I have not watched the entire Fast and Furious film franchise. I saw the first one when I was thirteen and found it enjoyable. I watched the second movie and turned it off halfway through because I thought was stupid. I completely ignored the third and fourth installments. Then one day a friend casually mentioned that there was a new installment in the Fast series, and my initial reaction was a groan. And then I saw the trailer, which I thought looked interesting, and so I went to watch the film in theaters.
Fast Five is a two-hour exercise in mindless action, which I mean as a compliment of the highest order. The plot, though wildly implausible, is handled well enough and expertly paced, allowing the viewer to suspend disbelief long enough to unquestionably enjoy the movie. There are plenty of chase scenes, fight scenes, and race scenes. There is also a ton of gunfire, cash, and explosions. Most importantly, the cast has great chemistry together, enabling viewers to enjoy the banter among characters and the sense of camaraderie among the cast.
Vin Diesel is back, joined by Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris; each of whom reprises their original characters. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is also on board as US government agent of some sort. There is great chemistry among the cast, particularly so for Vin Diesel and Johnson, who have a couple of really excellent scenes together.
Since the movie is still in theaters, I won’t dwell on the plot. Suffice it to say that the plot revolves around pulling off an audacious plot, mostly as a way to seek vengeance. As such, the plot is somewhat silly (again, I mean this as a compliment), as evidenced by the scene where Vin Diesel and Paul Walker tow a giant safe through Sao Paulo with two Dodge Chargers.
Fast Five is quite enjoyable to watch; mostly because one gets the sense that none of the crew is taking himself too seriously. This movie is all about having fun, and it succeeds on that count. Yes, there are plenty of movies that are more serious and more thought-provoking. But you know what? Sometimes you just want to have fun. And Fast Five is the perfect vehicle for that.