Justin Lin’s Fast Five

I have discovered the key to watching and enjoying the fast and furious series is to go in with no expectations.  Because I had no expectations going in, it blew them away. Of course, I was comparing to the previous Fast and Furious, and this was head and shoulders above those, but that’s not terribly hard.   Granted you absolutely have to maintain suspension of disbelief, as tiny cars overturn giant armored buses and haul enormously heavy steel encased safes across miles of city road, but if you believe that Vin Diesel and Paul Walker somehow have the capability of doing that without accidentally killing anyone, then you’re set.

Justin Lin has come a long way from Better Luck Tomorrow.  This movie is jam packed with nitrous filled  large moving vehicles inexorably and inevitably crashing into each other at explosively high speeds, hot girls being able to drive AND tune up/tear down vehicles and master incredibly complex military-grade software and beefy big guys slamming on brakes and getting into fights.  Oh yeah, and tons of gun fights with ridiculously large weapons.  In rio.  In other words, it’s a teenage boy’s wet dream.  But, it’s actually also strangely enjoyable for many of those not in that particular target demographic.

You know, one thing I was surprised about was the lack of high speed car chases that were in the other films.  And yes, in order to do research and prepare myself for the movie, I watched the first two movies.  I realized afterwards it would have been helpful to at least watch fast and furious (number 4) in the series as well.  It’s not 100% necessary, but it helps in terms of understanding the background of the story.  And know the characters.  Cuz fast five is all about the all-star cast getting together for a dumber, more violent. ghetto-er version of Ocean Eleven-style heist in Rio de Janiero, with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker as the George Clooney and Brad Pitt characters respectively.  Yeah, it wasn’t so believable to me either.  They even have the pair of dumb squabbling brothers who liked to do more of the technical stuff.

That said, it did have a number of redeeming factors that were maybe a notch better in this version of the elaborate heist.  First of all, eye-candy.  Paul Walker and Tyrese….HOLLAH!!!  I’m not a Vin Diesel/the Rock type of gal myself, but if you’re into that, there’s a lot of that action goin on too.  Secondly Vin Diesel and the Rock square it off, which to me, was the best part of the movie.  I always kinda thought they were the same person, and to see them duke it out on the big screen was just kind of trippy honestly.  I kept saying to myself, wait which one is winning now?  They’re both just so big!  Like Vin Diesel’s arms are like tree trunks, but then standing next each other gives you an idea of exactly how MASSIVE the rock is.  Gianormous.

So in other words, if you can ignore the obvious inconsistencies with the laws of physics, plot holes, predictable story-line and 2-dimensional characters, and focus just on the incredible action-packed sequences and on-screen eye candy, it can be an enjoyable experience and in all honesty, probably one of the better action films for the summer….$5

Recommendations from …:
Oceans Eleven
Fast and Furious Series
Bourne Identity

P.S. In addition to making sure you watch Fast and Furious 1, 2, and 4 before watching Fast Five, I recommend staying through the credits if you do watch Fast Five.  I don’t necessarily know if it’s worth it per the press about it being a big surprise, but it’ll probably help if you ever plan on watching Fast Six.

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