Vin Diesel vs. The Rock. ‘Nuff said.
What’s that, blog reader? It’s not enough? Oh, I see. Here goes, then. The Fast and the Fiveous is a high octane thrill ride that speeds along at a frantic pace, leaving plot and character in the dust. But that’s ok, because all we care about is who wins the race. The movie gets into gear with the opening scene and never lets up. Sure, it’s low quality. I know, the writing is bad and the characters’ choices make no sense. And yes, watching Vin Diesel try to smile is a painful experience. But in the end, you’ll find the whole thing stupidly entertaining.
In fact, it was so stupid that my brain sort of shut off while I was watching and I’m having serious trouble coming up with anything useful to say. Did I already mention that Vin Diesel fights The Rock? Basically, if that sounds good to you, you’re gonna love this movie. Otherwise, steer clear. But if you feel like reading on, be warned that my mind is not firing on all six cylinders. Five Fast Five Furious picks up where the last one left off (as if anyone’s keeping track), with Dom (Vin Diesel) in jail. It takes all of 30 seconds for some stunt driving to flip the prison transport bus he’s on, sending Dom twirling towards freedom–and man does it flip, over and over and over and over, until it comes to its final resting place. Boom: title screen. What an opening. Though there were only 6 people in the theater, it immediately filled with cheers. The movie must have anticipated my fear for all those poor prisoners’ lives, for shortly after the title, we get a news report assuring us that no one was harmed. Dom and co. would never hurt an innocent prisoner.
From there, we launch into a kickass train sequence with all sorts of fighting and stunts that would leave the main characters dead a dozen times over (I’m looking at you, 500 foot fall off a cliff). But who cares? It’s awesome! That’s sort of the theme of Fiveous in case you hadn’t noticed. Unlike Source Code, which fails because it tries to be smart but is instead riddled with errors, this movie succeeds with flying colors. It tries to be dumb, so we watch it on its own terms, accepting everything that doesn’t make sense.
For example, the characters are totally weak and one-note. Doesn’t matter how many cops Vin Diesel kills. He’s not a bad guy. He just loves his sister and gets put in tough situations. We feel so much empathy for that dude. Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) isn’t just a cop who turned against the force and became a car-stealing criminal. No, he’s a guy with a wife. How can you not feel for him? Especially when his wife is extra hot. She is, after all, the lovely Jordana Brewster. She doesn’t do a whole lot, but not only does she have an amazing body, but also she’s pregnant. Gotta care about her if she’s got a baby in her belly. The characters make all sorts of irrational decisions and have no depth, but they’re exactly good enough.
The cops are even worse though. Dwayne Johnson’s motivations are all over the place, and his sexy partner lets her lust for Vin Diesel’s muscles get in the way of her job time and again. In another film, these might be problems, but in Five Furious, everything’s already so ridiculous we just don’t mind. Like I said, we get to see Vin Diesel fight The Rock. That’s all I need, and it’s probably the highlight of the movie. My friends and I kept shouting “Ohhhh” when someone would land a particularly devastating blow (which happened like every other punch). I’m pretty sure the other 3 members of the audience were as into it as we were.
When people weren’t fighting or smashing things, the movie did start to drag, however, and not the race sort of drag. Every once in a while I’d catch myself actually listening to the dialogue, which was a big mistake, because I’d overhear things like this: There’s a basically uncharacterized Hot Girl repairing part of a car or something. The also uncharacterized Asian Guy walks up and says: “You really like doing that stuff, huh?” Hot Girl thinks a normal response to that question might be something along the lines of: “When your life is on the line–that’s when you learn about yourself.” Then Asian Guy says: “That’s a fair deal.” Deal? What deal? Are these people even talking to each other? The exchange makes absolutely no sense, which apparently gets Hot Girl off, cause next she flashes this overly flirtatious look, followed by a cut away. What a beautiful scene. But hell, when the two of them hook up while driving at the end of the film (very dangerous. do not recommend), I was happy for them. Why not?
Why not? I’m pretty sure that’s what the screenwriter must’ve said whenever someone questioned one of his scenes. But it works! I mean, this is an action movie first and foremost. Whether or not it’s a good film boils down to one thing: how much did it kick ass? The answer to that question, my friends, is A Lot. I mean, Dom literally rips a 20 ton bank vault out of a wall. Before this movie, if you’d ask me how many times I could be entertained by seeing a giant bank vault smash a cop car while being dragged along the street chained to two sleek racing vehicles, I’d probably have said four or five times. But now I know the truth. It’s dozens and dozens of times. Scores of times! Vault smash this car. Vault smash that car. Vault smash one car. Vault smash two cars. I think the movie actually states that the vault smashes every single cop car in all of Rio. A very impressive feat by anyone’s standards, to be sure.
There ya go. Fast Five is pretty awesome. Shut off your brain and turn on your, I dunno, eyes? If you go to this expecting B-grade entertainment, you’ll have a great time. Fast Five does a surprisingly good job of keeping up the excitement at all times, and as long as you don’t listen to the dialogue, there won’t be a single dull moment.
Score: 3.5/5 ¢
Alignment: Spectacular Crap
Was anyone else constantly afraid that Mia might have a miscarriage when she was jumping off of roofs and crashing through windows and flying around hairpin turns?Follow @russnickel