Credentials: 78%, Certified Fresh (Rottentomatoes.com) / 7.3 out of 10 (Imdb.com) / 67 out of 100 (Metacritic.com)
Plot: The fifth in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise finds ex-cop turned crook Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) looking to settle down and make a life with his lady friend Mia (Jordana Brewster). Of course, that’s not easy to do when you’re on the run from the law, so the duo heads south to Rio De Janero, where they rendezvous with Mia’s brother Dom (Vin Diesel), a bad ass criminal with a heart of gold. Before the group can leave their life of crime behind they need to pull off… wait for it… ONE LAST JOB! Can they steal from Rio’s most dangerous drug lord, while avoiding the heavily-muscled arm of the law (federal agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson)? Oh it’s on!
Why it stinks: Bad acting, silly dialogue and a bloated, directionless story. But you know what? Despite those minor faults, “Fast Five” is still a lot of fun… at times.
Those times are usually when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is strutting across the screen, flexing his massive biceps and getting stuff done. Without The Rock’s presence, I probably would have just skipped this entry in the franchise like I skipped the last few. But The Rock, well he just makes everything better.
I’d say he’s not given enough to do, but I get it, this is not his movie. We’re supposed to care about our criminal anti-heroes, but meh. They’re not all that interesting.
For starters, Vin Diesel is all muscles. Whereas, The Rock has huge guns and the charisma to back them up, Vin brings nothing else to the table. Despite Diesel’s inability to act, his scenes with The Rock, however, are impeccable. Pun very much intended. Their fight scene is one of the manliest things ever captured on film.
If the whole movie had been these two going at it, I’d have been fine with it. The problem is, director Justin Lin tries to cram in the romance between Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster. Plus, she’s got a secret she’s keeping from her man. What could it be???
All of this hokey, daytime drama nonsense just gets in the way of the explosions and ass kicking. Considering the movie’s needlessly long 130 minute run time, yeah we could make some cuts. Easy. Just hand me the shears.
The early “Fast and Furious” films were all about street racing and fast cars. This one tries to be an “Ocean’s Eleven”-style heist flick, with cars getting pushed into the background.
I say it tries, because “Fast Five” really can’t totally pull it off.
Heist movies usually have a sequence where the leads assemble a crack team: an explosives guy, a smooth talker, a master of disguise, etc. and “Fast Five” is no different. It has this scene, except that these experts never get the chance to use their skills. The smooth talker never gets to talk to anyone smoothly. The master of disguise doesn’t get to blend in.
Instead of using their cool skills, everyone just ends up being awesome drivers. The big climax? All driving. How very “Fast and the Furious” of you. Look, I don’t mind a good car chase movie, just don’t promise me steak and give me pudding pops.
Worst of the Worst
Any time The Rock is not on screen is time wasted.
If you smell...
There you have it, “Fast Five.” Bumblebee tuna.