Fast Five

Arguably my favorite of the franchise, it is time we delve into Fast Five.  ARE YOU AS EXCITED AS I AM?  If you can’t even appreciate how they layered the end of the fourth movie in the opening scene of the fifth movie, then please, show yourself the exit button.  This is the first of the franchise where it really feels like a sequel.  Yes, the first three were a part of the franchise, but the fourth and fifth have that continuity that I am talking about.

5.4

RIOOOOOOOO de Janeiro.  Thanks to this movie, the city tit onto my travel list.  They even brought back Vince!!!  Admittedly, not my favorite character, but at least he lost the chain mail tank.  And found his own woman so he could leave Brian’s alone.  Sorry, that was very anti-feminist of me – women are NOT property, but hey, I’m fangirling here.  And my fangirling reaches new heights when I discover that BRIAN AND MIA ARE PASSING THEIR GORGEOUS GENETICS ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION.  Blessed.  The scene of them on the train sitting = relationship goals.  At least, MY relationship goals.  Why?  Am I alone in this?

5.2

It only makes sense in this franchise that the first “job” they attempt goes horribly south.  Otherwise they’d have no problems evading American law enforcement, including new franchise addition Dwayne Johnson, aka Hobbs.  Then this Portugese dude had to go and say something that seems SUPER sketchy and raise a red flag with Dom.  Which causes Brian to risk his life, again, and jump onto another moving vehicle.  But he’s doing it for Mia *sheds lone tear*.  Two DEA agents get killed, Dom and Brian get blamed, and the Feds are on the warpath.  NOT TO MENTION, that the Rio drug cartel is also looking for the dynamic trio.   Yay for conflict!

5.8

First, Vince just has to bring up Letty?  Low. Blow.  Then Thor’s “motivated” wife is introduced into the franchise.  Bad news bears for our favorite team.  Literally, it’s because of her that Hobbs and co. even find Dom, Brian and Mia.  But they’re not the only ones hot on the trail – it’s like a love triangle, but for crime.  Behind the scenes-wise, I’m convinced that when filming this chase scene they could only shoot less than a minute at a time.  Those alleys are quite narrow and limiting.

The next scene further solidifies my theory that Mia is the lynch-pin, because her pregnancy and stubbornness about staying together is the reason that brings some old friends back into the mix.  “One last job” must be the mantra that keeps the franchise going.  As well as “We’re gonna need a team”, aka Han, Roman, Tej, Gisele, Leo & Santos.  And I must say, they come up with a brilliant plan for this “last job”, too bad those pesky Feds are bound to muck it up.

5.7

The next few scenes consist of laying the groundwork for said job, but they are mostly to develop or accentuate the relationships between the team.  I will say, that for being my favorite film in the franchise, it probably has the least amount of actual driving/racing.  They even set up a primo race scenario while “practicing” for the jobs and THEY SKIP OVER IT.  Rude.  Clearly I am here more for the story-lines and characters.  ESPECIALLY a new blooming romance, aka Han and Gisele.  They are utterly perfect for each other, and then Gisele has to go and hit Han with the “Don’t send a man to do a woman’s job” line.  At least she knows what she’s doing.

5.1

Even though they didn’t put as many racing sequences in this one, they did put them in at the right moments.  I am, of course, referring to the million dollar quarter mile.  Perfect moment to keep the tone of the film from getting too serious and showing that they are truly becoming a family, not just criminals working together for money.  Even though they are that too.  The witty banter and one-liners of this scene are probably why it’s in my top five for this particular movie, for example: “Oh, imma get this money. I’m HOOONGRY”.  Oh Roman…

5.3

Time for “one last job”, and did I, or did I not call it?  The Feds muck it up.  Then the cartel mucks it up.  Everything gets seriously mucked up.  For what they lack in racing scenes, they make up for in combat sequences.  Obviously a fight between Hobbs and Dom is what the audience wants to see, but there is literally no reason given for said fight.  Other than a battle of testosterone.  But because everything gets mucked up, it gives Hobbs and the team common ground and a reason to work together.  Clearly meant to set up the next film installment, but I digress.

There really is no question that Fast Five is my favorite of the franchise (so far).  It is the first one where the Fast Family is really explored and prominent.  It is also the first plot where they have something to fight to protect.  And really, who doesn’t love a movie of protection?  Taken anyone?  Only one more Fast movie to review before the new one is released.

5.5

~Tales

 

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The Fast and the Furious

While watching The Fast and the Furious and drinking tea together may sound a little odd, it is actually a pretty decent combination.  Obviously this movie really calls for pizza and beer, but it’s been a long week and I need tea and Brian O’Connor to soothe my soul.  Let me preface by saying this franchise is my second favorite movie franchise in the entire history of film.  I will space out the reviews (so not consistently for the next six weeks), it would be too simple to do them back to back to back.

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First of all, HOW DANGEROUS IS IT TO ATTACK A SEMI-TRUCK ON THE HIGHWAY?  Is that very real risk to your lives worth the money you get for the cargo???  Way to start the movie off with a bang.  There is no mistaking that this movie is centered around cars.  Enter Brian Spilner (aka Brian O’Connor).  HELLO GORGEOUS.  But you really need to handle that vehicle a little better.  Keep practicing, baby.  CONFLICT.  Mia Toretto.  Vince.  Brian.  Drama.  First of all, Vince, Mia is not your property so get that through your thick skull.  But their fight gives us the first glimpse into what Dominic Toretto is prepared to do for his family.  Good thing he can be calmed down easily, because otherwise this movie would not have gone any further.

F&F 1.2

POP THE HOOD.  The first race.  I’m really feeling Brian’s car and every time I see Ja Rule’s character I can’t help but laugh.  I’m pretty sure the purpose of this scene is to show how Dom owns street racing and how Letty owns Dom.  A little advice for Brian, don’t ask for respect.  Demand it, prove it.  And then don’t get cocky about “almost” winning.  Just don’t.  The look on his face after he realizes he lost says “Dammit, did I just screw everything up?”.  But he saves it all by rescuing Dom from the cops.

F&F 1.5

“Two years in Lompoc, I’ll die before I go back.”  MAJOR FORESHADOWING.  Then when Dom brings Brian back to his house for a beer, we are all Mia – scrambling to get ready because a beautiful guy is about to walk into your home.  At least, I would.  Then she breaks up a potential tiff between Brian and Vince.  WAY TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION.  She really knows how to handle a man.

PLOT TWIST.  Undercover.  Also, iced cappuccinos?  Especially in those glass mugs?  Could you be any more pretentious?

So they have three family businesses?  The sandwich place, racing, AND a garage?  I absolutely LOVE the character of Jesse.  A genius with ADHD makes for good drama.  Then we can see something that really ages this movie – FLOPPY DISKS.  Who here remembers those?  Love it.  Then Vince has to ruin my nostalgia moment by being a little bitch about Brian eating family dinner with them.  No sweat off Dom’s back though, he knows Vince will be back.  Besides, he’s too busy watching out for who needs to say grace.  Priorities.  Also, Jesse’s prayer is perfect.  Way to come back and pretend you still have your dignity, Vince.

I’m pretty sure Mia is the lynchpin of this franchise.  Yes, Dom and Brian have the most dynamic relationship, but Mia is the glue and the one person all of the main characters would go to the ends of the earth for.  How would they say no to her?  Her and Letty are all about female empowerment.  They should really be characters that get more attention, if only for the younger generation of girls.  I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they don’t ever play the victim – they take control and don’t let stereotypes bring them down.

F&F 1.1 F&F 1.4

How cliche is it to have a bar called El Gato Negro in this movie?  Also, BRIAN’S COVER IS ALMOST BLOWN.  Thanks a lot, Vince.  I blame pretty much everything on Vince, because he is one giant baby.  Despite him being a perceptive baby.  My least favorite scene directly follows, the one where Johnny Tran and his posse torture that guy.  Even after watching this movie countless times, I still have to look away.

Then we have some character development and relationship building – yada yada yada.  Just kidding.  I love these parts of the movies.  THAT CAR DOM BUILT WITH HIS FATHER.  So much symbolism, I can barely process it.  The car that never dies, it’s basically Kenny from South Park.  Also, HOW DARE THE COPS THINK DOM IS AN OUT OF CONTROL CRIMINAL.  He obviously shows remorse, and Brian’s not wrong when he says that Dom is controlled.  Losing a father would be enough to cause anyone to lose control once.

RACE WARS.  Time for shit to hit the fan.  Now we see that Brian really cares about everyone, trying to talk sense into Jesse before he bets his pink slip.  DON’T DO IT JESSE.  Nuts.  Also, don’t ever call Dom a narc.  Not safe for your health.  Neither is walking up to Letty all intimidating – girl will knock you out.  Then we have the cliche “I was undercover, but my feelings were real”.  That brings Paul Walker’s count of movie with that component to two.  Speaking of, maybe I’ll review She’s All That soon.

SURPRISE, there are four family businesses.  Bad things are about to happen.  Oh, and they are just outside Coachella?  Why do I not see any girls with high-waisted shorts and flower crowns?  A bit early for that, I suppose.  Well, I may not be Vince’s number one fan, but it pains me to see him in danger like this.  Okay, maybe Jesse was the lynchpin of this particular movie in the franchise, because without him, everyone seems to be screwed.  I mean, Leon just disappears never to be mentioned again.  Whoops, spoiler alert.  But not really because his character is pretty inconsequential.  Oh my gosh, THERE IS SUCH FORESHADOWING WHEN LETTY CRASHES AND CRAWLS OUT OF HER CAR.  I will say no more about that, though.  For now.

F&F 1

Dun-dun-dun.  Dom finds out that Brian is actually Brian O’Connor.  He just saved Vince’s life, but at a price of the rest of Dom’s family.  THEN BRIAN DECIDES TO GO NATIVE AND STEP TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAW.  What a depressing way to end a film, but a great way to set up a sequel.  Man I love this franchise.  Don’t worry, I will continue with all of the others that have been released so far, but you might have to *pause for dramatic affect* wait.

 

~Tales

 

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