Ten Thousand Bytes of Cinematic Critique
Is this the best movie from the "The Fast & the Furious" (Perhaps just "The Fast", now) series of movies? Yeah, probably.Does it make the most sense? No. Is it the smartest? No. Does it have the best car races? Shit no, because it left that staple in the dust and replaced it with car CHASES. Fast Five is a really good, really stupid, brawling, blazing, heist/action movie. And it was a great direction to take the franchise in, speaking as someone who had absolutely no fondness for said franchise.Even though Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson do quite a lot of stepping towards each other and sticking out their chins, they have to beat their mutual attraction out of each other, as you'd expect from a fanboy bromance come to life. Compared to the eye-rolling acting on display in, say, Fast Two (Formerly known as 2 Fast 2 Furious), which had Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson bickering like pre-divorcées and rolling around on top of each other, Fast Five seems to have proudly claimed mastery over bromantic action movies. Good for them!I feel like stressing how profoundly stupid some parts of the movie are, but appealing to your sense of fun by explaining that nothing stupid on the screen last more than a second or two, and the film doesn't try stacking or compounding its follies. It thrusts them out in front of you quickly, then brushes them away with an explosion, or explosive gunfight, or neat little fistfight, or a cut to the next scene.It's a movie full of delicious appetizers, all of which technically have no nutritional value but probably can't give you a heart attack. If there is a problem (Besides the movie being stupid), it is that these appetizers are dished out a little too infrequently, and your waitress isn't refilling your drink as often as she should be. The dead time is filled by staring at the TV over the bar, which is replaying the same five minutes of a Brazilian newscast. You wonder to yourself, Is this hell, or an analogy?I liked the movie! Check it out if the other Cars Are Fast movies bored you a little!
Just caught up with this. While there's some neat stuntwork and plenty of things going boom, there's also an incredibly ill-advised, miserably confounding hour-long lull in the middle. In it, the principle group of characters plan a heist. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this, but the plotting is left unnecessarily cryptic. Clearly, the film-makers wanted the details to be a surprise. It's quite frustrating, then, to discover that the entire plan consists of ramming a car through a wall. That's it. Why on earth did that need an hour of Vin Diesel staring at maps immediately preceding it?If some fan edited this down to sixty minutes you'd have a darn fine (albeit still stupid/juvenile) action movie.
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Pioneers of the pixelated comic form of movie review and the Sound Bytes podcast, Byting Reviews is THE name in film criticism.