Big Screen :: Fast and Furious 5

May 3rd 2011


I drive a Mitsubishi Mirage. It isn’t even mine. I don’t know how old it is, or what kind of engine it has. I know where the petrol goes, and that it is red. I haven’t seen The Fast and The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift or Fast and Furious, but I have admired their innovative approach to sequel naming conventions. I guess this means I am not in the target audience for Fast Five. Whatever. Its a slow week, and I have to review something or FBi will get mad. One week I reviewed The Last Airbender. This is a bit like that.

I had always kind of hoped that Vin Diesel and Paul Walker played characters named Fast and Furious in these things, but they don’t. They play two guys on the run for all the stuff they got up to in the previous four films I guess. Finding themselves in South America they accept a simple heist job that involves stealing classic cars out of a moving train. Unsurprisingly, this turns out not to be very simple at all and they wind up with none other than The Rock himself on their tail, not to mention having pissed off the biggest crime lord in Rio. Like they give a shit though. Instead of hauling ass in their muscle car and fluorescent neon Hyundai, they hatch a scheme to rob the crime lord’s banks, which are similar to the Bendigo Bank in that they are located in a tin shed and are just chock full of women in bikinis counting money. They get a crew together which, based on the inevitable assembling the team montage, appear to be from the other films as well.


Vin Diesel always seemed to me to be a bit of a movie star mistake (see above). He is funny looking and generally a pretty terrible actor. Here he is supposed to be this bad ass, but spends most of the movie wearing a tank top and white pants while scowling. It isn’t very convincing. When The Rock shows up he just blows him off the screen in terms of presence, despite the obvious handicap of having legs where his arms should be. The Rock was great in this, by far the best thing, which says it all really. I should probably tell you what I thought about the movie though. Its pretty terrible. It is much more concerned with its giant ensemble of characters than it is with its own story, which wouldn’t be so bad if the characters were not such wankers. With both Ludacris and Tyrese, it also features double your recommended dose of 'Rappers' turned 'Actors'. There was plenty of unintentional laughter at some of the ridiculous lines and crazy action, though that said, I liked the way its set pieces were so unashamedly over the top. Director Justin Lin (who was the critically acclaimed director of Better Luck Tomorrow before he was the critically maligned director of three The Fast and The Furious movies) shoots them well. His use of CGi, which should be the natural enemy of any car chase movie, is actually pretty seamless, and you can tell they spent a bunch of money on it. I was impresssed. Not with the movie though. It was stupid.

Fast and Furious Five is out now.


Read more from Nick La Rosa