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Movie Reviews

Fast Five



Released: 29th April 2011

Director: Justin Lin

Stars: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker

Certificate: 12

Reviewer: Rohan Morbey

Rewind 10 years and The Fast and the Furious was the closest I’d came to leaving the cinema before a film had ended. I didn’t, and sat through what is still a terrible action film. Despite it being awful, the film was a surprise hit at the US boxoffice, and spawned a sequel.

And then another.

And then another.

And now another. The fifth in a series got increasingly worse (I’m assuming as I didn’t want to see anymore).

However Fast Five gets the thumbs up from me for being that rarest of things in modern popcorn, summer moving-making; it is FUN! It is ESCAPISM! And it knows its LIMITATIONS!

Neither Vin Diesel nor Paul Walker are leading men. Director Justin Lin hasn’t made a great film before. Car chases and shootouts have been done to death.

So why does Fast Five succeed? Fun. Escapism. Limitations.

Fun: The films rips along as fast as the cars the characters drive. There is hardly a moment to pause and think about any plotholes, because Justin Lin delivers the car chases, foot chases, shootouts, and explosions with expert handling and relative clarity – the camera isn’t thrown around all over the place, and the scenes don’t just become a blur of colours and split second edits. We can see, and enjoy, the nonsense on screen.

Escapism: The film has so many ludicrous set-pieces it is hard to keep track of them all. But, with each one, the sense of excitment and enjoyment increase, just like a good action film should. Think about it, and nothing makes sense, but getting caught up with it could just be one of the best value for money tickets you’ll buy this summer.

Limitations: Because the action scenes are well directed, paced, and the biggest and best is saved for the end (as it should be), the film never tries to out-do itself and give in to the temptation of doing a Michael Bay. That is, make every scene like it’s the finale and end up wearing the audience out after 5 minutes; we want to see a progression in an action movie – open with a bang and get bigger from there on.

Fast Five is far, far from perfect, but it certainly entertains and you get your money’s worth – which is becoming ever-increasing rare feat in blockbusters.

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