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    May 7, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: FAST FIVE

    FAST FIVE or FAST AND FURIOUS 5: RIO HEIST (18)

    Genre: Action/Crime
    Release Date: 5 May 2011
    Running Time: 130 minutes
    Distributor: Universal Pictures (United International Pictures)
    Director: Justin Lin
    Screenplay: Chris Morgan
    Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Dwayne Johnson

    Plot: Since Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) broke Dom (Vin Diesel) out of 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. But 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.

    Review: Exactly ten years ago, we were introduced to the first film that established the franchise as we saw it today. Back then; fast cars, hardline racing, hot chicks and undercover life were proven to be the correct formula to establish one hell of an action movie. Ten years later, some of the portion of fast car has been ditched for some action around ala the styles from 'Ocean's Eleven' or 'The Italian Job' but the proportion of sheer action and fast drive are still imminent. The fifth "Fast and Furious" series is now out in the cinemas nationwide and it brings in something pretty much different. After a somewhat lack in luster about the story in the fouth outing, how is this new one fair among all?


    Following the events in “Fast and Furious” where Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment, former FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torreto (Jordana Brewster) pull out a daring attempt to free him from the prison transport bus. They agree to meet in Rio de Janeiro but the ‘broke’ couple (Brian and Mia that is) accepts the offer from their friend Vince (Matt Schulze) to steal three cars from a freight train. Dom soon arrives to help but they realize that their targets are property seized by DEA and need to steal only one specific car, the Ford GT40. Mia steals the car back to their safehouse but Brian and Dom are captured by a Brazilian corrupt businessman Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) who owns those cars, for which they manage to escape.

    Implicated by false accusation of murdering three DEA agents, U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is sent to Rio to track down and to catch Dom and Brian back to the United States. Meanwhile, realizing something is not right about the car they stole, they found a computer chip from the car, shown to contain all information on all Reyes’ illegal business activity involving money laundering worth over $100 million. So the trio decide to organize a team to perform a heist on Reyes’ money by bringing in Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang), Roman Pearce(Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacris), Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), Tego Leo (Tego Calderón), and Rico Santos (Don Omar).


    Call it a dream team or what ever you can; the fifth installment of the popular series comes back in a different note this time. Instead of another film that deals about racing to the finish line and undercover life, screenwriter Chris Morgan and director Justin Lin choose a different path for the new film – a heist job. On paper, this is the third film that follows the proper storyline only to have Dwayne Johnson to join in for extra-testosterone power. I must say that Fast Five exceeds my expectation brilliantly. There is always a doubt about how the franchise could work again following a dismay fourth entry. Unlike “Fast and Furious”, the story and plot for the fifth one seems to have more sucker punch, concretely solidified with reasons and justifications. It has stackable issues and dilemmas that float around swiftly as the movie progress. Justin Lin has a unique approach on making a film so enjoyable. He attends the storyline with care while constantly crafting a high-octane action packed riddance with those nitro-charged cars. A result that leaves Fast Five emerges as the best in the franchise, a feat seldom achieve by any sequels.

    With such a sleek direction from Justin Lin, one still wonders at the ridiculous action sequences. The movie managed to prove certain laws of physics do not exist in the world of Fast and Furious. It seems brainless to have two sedans chaining themselves to the bank vault, dragging them at high speed along the streets of Rio de Janeiro while been chased by the police. I assume that the vault does not drag them along when they make those corners. It seems brainless too when you thinking that stealing cars from a speeding train can be done easily by paralleling a truck, razors the side of the freight train, pull it over to the truck and let it roll to the ground and steer away. After all, it is not a sin to violate such practical styles and proving science laws to be wrong, as long as it looks ridiculously fun and enjoyable. Sure, Fast Five adapts brainless actions but it makes itself proud for still, a good reason. For that Fast Five crosses the line with the chequered flag.


    The cast is by far the largest you can think of. Now with ten peoples doing the heist job, all seems a piece of cake for them. Call it the dream team if you want but these characters do not need any building up explanation because it is obvious that if you know your Fast and Furious stuffs, these characters will be easy for you to spot on their expertise. Another thing to note is that the cinematography of the city Rio de Janeiro is still as majestic as we have seen in the animation Rio, just that this time it is for real. In the end of the day, Fast Five is sleek, loud with action and engine roars that manifested itself with the unthinkable action sequences. P/S there is a post-credit scene.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 4.0
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.5
    Effects: 4.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 16.6
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