Fast Five Film Maintains Speed

By Todd A. Smith

            I know what you are thinking.  Sequels are rarely as good as the original, so a fifth film from one franchise is just overkill.  However, the new Fast Five film is anything but, and audiences will once again be cheering for Dominic (Vin Diesel) and the rest of his thrill seeking crew in the latest installment of Fast and Furious.

            The Fast Five film wins because moviegoers do not necessarily have to see the first four flicks to follow the storyline and became captivated by the characters.

            The Fast Five film takes place in the beautiful Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro with Dominic being sentenced to 20 years in prison.  However, in typical fashion his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and her beau Brian (Paul Walker) break him out of custody and dive head first into their next caper, seizing DEA-captured vehicles from a moving train.

            A shootout ensues when the train conductors realize they are being robbed.  The gang is blamed for the murders of three DEA agents by the local media, but in actuality a local gang headed by a boss named Reyes is responsible for the murder and immediately begins scouring the streets of Rio de Janeiro searching for the missing cars and a chip hidden in one of the automobiles.

            In most instances a computer chip is not worth risking life and limb via brutal shootouts, but when the chip contains information that is worth $100 million dollars, I have to channel my inner-Chris Rock (in regards to the O.J. Simpson murder accusations) and say that no one deserves to die, but in this case “I understand.”

            Reyes, a local politician/drug kingpin, has filed the information about his stash houses on a computer chip.  The stash houses collectively contain $100 million in cash.

            Dominic decides to assemble a crew that can rob Reyes of his millions, a caper no sane Brazilian would ever contemplate.  The crew consists of Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Han (Sung Kam) among others who refuse to hide behind their planned robbery, instead wanting Reyes and his compadres to know who planned and perpetuated the scheme.

            After successfully robbing the first stash house, Dominic burns the money and reveals his identity.  Fearing that the other stash houses are the next target, Reyes hides his money in a place that people usually try to break out of, a police station.  But the crew is forced to break into the station if they are to pull off this monumental caper.

            The film succeeds because it humanizes its criminal characters, like the fact that Mia is pregnant with Brian’s child.  The Fast Five film is also unique in that it is one of those films where you will be cheering for Dom and the rest of the bad guys and not law enforcement officials like Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).

            The only drawback from the film is the acting.  While Gibson and Bridges bring great comic relief to the Fast Five film, one cannot help but notice the bad acting by Diesel.  The star of the film makes up for it though with swagger and attitude.

            Despite the bad acting, expect to see the Fast Five film at the top of the box office on Monday morning.  And by the way, stay for the credits because there is a surprise ending that all but guarantees a sixth film!







Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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