Fast Five (2011)
2011, Dir. Justin Lin
130 min., Rated PG-13
Starring: Vin Diesel, The Rock, Michelle Rodriguez, Bucho
I don’t care about telling you the entire stinking storyline and throwing spoilers at you. I mean, if you’re reading a review you either a) have seen the others and plan to see this one, b) have seen at least one of the others and aren’t going to see this anyway, or c) are that rare and innocent being who doesn’t know jack about this franchise. If you’re C, sorry about your luck.
Anyway, this movie pushed a lot of my buttons. You’ll see that below. Spoilers? Whole stinking movie told through a numerical listing of things that ticked me off. But you know what? That’s all beside the point. This is a POPCORN FLICK. It’s not really supposed to be well-written or make sense all the time. It’s FUN. It’s playful. Shit gets blown up and people fight and girls wear short skirts and cars drive really fast.
Here’s the short version. Dom is being taken to Lompoc to serve 25-life. The crew saves him and they all go on the lam, and all of them wind up down in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. They steal the wrong cars and Bucho gets really mad. Unites States federal mad dog squad (headed by The Rock) comes down to fetch them ALL back. . . or just kill ‘em. The crew decides that instead of getting the hell out of Dodge they should stick around and fight a massive group of armed, trained professionals because they all want to retire. It’s not really a racing movie. All you’re going to see by now is either A) Vin Diesel, or B) Vin Diesel in a fight with The Rock, or C) auto racing. There’s almost no racing, so if A or B doesn’t do it for you don’t bother going.
It IS fun. Waching The Rock and Vin beating bloody hell out of each other is fun. Seeing a “car chase” at the end is fun. Looking at Jordana Brewster is fun. Laughing at Paul Walker’s acting ability until I realize how much more money he makes than I do. . . not so much.
But HERE is is the entire film, listed in terms of what ticked me off:
1. When bus hits car, bus does NOT FLIP. Car should go smoosh instead. Busload of convicts flips and crashes and. . . no fatalities? It should be convict soup in there!
2. When stealing cars in the desert, why keep turning? It’s FLAT. Just point the car where you want to go and wait for a little while. It’ll come.
***Oh, yeah. There is one cool thing at this point. It took seeing it to make me realize this: I can’t recall actually watching Vin Diesel just beat on someone’s face before. Punch here, punch there, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen his just pound a guy’s face into hamburger. Impressive. Most impressive.***
3. Paul Walker is hanging by one hand from a bouncing, burning truck when there is a big explosion three feet from him. Still he hangs on. If you want to kill Paul Walker, folks, just kill him. He’s never going to leave this franchise alive, anyway.
4. Beautiful car shoots off of the back of a truck that’s hanging onto a train, lands on the left front fender and then roars off into the desert. . . with NO DAMAGE AT ALL.
5. Car drives off of a cliff. Xander Cage does not have his parachute. Vin and Paul plummet maybe 200-250’ into the water and surface about three seconds later. THEY SHOULD BE JELL-O OR OIL SLICKS. Even if the fall didn’t kill them, it would take a hell of a lot longer to get back to the surface than that.
6. Pretty city cop just happens to know a particular dirt road that has been washed out but knows it picks up again after a mile and just happens to lead directly to the favela where she somehow knows the crew is hiding. Yep.
7. Rooftop racing: If a human jumps off of a rooftop and falls 20-25 feet – even if he DOES know how to roll just right – he does not sprint off at full speed right afterward. Not even Vin Diesel.
8. U.S. Government agents running through an incredibly densely populated slum in one of the largest cities on the planet and they’re shooting through walls, cars, presumably people. . . and nobody thinks to point out that this is way worse than any crimes their targets are accused of. Literally hundreds of rounds fired in a slum by US agents and nobody on the Brazilian police force bothered to tell them they’re not allowed to do that.
9. Cute lady cop finds and keeps Dom’s bling. We all know there will be a cathartic moment later when he gets it back. We all saw First Blood Part II.
10. The DEA magically knows how to find a handful of people in a city of something like twenty million people. It’s not like they’re in cars with Lojack. Just individual people, and a group of cops who only have one interpreter find ‘em just like that.
11. Paul has knocked up Jordana, and Vin joins them for a group hug. WTF?! He then delivers a Hangover-esque speech about how his family just grew by one. Sweet. Not that they’ve done a lot of character development for Dominic Toretto, but if he WAS okay with it he would still beat the shit out of Paul Walker for diddling his sister and THEN welcome him to the family. He gives off that vibe.
12. You’re on the run in a slum, surrounded by potential informants who know bad men with guns are after you. Yet it’s totally cool to stand on the balcony of a much nicer house at night, lights shining on your faces, drinking beer and talking about your feelings about fatherhood.
13. “We’re gonna need a team.” At that moment, an entertaining car racing franchise decided to become a heist film. It’s Ocean’s 49 or Mission: Impossible or M.A.S.K. Great.
14. Out of a squad of maybe five American federal asskickers, two just happen to know how to disassemble and reassemble a Ford GT40. Yep.
15. Both the feds and the crew need interpreters. Until about 30 minutes into the film. Then they can all understand Portugese police radio chatter.
16. Aforementioned feds run a computer check to find known associates of Dom Toretto’s who may have come to by plane, train or boat into Rio in the last two weeks. Literally, it takes two seconds. Gwinnett County PD takes 45 minutes to respond to a burglary.
17. I’m in a country for just a few days and I don’t know the language, but I’m pretty sure I can get into there and get the make and model of that safe ‘cause we’re going to score one later and learn how to break into it.
18. Again, I’ve been in a country for a few days and now I have a radio-controlled, indestructible car with a camera mounted on it, and it can receive a signal through foot-thick walls of a vault. Not bad.
19. Bathroom’s all messed up and the cleaning company they call happens to be the one whose uniforms two members of the crew have. I’m glad the crew apparently has those wiretaps in place on the POLICE TELEPHONE.
20. In a police station, you use crowbars to break through walls and you make a huge amount of noise. You’re in there because of backed-up toilets. Nobody thinks that’s unusual.
21. Everyone in a car theft ring becomes Mr. Wizard. Stole a bunch of cars? That means you know how to manage all kinds of technical devices that people from MIT invent.
22. Some car racing punk in Rio knows all about Dom’s reputation in street racing. Really.
23. Lots of buildup to a race and the winner gets to keep Papa Smurf’s car. Car racing movie. They don’t show the race.
24. If these people are all on the run and financially tapped out enough that they have to go back to jacking cars, how do they get a copy of the cop vault delivered?
25. Flip side of number 10. In a city with millions of people, the crew manages to find Bucho eating breakfast at a café.
26. I’m sure glad our car thieves know how and have the equipment to lift a full hand print off of the bottom of that girl’s bikini!
27. How the hell did you hack into the HSA secured computer system? What is this, Independence Day?
28. Follow-up to Number 9. Dom gets his bling back from cute lady cop and they have a deep and emotional discussion about what it means to lose someone you really care about. She doesn’t shoot him.
29. Stealing cop cars, then sitting in front of the police station for two minutes while challenging each other to a street race ON THE CAR LOUDSPEAKERS. . . and nobody thinks to poke their heads out of the station to see what’s going on.
30. Shady character Vince (from the first one) – a man whose intents have been suspect throughout the whole film- manages to find Mia in an outside market in one of the most crowded cities on the planet. He races her out of there as the cops arrive. She doesn’t really wonder why that’s unusual.
31. CLICHÉ. Fight between Dom and The Rock. Rock puts his guns away. It’s going to be an honorable fight, apparently. So much for Mr. Serious Lawman.
32. The fight we’ve all been looking forward to is all close-up with quick cuts so that we can’t SEE THE FIGHT.
33. Next scene, neither man has a really messed up face. Neither Vin nor Rock hits hard enough to bruise someone or split the skin, apparently.
34. CLICHÉ. Vince gets shot, and in his dying breath asks Dom to look after his son. “You know we named him after you.” I threw up in my mouth a little.
35. Vin Diesel has a scene that shows his emotional acting ability.
36. Who cares if people I care about are dying and that my sister’s pregnant? This job is STILL ON!
37. Again, cop truck hits horizontal light pole, flips.
38. “It was always the plan.” Go on without me. It’s okay that I die since you’re safe. Vin Diesel delivers Bruce Willis’ speech from the end of Armageddon.
39. It’s Lord of the Rings: ending after ending after ending after ending. . . .
40. Dom Toretto, the last several years of your life have been ruined because of the trouble you’ve gotten into through racing. Friends have died. Now that this is over, you’re going to get back into racing? Really.
41. Stick around after the credits for the surprise and wholly improbably plot twist! I think I just threw up a little.