It pays to know your audience. Makers of Fast Five have a pretty good idea what their fans want: cars, women, exotic locations, muscles. By no means is Fast Five the best film of the year, but it may be the most satisfying.
What can you really ask of an action movie? They aren’t supposed to be believable, so why do blow hards find such pleasure in trashing movies like Fast Five? Sure, the acting is average and the plot is crazy but who cares? Were you entertained for two hours? Get over yourself.
Thankfully, Fast Five has every action move cliche. It’s predictable, loud and extremely fun. Of course Vin Diesel and Paul Walker need to do “one more job” and get the gang back together to rob a corrupt drug lord in Rio (where they’re in hiding). Of course The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) is the best cop in the world, hot on their tail. Of course there’s a final scene that will make you say “whoa!” and “cool, bro!”
I’m not a gearhead, so for me Fast Five was all about The Rock vs. Vin Diesel. Vin Diesel proves that yes, a man can be jacked and still have a double chin. The Rock looks too ripped for his role, if that’s even possible. Yes, he’s a bad ass, but it’s almost like his immense muscles and extra small Under Armour shirt get in the way of him doing his job. Maybe his glistening biceps were there to distract us from the horrible acting. (Favorite laugh-out-loud moment when I shouldn’t have: Vin yelling “This is BRA-ZILLL!” to taunt The Rock at the street race.)
The Rock has great charisma, but still lacks chops. Regardless, this is how Dwayne Johnson should have spent the last ten years. Being huge and kicking ass in actions flicks. He really should have been the next Schwarzenegger (and still could be). Instead, he did horrible Disney kids flicks and tarnished his brand. Hopefully we see round two of Diesel-Rock in the next Fast installment.
The point is, you know what your getting when you go to see this movie. Don’t take it too serious. Laugh at the absurdity (and tender moments) and hang on for the NOS-infused ride.
For a more in-depth and hilarious breakdown of Fast Five, I highly recommend listening to the recent B.S. Report where Adam Carolla and Bill Simmons spent over an hour dissecting the finer points of the film.