five (2011).
Tokyo Drift featured neither Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, although Diesel had a cameo. In 2 Fast 2 Furious, Diesel was absent. I say since muscle guys and muscle cars have to go together and since Diesel is the muscle, Drift and 2 Fast don’t count.
Then, calling this movie Fast Five wouldn’t really make sense, but who cares? Just drive the damn car fast.