a review by Darby O’Gill
It’s hard to imagine that there have already been five Fast & Furious movies, but even more amazing than that is the fact that they’ve also seemed to be only getting better as they go! What started as a blatant rip-off of Point Break has somehow turned into a truly refreshing movie franchise. I know! I’m just as surprised as you are! The last installment was great, and this one’s even better! I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of the first three movies. The Fast and the Furious wasn’t terribly original, but it was entertaining just the same. And to be honest, I hadn’t even seen the other two until just before the release of the fourth film. 2 Fast 2 Furious seemed like a bad joke, but it wasn’t that bad. I was really surprised to find it fairly enjoyable. Tokyo Drift on the other hand was clearly a desperate attempt to sell more movie tickets by slapping the Fast and the Furious nametag on to it, although it clearly paved the way for the franchise’s revival. When director Justin Lin added the small cameo of Dom, played by Vin Diesel, at the end of Tokyo Drift, I think that in that moment he managed to open the true potential of this series. By realizing the characters themselves is what makes these movies great, and not necessarily the cars and street racing, Lin managed to persuade the principle characters of the original cast to return for the franchise’s fourth installment. Oddly tiled Fast & Furious, I’m not really sure how removing “The” from the original title makes it a new title and not just confusing, but that’s not really important. What is important is that the fourth movie was not only as good as the original, but it might even be better due to the fact that it was way more original than the original. Still with me?
In the fifth installment, Fast Five, Brian O’Conner played by Paul Walker, and Dom, find themselves on the run from the law once again, and hiding out in Rio de Janeiro. But, when an easy money job goes bad, it’s not just the law that’s after them this time, but one of Brazil’s most corrupt and powerful businessmen. But when the opportunity arises to pull one last job for an insane amount of money that will almost definitely ensure them a life of no more running, the choice is clear. Dom and Brian have to pull off the impossible, and to do so they’ll need the help of some old friends. Calling back not only the original cast, but cast members from all the previous installments, Fast Five is clearly the most character driven films of the franchise, which is what I think makes it the best of the series so far. The addition of federal agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, not only adds to the ever growing list of characters, but also gives us one hell of a fist fight! I’m not kidding. This is one for the books… Um, pictures?! You know what I mean! This showdown totally kicks ass! And, yes… I do realize that I’m talking about a Fast & Furious movie here. Look, this is a summer movie at its best, and yes you have to suspend your disbelief at times, but I for one am looking forward to Furious Six in the near future!