Fast Five Blu-ray
The Fast and the Furious franchise has proved to be profitable one to the point where the next installment is fully prepared (and more importantly able to pay for the involvement Jason Statham. The formula for F&F’s success is simple: adrenaline soaked car chases, complete with dramatic shots of gears shifting, pistons firing and rising tachometers, and occasionally the hot bod. Granted, The Fast and the Furious movies aren’t examples of expert story telling and Oscar worthy acting (remember when Mia told Brian: “Dom’s like gravity - people are attracted to him.”)? But that’s ok. These are action movies, through and through, and they don’t claim to be anything more or anything less.
The fifth installment, Fast Five, brings Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) back together, this time on the mean streets of Rio de Janeiro. After a botched car heist, Dom and Brian find themselves on the local kingpin’s shit list. To top it off the high-speed duo is being tracked down by an elite U.S. strike force, led by the intensely devoted tough-guy, Agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). With the gang’s freedom at stake, it all comes down to one last job worth $100 million.
What makes Fast Five such a guilty pleasure of an action flick is that it draws characters from all four of the previous movies. Ludacris’s Tej Parker and Tyrese’s Roman Pierce return, as well as Jordana Brewster’s Mia Toretto and Sung Kang’s Han. The effect is warm and familial, which is what the franchise has always sought to portray; a ragtag band of outlaws who are fiercely devoted to each other; one big, happy family with Dom as the patriarchal speed demon. By bringing back all the old, familiar players, the audience, too, feels like a part of this family, and in this way every character seems to come full circle. But what really makes Fast Five especially awesome is the inclusion of Dwayne Johnson as Agent Hobbs.
Having Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson play opposite each other is an action-buff’s dreams come true. Physically, the two are almost identical. Both are big, muscle-bound, chrome-domed dudes, so when they finally get down to fisticuffs it’s a veritable clash of the titans. Appearances aside, Diesel and Johnson play very different characters. Diesel plays the stubborn, brooding criminal-with-a-heart-of-gold who is trying really hard not to crack-up and smash someone’s skull in with a tire iron. Johnson plays the brash Fed who won’t let anything get in his way, including his emotions. Even after they team up, Johnson’s Hobbs only gives Dom twenty-four hours before he starts chasing him again. “I'm just here to bring in two assholes whose names hit my desk,” Hobbs says.
Our biggest complaint with the movie is the lack of straight up street racing scenes, the kind that marked the first movie. At one point, Dom and Brian go out to “acquire” new cars. For a second we thought there’d be a good ole fashion illegal street race, car for car, but instead it cuts straight back to the crew’s garage, Brian driving the new acquisition, a Smurf-blue Porsche. However, Fast Five makes up for it. The final chase scene is incredible. While the two cars - twin Dodge Chargers painted a dull black - are less inspiring than the usually flashier set of wheels the franchise doles out, the fact that the cars have a massive bank vault in tow makes it all worth it.
If you are like car chases and you like action movies, then you can’t go wrong with Fast Five, or any movie from the franchise, really. Sure, it’s your typical dude-flick complete with a predictable storyline and less than dynamic characters, but it’s done with enough flash and bang that it provides pure enjoyment and makes for a thoroughly rewarding voyeuristic experience. This isn’t one of those action movies where the plot points are so convoluted the entire film seems short-winded, or worse, feels like it’s over before it started. Rather, Fast Five will leave you feeling completely satisfied. It’s like eating a huge, bloody porterhouse steak. Afterwards you’ll just want to sit back, loosen your belt and grunt. Do yourself a favor: see Fast Five. Your inner bro will be thank you.
Blu-ray Special Features:
The blu-ray of Fast Five comes complete with both the theatrical version and the extended version, as well as obligatory special features such as gag reels, outtakes and commentary by director, Justin Lin. Aside from this, the home release also includes sketches and brief mini-features that look back on the development of the film’s major characters, “Brian O’Conner: From Fed to Con” and “Dom’s Journey,” as well as an introduction to Johnson’s role, “Enter Federal Agent Hobbs.” The blu-ray includes an interactive feature where you can explore further behind the scenes, and a virtual garage where you can check out the crew’s sweet rides, The bonus features don’t stop there, though.
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