I don’t know if any of you know this about me but in addition to my passion for reading, writing and hockey, I have a love of cars. I have an appreciation for a classic vehicle that’s been put together from scratch and modern cars and trucks polished and altered to something more than what they started as. So yes, I love cars but not just fancy ones or antique cars or the ones old men spend a boatload of money on to impress the twenty-five year olds wearing spaghetti-strap tops and mini skirts while they cruise past in all their mid-life crisis glory.
No. I love classic muscle. You know the ones. They’re all bright chrome and sleek paint jobs. They have engines that growl and rumble at you like they’re living beasts. They dominate the street and the bucket seats hug your curves with the same attention that they hug the curves of the road with.
I love it when I’m sitting in traffic and I hear the rumble of a big engine. I’ll turn my radio off and look around until I find the source. Then I’ll just smile and sit back, letting the sound wash over me. Last summer I spent a few Friday nights at the local racetrack watching the racing on the quarter mile, grinning like an idiot over the Shelbys and the Challengers and the Camaros. Oooh, those new Camaros make me feel things…
Ahem. Anyway, this all brings me to my topic for today: Movie Review #1 – “Fast Five”
Oh yeah. I remember being underwhelmed with the first movie in the franchise but as I matured and allowed myself to let my love for fast cars grow, I came to enjoy them. Oh, I know. They’re not exactly intellectual powerhouses and the acting is…well, I’m sure you can guess if you haven’t seen them. I don’t mind watching Vin Diesel and Paul Walker but neither of them would make my top ten for movie heartthrobs.
Still, when the first preview for this movie crossed my screen, I think I stopped breathing. Come on! What’s not to like?! Fast cars, explosions, AND…The Rock. Oh my, my. Now, HE would make my top ten.
OK, OK, I’ll get to the actual movie review now. 😉
Going into the movie, I had low expectations. Sure, I knew it had the elements I love to see in an action-adventure. Hot cars, hot locale, big explosions, big muscles… But really. I didn’t except anything ground-breaking. I knew I wasn’t going to walk out at the end going, ‘Wow. I did NOT see that coming!’ Still, I wanted certain things out of the movie and I was hoping to be impressed.
I don’t know if anyone cares about that sort of thing, but I may throw in a spoiler or two in the following. Unintentionally, but you are warned.
It started off right where the previous movie ended. Vin Diesel’s character, Dom (there’s all manner of subtext you can glean from that name, let me tell you!) is being transported with a bunch of other prisoners on a bus to a prison. Three super-fine cars appear and ‘break’ him out. Let’s just say there’s a lot of senseless slaughter. I mean, those cars never did anything to anyone so why must they be the sacrificial lambs in this opening sequence? *sigh*
Moving on, the romantic leads of Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor and Jordana Brewster’s Mia Toretto find themselves in Rio De Janeiro looking for some help. And yet, they have a pretty fantastic car (classic Skyline!) in spite of the fact that they’ve been running for their lives for several weeks. They find a friend, Vince, who puts them up for the night and offers them a spot on his next ‘job.’ Left with no other choices – and apparently no knowledge of Dom’s whereabouts following the prison break – Brian and Mia take him up on the offer.
This is where the movie action starts and doesn’t let up. The bus breakout was childs play compared to the elaborate high-speed train chase that follows. Can I just say again how disappointing it is to see the nicest cars get demolished for no other reason than that they’re apparently expendable? Seriously…even muscle needs some TLC. 🙂
There are a few explosions, some cheesy one-liners that you can’t help but smile at and then – I’ll admit it – some breathtaking special effects that made me want to cover my eyes until it was over. OK, you got me. It was right when the ’66 Corvette Grand Sport was *SPOILER* meeting it’s fateful end at the bottom of a ravine. *wipes tear away from eye*
Moving on…the storyline is simple enough to follow and a tried and true plot for numerous heist movies. One last big job that, if they pull it off, will see everyone set up for life. Naturally, the job is so big and so complex that they must bring in every electronics, mechanical, strategic and racing genius they know. Enter several familiar faces from the previous four movies.
Cue montage of preparation shots and some playtime car chasing with the whole crew together. Then the inevitable question of ‘can we really pull this off?’ is raised.
Have I mentioned yet that they are all still on the run from the law, even in the ghetto of Rio? In charge of the ‘recovery’ initiative is Agent Hobbs, bloodhound extraordinaire for the US government. He’s been hired to track Dom and O’Connor and bring them home. Naturally, they resist. With flair.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the first of two significant confrontations between the aptly matched Diesel and Johnson. (Did I mention that I lurrrv The Rock? :-P) They are near equal in size and the intensity of their meetings are just what I thought they’d would be when I found out they’d both be appearing in this movie, on opposite sides of the law, of course.
My favorite scene is a race, of course. Can’t have a Fast and Furious movie without the good old race scene! Personally, I could have done with more of the head-to-head racing but you can’t always get what you want. Oh, and for the men out there, there are some pretty women in this movie. 🙂 There, I’m trying to see it from both sides of the chromosomes. HA!
All in all, it was a good, fun movie. I admitted to having low expectations but I also didn’t expect to be so impressed with the detail of the actual heist. It was a just what an action-adventure should be, delivering exactly what the trailers promised: Hot locale, numerous explosions and fast cars. Ooooh, the fast cars…
Hmm. Oh. You’re all still here? 😉 Well, I’ll close today’s entry by saying that the next entry of “Breaking Through the Ice” should be up at Lit on Thursday this week, as usual. I’m this close to finishing it so depending on how my next week goes, I might finish editing quickly and start posting chapters faster. I make no promises. My part-time summer job might be starting up very soon as well and I know that will eat much of my spare time and energy. I’ll do my best for you all. 😉
Take care and happy reading!