18 Movie Reviews in 18 Days #16: Fast Five


Remember how I said that the first Fast & Furious movie writers must have Point Break before they wrote the screenplay? This time around the screenwriter watched Ocean’s 11.

Fast Five picks up right where the fourth one left off with a daring prison bus break out. I would argue that this prison bus scene is more absurd than anything they’ve done in previous movies and that’s really saying something.

Once they’ve rescued Dom, the group head down to Rio De Janeiro where they meet up with the one guy still alive from the first movie that we haven’t seen, Vincent. Vincent, as you may recall, told Dom back in the first movie that Brian was a cop. Dom ignored him and bad things happened. Since then Vincent went south of the border, hooked up with a girl, had a kid and seems to be doing just fine for himself. And he’s even got a job for them to do.

Vincent’s train job is fairly elaborate and crazy. It makes the bus thing seem normal. But things don’t go as planned of course. Later, Vincent tells them what they should do. Dom ignores him. Vincent points out that Dom never listens to him and bad things happen. And it’s about this point that I realize Vincent is 100% right.

Meanwhile, the powers that be have sent Dwayne Johnson and his team of guys to capture Brian and Dom. Unfortunately, that’s not their only problem, that train job that didn’t go so well, has royally pissed off the guy from Clear & Present Danger who played a South American Drug Lord. In Fast Five he also plays a South American Drug Lord.

Having botched the job they were supposed to do (in which admittedly the drug lord’s guys were going to kill them in the end), they’ve wound up with a list of safe houses that the drug lord keeps his money and a desperate need to disappear. So the plan is to steal $100 million from the drug lord, but to do that, they’re going to need a team.

If you’ve seen the other Fast & Furious movies and Ocean’s 11, then you know what happens in the rest of the movie.

For a franchise that started out focusing on racing, there’s a distinct lack of races. By my count there was exactly one and it was just for fun. At one point they race a guy for a Porsche they pretty much never use but they don’t even show that race (not even in the extended edition).

The movie ends with an end credits scene that totally sets up the next movie as it turns out that Liddy isn’t dead. She’s doing heists of military convoys in Germany and Eva Mendes has taken notice.

If there’s a clear point where the Fast & Furious franchise decides to just go for absurd set pieces and ignore things like character, plot, and king hell silliness on a gigantic scale, it’s Fast Five.

Fast Five is available to purchase at this link.