Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Jim Release date: April 29, 2011 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
I guess it's easy to say that the pole position of the early summer movie season is easily captured by Justin Lin's Fast Five.
The shorthand title of this fifth installment (after just Fast and Furious also directed by the Lin with blunt, youthful vigor) is a bloated, preposterous adrenaline rush, a spectacle with ear-numbing automatic weaponry and explosions, but plenty of revved-up, souped-up cars and folks that the "Jersey Shore" cast and crew would line up to see.
The performances, storyline and line readings probably aren't meant to make much sense as the Vin Diesel/Paul Walker stars may take flight for some viewers as an amusing action fantasy.
Walker's former lawman Brian Conner and (now) girlfriend Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) find refuge in Rio de Janiero after getting Diesel's Dom (her brother) out of jail. Dom's old pal Vince (Matt Schulze) has a tricky scam involving Dom and real fast cars that really goes awry. Soon, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's federal agent Hobbs is on their trail as the new, final job involves taking down notorious corrupt drug lord Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).
The filmmakers and scribe Chris Morgan snidely enjoy propelling some impossible capers onto the screen, a parade of complicated stunts and set-pieces running free before it all turns a mite sentimental. It almost seems to draw heavily from the likes of Bad Boys II and Ocean's Eleven. To accomplish such a daunting mission, Reyes's handprint is needed to access a huge safe containing $100 million. So, for some, there may be enough curiosity how Dom, Brian, et. al. go about their business.
The ludicrous and seemingly apocalyptic is driven by the buff, scantily clad, and intense handling of shiny, nitrous-injected, state-of-the-art vehicles, in its ultra-fast frenzy. Even if the pacing of the operation as a whole leaves a lot to be desired.
The women will like seeing Johnson, Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, as well as Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, along with Diesel and Walker finding a certain amount of steely charisma. Diesel and the dogged, hard-nosed Johnson even have a risible one-on-one moment. More of the targeted audience will be drawn to Brewster, Gal Gadot, and especially Elsa Pataky as quite a looker of a cop. In this sonorous, explosive excess there has to be more players as the stakes increase.
The overall intelligence of Fast Five might be barely out there, just like the many cars which incur minor damage given its heavy collision ration. Yet, the franchise races on (and on) with forecasted, overstuffed exhilaration. Its fans will likely remain in their seats for a teaser of a trailer during the closing credits (as more mindless fun awaits).