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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.