Monday, May 9, 2011

"Fast Five" review: ridiculously and jaw-droppingly AMAZING!!!

Who would have guessed that I'd not only go to see a "Fast and Furious" movie in the theater but that I would ACTUALLY LOVE IT!!!

I originally had no intention of checking this out as I've always given the "FF" franchise a wide berth. Suddenly the movie premiered and was greeted by a whole slew of amazed reviewers praising it as the best in the series. Even a couple of people I know who never cared for these kinds of films said it was great. O.K. so now we had to go. And OH MY CHRIST does the movie deliver!!

Vin Diesel, who decided after breaking free of the franchise to seek bigger movies that just didn't work then beat it back to the money train, is again onboard after his initial return in "Fast and Furious". Not having seen that movie, I actually just learned that "Fast Five" picks right up where "Fast and Furious" left off. Vin and Paul Walker head a sort of Ocean's Eleven group to rip off $100 million from Brazilian corrupt businessman Hernan Reyes (who portrayed Ramon Salazar in "24"). Walker and friends have sprung Diesel from the prison bus that was taking him away for 25 years and now they're hiding out in Rio to figure out what to do next.

This is an incredibly INSANE, HIGH OCTANE movie!!! The action at times is so amazingly jaw-dropping that I could barely contain myself in my seat, letting slip a few serious hoots and hollers along with other members of the audience. The climactic sequence involving two high powered cars driven by Walker and Diesel pulling a giant safe full of money through the streets of Rio starts out almost cartoon like. This has some serious WTF moments that are joyfully ridiculously and laughingly fun at each turn...and I LOVED every minute of it!!! An early train car heist sequence is a very cool and stylized stunner as well.

Dwayne Johnson plays the elite commando-like law enforcement agent whose team is closing in on Diesel and Walker's gang while they amass the members (some from earlier "FF" movies), the tools and the tricks necessary to make it so they'll be set up for the rest of their lives. Of course everyone waits in anticipation for the ultimate smackdown Johnson and Diesel will have. On a side note, I have to say it's great to see The Rock getting his groove on in this kind of an action movie. I was getting tired of all of these comedy and Disney roles (like "The Tooth Fairy") which seemed to steer him away from Schwarzenegger's action crown. Even though Johnson has a great comedic timing and is genuinely funny, I've really been wanting to see him crash some cars and pump some bullets of late. Here, we absolutely get those kind of meat and potatoes!

O.K. yes this story has been done before. But the fun element of an oversized robbery with fast cars, a streetwise team and the swagger of a couple of current action giants brings this movie to crazy, CRAZY heights of out-loud 'OH MY CHRIST!'-inducing AWE!!! Plus there are several curve balls nicely placed throughout, especially during the climax.



At May 10, 2011 at 6:31 PM, Anonymous Bismo said...

Okay, thanks for the review, I just might try this one myself! Like you I've mostly stayed away from the franchise after the first one (which I DID see and liked okay), I had no idea they'd made an FF3, much less a 5!

At May 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

Yes, definitely go for the ride because it's seriously sweet!


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