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“Fast Five”: The Fast and the Furious All Star Game

fastfiveBy: Chauncey Telese

Hello everyone I hope everyone had a good Easter (or just a good Sunday in general) and a great rest of the week. The time is 3:03 am and tonight’s keep me awake album is Dr. Dre’s “Chronic 2001”. Well, Michael Scott has left Dunder Mifflin forever and left with a trail of laughs and tears in his wake (Carell is a mortal lock for an Emmy).

Shirley finally had her baby and sadly it wasn’t Chang’s oh well next week brings a return of paintball to Greendale (considering it’s a two part episode it can’t be anything but awesome). Things are escalating quicker then a San Diego news team brawl in Harlan County and this Tuesday’s season finale guarantees to have blood and lots of bullets. I wish I could tell you that the Kings came back to beat the Sharks, I wish I could tell you that they fought the good fight but some stories just don’t have happy endings.

Durant is showcasing himself as the best player in the playoffs and despite the fact that Russell Westbrook took 30 shots in one game, prompting him to be told to check himself before he wrecks himself, the Thunder are looking like the scariest team in the west. The Lakers formed a second line parade and walked Chris Paul and the Hornets to their mausoleum. Paul may have messed around and gotten a triple double a few times but he couldn’t bring the champs down by himself. The Grizzlies are so close to essentially ending the Duncan era Spurs and I wish I could’ve bet on that - oh well. Trump is going to have to find something else to run on, Nic Cage got arrested in New Orleans and was bailed out by Dog the Bounty Hunter (which makes it that much more awesome of a story), the Royal Wedding finally happened which means we can finally carry on with our lives, and the NFL Draft occurred and I am happy Robert Quinn fell into the laps of my Rams. True, there’s still not a season but we’re getting closer! That about sums up the week that was and now we can commence with a movie I’ve been dying to see for months now, “Fast Five.” I love bad action movies because when done right they somehow transcend their poor dialogue, ill-conceived stories, awful acting, and physics and logic-defying stunts and become two hours of pure fun. It’s an art form really and if you were to ask me if “Fast Five” was a good movie I’d say hell no, but if you were to ask me if I was entertained I’d tell you hell yeah!

“Fast Five” continues the most bizarre franchise to come around in awhile because there aren’t really anything connecting these movies. The first “The Fast and the Furious” took the “Point Break” model and plugged into the world of street racing and propelled Vin Diesel and Paul Walker to stardom becoming an accidental hit. Dominick Toretto became Diesel’s iconic role but sadly he didn’t know it. Vin Diesel made a colossal mistake by ditching the franchise (Jordanna Brewster ditched as well) because he thought that his Riddick and xXx franchises would pan out (they didn’t) so “2 Fast 2 Furious” replaced Vin Diesel with Tyrese and also added Ludacris. This movie basically became a “Miami Vice” ripoff but lead to two drinking games, one taking a shot every time Tyrese’s Roman said “brah” and when it looked like Paul Walker and Tyrese were going to kiss. It also gave us the least intimidating drug lord in movie history and had Eva Mendes. Paul Walker left after that to move on to better things (didn’t happen though “Running Scared” was awesome) and we got “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” which starred the quarterback from “Friday Night Lights” and Brad from “Home Improvement” and introduced to us Han (who I recall dying, but whatever he’s back in this one), then shocked us all at the end by having Dominic Toretto show up in Tokyo. In 2009 the band got back together (the title was so clever all they had to do was drop both “the’s” from the first movie) except Michelle Rodriguez’s Letti died in the beginning and she turned out to be a cop (but that’s okay she got to fight humans on Na’vi) and now we arrive in Rio for the fifth installment. By the way, great stretch for Brazil, first they get the 2016 Olympics, then they get an animated movie made about them, and now this. Good for them.

Consistency has never been this franchise’s strong suit but they know who the audience liked and whether they were dead or not, they were coming back. This movie serves as the all-star game for the franchise and what an all-star game it is. Here’s the “plot:” Dom gets busted out of prison by Brian (Walker) and Mia (Brewster) and they end up in Rio where they meet up with Vince from the first movie. He sets them up with a job stealing cars from a train. Not only does this heist go horribly wrong, it defies logic and physics so gloriously, but also gets three D.E.A. agents killed and that lands them on the radar of Hobbs, played by the best addition to the franchise, The Rock, but I’ll get to him in a minute. What also goes down is the cars they stole belong to Reyes, the token action movie villain who owns the whole town.

Now, Dom, Brian, and Mia (who finds out early on she’s pregnant, yet has no problem participating in said heist and drives a car off a train and later jumps off a roof and through another, making sure the future kid doesn’t know math), decide to steal from Reyes and enlist the help of some friends. They call Roman, Tej (Ludacris), Han, Gisele (Gal Gadot who was in the fourth movie), and two others in order to pull of an elaborate heist and turn the movie from street racing based to basically Toretto’s Eleven. Got it? That’s okay, it’s not important and to question the plot holes that exist (and there are many) it’ll ruin the fun. While I did say the franchise has a lack of consistency, they do manage to reference the other movies and even throw in some little moments that allude to the other films (Dom’s wrench beating, Brian accusing Dom of cheating in their first race, Tokyo, etc.). That made me smile, as did Vince and Brian almost fighting like five times just like the first one, but really what made this movie for me was The Rock.

I have been a fan of The Rock since 1997 when he wrestled as Rocky Maivia and lived through the People’s elbow, the Rock Bottom, every fight with Stone Cold, HHH, the Undertaker, and Mankind, The Corporation, The Rock N Sock Connection, and the people’s eyebrow. I’ve been waiting for his movie career to take off the way I always thought it should’ve and while “Scorpion King” was good, “The Rundown” bombed (unfairly), “Be Cool” tanked (he was great in it, though), and he salvaged his career with some Disney movies but still hadn’t nailed the action genre (he came close with “Walking Tall” though) until now.

His Hobbs is a hardcore individual, he even gets to drop the lone f-bomb in the movie and he gets to let his biceps glisten underneath his too-tight-even-for-Under-Armor shirt. Hobbs wants Dom and towards the end we get to see the two fight (which had some of the Rock’s wrestling moves in there) and caused my buddy Grant and I to geek out a little bit. Aside from him though, we get plenty of shoot-outs, bad action movie moments where Dom and Brian get serious and talk about life, the most ridiculous heist in a while, and some laughable dialogue.

My only complaint is the fact that Dom races a guy for his Porsche (another throwback to the first one with the cars all neoned out and surrounded by skanky girls) and we don’t get to see the race. In fact, there is only one race in the movie but I should’ve known because Universal even said that they wanted to just turn the franchise into heist movies (there will be a sixth and seventh movie, by the way).

Aside from that. I couldn’t have asked for a better start for the summer season and with the way this movie’s been doing internationally (it’s beating “Thor” in Australia and Europe) it should make a ton of money state side. Stay for the credits, because it sets up number six and brings back two characters (one of which was a little weird but I’m sure they’ll come up with an explanation). They also ran a disclaimer indicating that we shouldn’t attempt the driving in the film (and they were serious) I mean I realize the first one had caused an outbreak of street racing but c’mon America surely we can’t be that dumb can we? Never mind, the disclaimer belongs there, what was I thinking?

I promise you, while it’s not exactly a classic movie, it will cause you to utter the words “wow,” “really” and “did this movie really just happen?” and provide some giggles in between. In other words, it’s a lot of fun and certainly beats anything else out right now, then again I have a weakness for bad action movies and once you see it, listen to Bill Simmons and Adam Carolla break down the movie on The B.S. Report. I promise you your sides will burst with laughter. The time is now 3:59 and I must sleep.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned because by Odin’s Beard I will bring you “Thor.” Remember you can see these and other fine films at your local Edwards.