VOD film review: Fast Five
Ivan Radford | On 06, Jun 2013
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Watch Fast Five online in the UK: Apple TV (iTunes) / Amazon Instant VIdeo / TalkTalk TV / Google Play
Fast Five as a title makes no sense at all. They might as well call it Fast Fast Fast Fast Fast. In fact, everyone could say everything five times, just to make it all more exciting. And so the boys are back for more cars cars cars cars cars and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – who’s so fast and so furious he’ll punch you in the face five times before you can even type his name once.
That’s the main draw of Justin Lin’s sequel: Vin Diesel’s follically-challenged rival Hobbs (Johnson), a butch cop determined to hunt down Dom Toretto (Diesel) and Brian O’Connor (Walker). It’s an inspired piece of casting: nothing in life is as satisfying as watching Vin Diesel and The Rock beat each other up like two very angry baked potatoes.
That face-off sets the tone for the rest of this outing. Fast & Furious fans will be pleased to see familiar old faces behind the wheels of the hot rods again. But Chris Morgan’s script doesn’t let them hop in the driver’s seat for long. In fact, there are only two car chases in the whole movie: one at the beginning, one at the end. The first involves a speeding train, the second… well, it’s safe to say it’s equally ridiculous.
Toning down the cars is a smart move for the fifth entry in the series. At one point, we’re shown the build-up to a race, only to have the whole sequence skipped over completely. This is closer to a straight heist movie and all the better for it. It’s like Ocean’s 14. With cars. And a bald man in place of George Clooney.
Of course, Fast Five gets bonus points for setting everything in Brazil. Rooftop chases and bustling Rio streets are Hollywood’s equivalent of “piss-up” and “brewery”, but Justin Lin keeps the visuals frenetic and never lets minor things like plot or characters get in the way of big guns and loud music.
Is it ironic? Probably not: it casts 24’s bad guy Joaquim de Almeida to play exactly the same Mexican bandit as he did in Desperado. But the movie’s straight face only makes it more fun. For all its lack of imagination, Fast Five has oodles of money and a crazy number of bald men to entertain you with. And it does that insanely well.