Fast Five is the fifth entry in The Fast and the Furious film franchise, and it marks a definite change in genre in the series. Although past Fast and the Furious movies have tried to stray away from the original street-racing concept of the original, Fast Five is the first movie to fully commit.
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The Film Review
By transforming into a fully-fledged heist film, Fast Five rises above its predecessors in some pretty impressive ways. That said, does this complete change in concept still make sense in the Fast and the Furious series, or does Fast Five feel awkward when compared to the other films? Let’s see if this fifth flick is fun enough to warrant a watch.
Fast Five continues the story following Fast & Furious, the fourth movie in the series. After breaking their pal Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) out of prison, ex-FBI agent Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and Dom’s younger sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) run to Rio, Brazil to escape the authorities. There, they plan to pull off a massive heist; robbing Rio’s richest criminal kingpin of every last cent.
In an effort to bolster their numbers, the trio recruit a team of characters from past Fast and the Furious films, including Han (Sung Kang), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Gisele (Gal Gadot), and more. Elsewhere, an elite agent of the United States military named Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) tracks the crew and begins to hunt them down.
By completing committing to the heist genre, Fast Five finds a refreshing and exhilarating pace, full of crazy action and stunts. While there are a few car chases, the focus on street-racing has been toned down considerably and replaced with the expected tropes of the heist genre.
In this way, Fast Five does feel a bit predictable; if you’ve seen Ocean’s Eleven or any other heist movie, a lot of the story beats remain the same.
Each character plays a part in the heist, whether it’s the tech guru, muscle, fast-talker, or any combination of the three. For the most part, it’s a bit by-the-numbers in terms of storytelling, but the intense action and fun set-piece moments more than make up for the derivative plot points.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Fast Five delivers an exciting thrill ride that’s far more exciting and adrenaline-filled than any of the previous Fast and the Furious movies. By highlighting the various scenes involving cars, the movie does justice to its roots without feeling like fan-service. The characters are well-written and memorable, with some decent character development along the way.
Unfortunately, a lot of the first half of the movie becomes irrelevant after some late-film plot twists, which can feel like a waste of time in some regards. However, the movie does a great job keeping the audience entertained for the entire ride.
If you’re a fan of the Fast and the Furious franchise or just like action films, Fast Five presents a great combination of heist films, classic action film tropes, and interesting plot development. While it still stutters and falters in a few places, the majority of the movie is of surprising quality.
If you're looking for a fun and mindless action flick and you're willing to suspend your disbelief, Fast Five is a great pick.
- Includes major characters from all previous movies
- Commits to the heist genre and is better for it
- Awesome action scenes with practical effects
- A bit predictable
- A big portion of the heist setup becomes unimportant