In a nutshell: Forgetting what made this franchise so great in the first place
Popcorn rating: 3/5
Set in the sweaty favelas of Brazil, Fast Five sees the old team of Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), Vince (Matt Schulze) and even drippy sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) reunited with some of their old running pals from previous flicks to take on the local bad guy – while being hunted down by a crack FBI team led by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
So far, so rip off of Ocean’s Eleven – but was it any good? Well, what can I say? Er, not really.
Remember that movie you fell in love with when you were young? The one movie, maybe Star Wars or Indiana Jones, that you could watch again and again and again. The one that, to you, was what movies were all about. Well, The Fast and The Furious was the one for me, the one that ignited my love of film, of fast cars, of stupid, brainless action. Hoping to relive the innocent joy of my youth, I have welcomed each and every movie in the franchise with unbounded glee – all the fast paced dross that was 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tokyo Drift and Fast and Furious.
I just don’t know how much more disappointment I can take.
Okay, to be fair, Fast Five isn’t the worst of the franchise and it does have The Rock Johnson facing up to Vin Diesel in proper, old school hand-to-hand combat. That was pretty good. It has some fast cars too, including a great action piece involving stealing top of the range sports cars from a speeding train, and even a few (too few) car races, to get the blood pumping (though they completely and inexplicably omit one massive race where Dom wins a new car – did I mention my disappointment?).
No, Fast Five isn’t the worst film in the fast and furious CV, it just could have been so much better. It could have been brilliant. It could have been a contender. Instead it sees the team getting twisted up in a frankly ridiculous heist, all the while warbling on about family, flexing their sizable muscles and forgetting what made the films so good in the first place – the cars, the races, the adrenalin.
On the plus side, a cliffhanger ending (stay till after the credits to see it) means there may well be a number six on the way – and come on, you know I’m going be right back there in the cinema with my popcorn and coke, hoping…