Just to recap: I am watching all the Fast and Furious movies having never seen them before and without any knowledge of what they are about. This is the fifth part of my series, you can view from the beginning Here. On to the review.
What in the heck did I just watch?! I don't mean this in a negative way, not at all, but having just seen 4 previous Fast and Furious movies I can't even say that this is a "Fast and Furious" movie. I mean, obviously it is, obviously this is the direction the new movies are going in, but after just watching 4 movies that basically have the same exact plot this one REALLY came out of left field. Which was refreshing. Watching a completely different movie was definitely refreshing, but man oh man it was SO unexpected especially since I just watched the 4th installment the other day. The characters have completely new and different skill sets, the entire plot was completely different, everything about this movie was new. Justin Lin, who once again directs this installment, really went all out on this film
Our story begins exactly where the last one left off, with Brian, Mia, and the two guys who helped them before (whose names I still do not know) driving alongside the prison transport truck that is hauling Dom off to a lifelong sentence. Two guesses how that turns out. It ends in a bus rolling over multiple times at high speed with apparently nobody getting any injuries and Dom and co driving off into the sunset. We see news reports of the breakout, featuring several local LA newscasters I recognized, in what I think was the first time the events of the movies made any kind of impact on the in-world national consciousness. Dom, Brian and Mia are now wanted criminals and their names are splashed around on the cover of newspapers etc. Already this changes the shape and scope of the film from something that takes place in a very limited microcosm of street racers, the cops that hunt street racers, and gang members who control the street racing crews, to something that is on the national or international stage. When next we find our favorite anti-heroes, they are in Rio. The sweeping helicopter shots of the city are gorgeous, and it immediately strikes me that this movie must have been FAR more expensive to make than its predecessors.
|Guys I'm pretty sure this shot cost more than the first movie|
Mia and Brian wander into a Brazilian slum and are surrounded by gunmen, but it looks like they know who leads them, though who this could be I have no idea until out pops Vince, aka mesh vest bro from the first movie!! Wow I had no idea he was going to turn up again.
Apparently they agree and we see them next aboard a train travelling through the Brazilian desert...er... plains....er... is there a place in Brazil that looks like this because this scene was clearly not shot in Brazil. Anyway, back to business: stealing DEA seized cars from a moving train. Oh so this is a heist movie now? Yes, Fast Five is a straight up heist movie, but a cool one. Vince pulls up in a cool dune buggy thing with his crew and then they carve a hole in the side of the train with a plasma torch deal. While it is moving.
|Crazy moving train action nonsense|
Also Mission Impossible-esque: the next scene finds Dom and Brian hanging by their wrists in some warehouse or something. You know... that scene that happens in literally every single movie about a spy where a guy is chained by his wrists to the ceiling in a dimly lit warehouse and some henchmen beat them up. I think there is a whole page for it on TV tropes. The big cartel boss Reyes is played by Joaquim de Almeida, that one actor who has played a big cartel boss in probably 6 or 7 movies/ TV shows including 24 and Desperado. It just feels right he is the big boss in this movie. At any rate they don't get the info they are looking for and Reyes leaves and Dom and Brian escape, 'natch, because they are like super spies now I guess and not just street racers or street racing police people. The only thing we learn from this scene is that there is something in the car that Mia stole that these drug people want back.
The FF crew are blissfully unaware, just trying to recoup, when Vince decides to sneak into the garage and steal a chip that was inside one of the cars. Dom angrily confronts him about going behind their back to which Vince replies that nobody ever listens to him and Dom always turns things to shit which like, I dunno.. isn't exactly wrong. They part ways not on the best of terms and then Brian uses his hacking? skills to figure out what was on the chip. Oh so they are hackers now. Neat. It turns out what is on the chip are details about all the drop spots for this drug dealer guy. This seems like a bad thing to keep on a GPS chip, but as we learned in Fast & Furious we are in the future now and in the future everyone has high end GPS instead of that dumb map Brian had to use in the first movie. Remember when Brian had to use an actual paper map to find a location? Ah.. memories.
The Rock rolls into the favela to get the FF crew and Vince's helper dudes pull guns on him but he has bigger guns and then the drug dealers come and they start shooting and everybody is running away and... hell, this was a very confusing action sequence.
Anyway, back to our heroes. After escaping, Brian and Mia reveal that they are expecting and Uncle Dom is all excited.
|God I love this man|
On to the plan. Step one: they go into one of the drug dealer's places wearing masks and carrying guns. Step two: they light all the money on fire. Step three: profit... ? Then they take their masks off revealing who they are for some reason. Why?! I don't understand this plan at all until I see that Reyes is super pissed and decides to move all his money and the crew plan to take it when it is on the move.
|Um... what now?|
Roman gets sent into the building in disguise as a special agent and distracts the dude in the evidence locker with his non stop talking trying to get in to see the safe that the guy doesn't notice that he has just accepted a random box from a stranger. The random box opens up inside the safe and out pops a cute little robot that Ludacris made because he makes robots apparently. Ludacris also apparently knows
"Let's go get some cars," Brian says, finally. Yay! Here we go, at a booty shaking street-racing dance party. Finally things are familiar to me. "Home sweet home," says Dom. Oh no but they are recognized since they are international criminals who also robbed the biggest drug lord in town. The street racing crew leader says its okay to race, though. What a nice guy. They get to race for the new cars they need. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for an actual street race when... nope, they just cut to them already having the cars. In a Fast and Furious movie they literally just cut the actual race. I am just... what is this movie? They do get to test the cars out though, so there is SOME driving at least. They are trying to find a car that can drive faster than the security cameras. Gisele does the best, and Han is watching her with interest. "I think I'm in love," Han says. Ugh. Whatever. Why did they take away all the gay vibes Han was putting off.
Also, about Han... they still have yet to explain how he escaped from that fiery crash in Japan. I
Eventually they decide that trying to out drive the cameras is sort of stupid so they just steal themselves some cop cars which makes much more sense. FINALLY we get a proper street race with Han, Dom, Brian and Roman racing in police cars, which makes them very happy. Roman is too busy playing with the lights and stuff and Han is probably distracted thinking of Gisele or something so the race comes down to Dom and Brian, and Dom lets Brian win, though Brian isn't aware that he did. Han and Roman notice, though, and think it is hilarious. The next day, Mia is shopping in the market and Vince runs into her and pulls her away just before the bad guys spot her. Apparently there was a tracker on her. She brings Vince back to the crew and he asks Dom if he can join the heist and Dom says they are family etc and I am 100% predicting Vince is going to turn out to be some Bro-dus Iscariot.
|Look at Rambo over here|
Dom wants to continue on and everybody is a little wary until Hobbs says he is in because he wants to kill the son of a bitch who killed his men. Ah yes, the old ancient proverb: The bronemy of my bronemy is my bro. Apparently the idea that Hobbs, a US Federal Agent, could just rob a Brazilian police station, as corrupt as it is, without creating an international incident is just fine by everybody. They break through the wall and basically just attach the safe via two wires attached to two of the police cars, driven by Dom and Brian, who drive away. So they are driving down the street with this safe dragging behind them, taking out trees, taking out other cars, just wanton destruction of property. This entire scene is insanity.
|I just... what?|
Yes, apparently the safes were swapped during that 30 seconds under the overpass and later, when they are all together again, Ludacris opens the safe and like Scrooge McDuck fucking piles of money pour out. Dom leaves some for Vince's wife and kid and the group go their separate ways. The two idiot driver guys (WHOSE NAMES I STILL DO NOT KNOW) lose all their money in Monaco like a couple of dinguses. Ludacris uses the money to get a nice little shop for himself to live a quieter life and then Tyrese rolls up to visit him in this hot car with a hot babe inside. Apparently he got it from a sheikh in Abu Dabi and it is the only one in the Western Hemisphere.. or IS it, because Ludacris apparently has the exact same ridiculous car. Lol. Meanwhile Han makes out with Gisele while driving, which doesn't seem very safe. "I thought you wanted to go to Tokyo," Gisele asks. "We'll get there eventually," Han replies. Wait... is this movie still supposed to take place BEFORE Tokyo Drift? I mean I was under the impression that he like faked his death and somehow made it to Rio or
|Lookin' good Billy Ray!|
- Letty?????? I am really struggling to figure out her motivations for faking her own death other than... cuz.
- Ok but really is Han a time traveler???
- So I still haven't seen Batman v Superman and I didn't know who Gal Gadot was when I saw Fast & Furious. Now that I know Gisele is Wonder Woman I am like... meh? I dunno. Her character was super boring in the 4th movie and in this movie she was nothing but eye candy and also like this plot device to prove that Han was straight or something.
- I am glad that a lot of the characters got some more depth but this movie makes it SO obvious that this series wasn't planned up until this point. Now that the movies ARE more clearly connected to each other, maybe narratively they will make a little more sense. HAHAHA who am I kidding? I don't like these movies for rational reasons.
- Ok so Ludacris' song during the end credits "Furiously Dangerous" was SO painfully bad. You can do better than this, Ludacris.
- It seems so strange that just 2 months ago I had never seen a Fast and Furious movie and now I have seen 5. Moving on to Fast and Furious 6 next week. I hope it will be just as batshit insane as this one.