'Fast Five' (dir: Justin Lin, 2011), Cert: 12A
Yes, it's back. Honestly, I'm not lying. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return for the fifth picture in the 'Fast and Furious' franchise. Fast cars, beautiful women and men in far too tight t-shirts seems to be a winning recipe and director Justin Lin is taking full advantage of it. This will be his third feature in the series and it's clear he's trying to shake off the horror that was 'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift' (2006). This film sees some old faces and indeed new ones, and with it's pretty long running time of 130 minutes, it needs a lot more than bikinis and muscle cars.
Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (Walker) team up once again to pull off a huge heist in Rio De Janeiro in which they plan to rob the city's biggest drug lord. However in order to succeed in this massively complex and dangerous task, they are going to need a lot of help. They gather a crack team including Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges). But whilst they are planning this ginormous robbery, FBI federal agent Hobbs (Dwanye Johnson) and his team are plotting to bring Toretto and O'Conner to justice.
The first thing that struck me about 'Fast Five' was the reviews; like usual I expected critics to bash this movie to kingdom come but I was surprised to see the amount of positivity regarding it, even from some of the harshest journalists, but I can understand why because actually, this is a very good film indeed. There seems to be so much more to it than the odd Dodge Viper and some cheesy rap music; it's almost as if Lin and his crew have sat down and actually thought about ways in changing and indeed improving this franchise. Nothing feels rushed, or forced upon, nothing feels empty or misplaced; it feels like it's own individual feature and I think that's great.
The direction is wonderful and presents skill, passion and energy; seeing as this is Lin's third outing, it's obvious he understands the environment and world of these movies but here he has broken old traditions and has turned down some of the absurdity. There isn't as many semi-naked women, or one-liners; he's found that balance between ridiculous fun and sensibility. I'm not saying this film is 'grown-up' because it's not - it still has silly dialogue and impossible scenarios, but the tone and processes of the movie seems more thought-out and calculated.
|Still from 'Fast Five' (dir: Justin Lin, 2011)|
Gallons of testosterone, fuel and muscle mixed with crafty camerawork and an engaging narrative. 'Fast Five' isn't just a pleasant surprise, it's a generally great movie.
By Chris Haydon