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Who Said Action Films were Dead?
You ever seen a film that you expected to hate before even seeing it, then it totally blows your mind away, as it proves you wrong. Well, "Fast Five" is one of those rare movies. Normally, when I see the trailers for most films, I can tell right away if I'll like it or not. However, there are some films that the trailer will look great, but the movie will flat out stink like "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer." Or, the trailer will look horrible, but the film turns out halfway decent like this one for instance. That's why I always make it a point to clear my mind of preconceived expectations of any film that I review; prior to viewing it. And, it was a good thing that I did, as this film kicks major a** as an action movie.
Like the "Expendables" last year, "Fast Five" reminds us that an action film doesn't necessarily need to have the most elaborate storyline to entertain us, as sometimes the essence of making a movie that's just plain entertaining can be equally as important. After all, most viewers would agree that escapism is the primary reason to watch films these days, and "Fast Five" plays on that concept wonderfully.
Although, one would think that I would loath this film, as there's a lot of flaws and loopholes within the story's logic. Like for one, I'm pretty damn sure you can't haul a freaking bank vault with two midsize sedans at high speed, while the police chase you, as I'm fairly certain the roads would've been blocked. Plus, I'm fairly sure with modern technology, there's no such car that exists that would be able to move fast enough to avoid detection by a surveillance camera. Unless you can find one that moves faster than the speed of light, and I know that's freaking impossible to do with any car, at this time.
However, with all logic be damned, I actually found myself enjoying every minute of this movie. Sure, the acting was a bit stale, and you knew what to expect throughout the entire movie, but it was never boring. Watching Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson go at each other was a nothing but pure fun. It was almost as exhilarating as fathoming what if Stallone and Schwarzenneger would've been enemies, in a film, during their younger years, as they almost were in "Rocky IV." Unfortunately, Stallone wanted an unknown, so action fans never saw a Stallone vs Schwarzenneger movie. However, it seems today that Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson are the new action star icons of today's generation. Sure, their films may never reach the plateau of greatness that Stallone and Schwarzenneger achieved, but they proved with "Fast Five" that they can be every bit as entertaining.
Before I go any further, I'll briefly describe the story for you. Former cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), on the opposite side of the law. Since Brian and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) broke Dom out of police custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. Unfortunately, he's not the only one on their tail, as hard-nosed federal agent, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can't separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey, before someone else runs them down first.
Indeed, it seems like the director, Justin Lin, wanted to take all the elements of the "Fast and the Furious" franchise, and turn it into one big heist film with car chases. Does it work? Why yes it does. Unfortunately, as I stated earlier, the story leaves a lot to be desired, as some of the of the action sequences kind of defies the laws of physics when you stop to think about it in context. Then again, I doubt seriously most people will even care if whether or not two sedans are strong enough to haul a bank vault, or why is it that the bad guys are such horrible shots when shooting at Vin Diesel; especially when he's standing in plain freaking site! But hey, it's a commercialized action film with good looking girls, buffed dudes shooting stuff, and fast cars during some intense chase scenes, so what do you expect?
In the end, I'd have to give this film a two and a half out of four. It's certainly not the best action film that I've seen, but it's definitely one of the most entertaining. I highly recommend it for those yearning for a good old fashioned action film that doesn't require you to think too much. However, if you yearn to watch a action film that has more substance, in terms of story, then I'd probably avoid this one at all costs. But, it's fairly entertaining for what it is.