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Fast Five (2011) Review

By   Apr 28, 2011 09:08 AM EST
Back in 2001, a little summer film, entitled The Fast & The Furious, was launched on moviegoers.  The film, directed by Rob Cohen (xXx), provided enough box office muscle to green light numerous sequels. Fast-forward 10 years to 2011 as Fast Five, the fifth film in the series, is set upon audiences.  Fast Five stars an ensemble cast from all of the sequels, and is directed by Fast & Furious/Tokyo Drift director Justin Lin (Terminator 5).
Fast Five picks up a few seconds before Fast & Furious left off. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel, Pitch Black, xXx) has just been sentenced and is in the process of being driven to prison. However, while in transport Dominic's sister Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster, The Faculty, Chuck) and friend Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker, Takers, Running Scared) devise a daring escape that ultimately then lands then in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, trying to evade capture from the law.
The team finds themselves running on "fumes" and needs some cash to help them get by while they are in Rio.  So they decide to take a job from an old-time friend, Vince (Matt Schulze. Blade II, Transporter) -- who in-turn sets up the plot for the rest of the film.
In recent interviews, Director Justin Lin has explained that Fast Five is a turning point for the franchise away from the street-racing aspect that dominated the first few films.  He wanted to have the franchise turn more into a heist film in the spirit of the Italian Job.  Lin has definitely done just that.  Gone are all the neon-glowing lights of street racing and provided is a terrific fast-paced heist film filled with characters from past films in the series, including Tyrese Gibson (2 Fast 2 Furious), Sung Kang (Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious), Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious), and Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious).  Lin also introduces some new characters to the series in the form of the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Faster, Race To Witch Mountain), and the loveable Elsa Pataky (Snakes of a Plane).
If you are looking for a CG effects film this summer, then look elsewhere.  Fast Five (Lin's best work to-date) is fully grounded in reality, bringing back the true high speed car chases and muscle bound action scenes that we all used to know and love from the 1980s and 1990s, and is rounded out by some great comedic and emotional scenes from a all-star cast that is so comfortable in their roles that it feels as if they were made to play them.
If you are in the mood for a great action film this summer, Fast Five is your ticket.  It is definitely a brand new start for the series and is one that should be seen by fans and non-fans alike.  Also, be sure to stay past the initial credits to see a very unexpected scene in the film.  You will not be disappointed.

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Directed By:

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 130 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

For more information about Fast Five visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Nathan M Rose please click here.

Fast Five images are © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

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