Fast Five Review: Fast But Not That Furious

This week, the fifth installment of the automobile frenzy franchise Fast and the Furious opens in theaters. Supposedly, it is so cool that they dropped the “furious” and simply called it Fast Five.

The movie brings us back to the original trifecta of Fast & Furious alums: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster. Director Justin Lin picks the story up where he left off with Fast & Furious. Brian (Walker) and Mia (Brewster)–who are now a happy couple–have managed to break Dominic Toretto (Diesel) free from a life in prison. As a result, they are on the run from the law with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a hardcore, super-rigid cop with biceps the size of canned hams, leading the hunt–and he is hell-bent on claiming the scalp of Dominic.

So obviously, they all end up in Rio and Dom, with his bellowing voice of authority and protruding pecs, propose another “job”: rob the richest, most corrupt man in the city. After they steal his millions, they can all start new lives and never ever have to pull “jobs” like this again (the shallow, albeit successful franchise tells me otherwise). Brian, with a vocal hue of Keanu Reeves a la Point Break, answers, “We are going to need a team.”

Of course they are.

They solicit the help of a band of buddies they have worked with before. The all-star roster includes Roman (Tyrese Gibson). Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), Gisele (Gal Gadot) and some other people who may or may not be worth mentioning (more the latter).

The result is a formulaic heist movie that strips pieces of previous F & F movies and combines it with a less clever version of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11 with Diesel, Walker and Brewster assuming the roles of Clooney, Pitt and Roberts.

Besides scenes in the beginning of the movie and at the end, the flashy presence of cars is quite lackluster–and that is basically on par with the adrenaline-less, drolling chase scenes. With this franchise, overindulgent and excessive automobiles are the bread and butter, right? Well, I only got some low-carb bread and margarine. Car aficionados may find the lack of cars in the movie a boner shrinker.

Normally, I don’t mind Fast and the Furious movies. Hell, I was entertained by Tokyo Drift, but with this 130-minute movie (READ AGAIN: 130 MINUTES), it was less of a joyride and more of an opportunity to laugh at scenes of “intense acting” and cliché moments – and that’s what the movie turned out to be – a big, huge, action-packed bromantic cliché that had me looking my watch thinking, ‘I can’t wait to go home and watch The Voice.”

Fast Five opens in theaters on April 29th, 2011.

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About Dino-Ray

Dino-Ray Ramos is a movie hobbit, social media swaggerist, pop culture junkie, smart-mouthed Asian American warrior, and a well-rounded inhaler of all things entertainment. After uprooting from Texas, he migrated to San Francisco where he shares his irreverent take on high and low brow aspects of culture. In addition to feeding he writes for, Hyphen Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. You can also boost his self-esteem by following his musings on Twitter
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