Release Date: April 29, 2011
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker,
Jordana Brewster, Dwayne
Johnson, Joaquim de Almeida,
Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung
Kang, Don Omar, Matt Schulze,
Genre: Action Thriller
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 130 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures/Comcast
Director: Justin Lin
Executive Producer: Amanda Lewis, Samantha Vincent
Producer: Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell,
Neal H. Moritz
Writer: Chris Morgan
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
Stephen Burke, CEO, NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COOL, Universal Studios
Adam Fogelson, Chairman, Universal Pictures
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
In the story, federal agent Brian O’Connor frees Dominic Toretto from a harsh, unfair prison sentence by helping Dom’s sister, Mia, break Dom out of a prison bus. Brian and Mia then show up in Rio de Janeiro at the doorstep of Dom’s partner, Vince. Needing money, Brian and Mia agree to help Vince steal some cars seized by the DEA. They are being paid by a Rio crime lord named Reyes, whose gang shows up during the heist and kills the three DEA agents guarding the cars on a train headed north to America.
Dom also shows up during the heist to help Brian, Mia and Vince, but he suspects there’s something else in one of the cars Reyes wants. So, he orders Mia to take the most suspect car to their hideout while he and Brian fight off the Reyes gang. A slambang, jaw-dropping stunt sequence follows, at the end of which, however, the gang captures Brian and Dom. Reyes has Dom and Brian tied up and threatens their lives, but Brian and Dom escape.
Back at their hideout, they find out that the car they took from Reyes contains a computer chip detailing the schedule and location of all of the drug drops of Reyes and his gang. Now, however, a special team of American agents, led by Luke Hobbs, a tough hombre played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, arrives in Rio. Hobbs thinks Brian and Dom killed the DEA agents, and he’s all set to take them dead or alive.
In order to escape this new problem, Dom, Mia and Brian decide to take down the Reyes gang and steal all their money. They figure that, with all that money, they can evade capture forever – especially if they go to countries with no extradition treaties with the United States. Of course, this scheme proves easier planned than done.
While FAST FIVE asks audiences to root for a gang on the lam for breaking someone out of prison, it’s still a movie that’s undeniably fun and unbelievably fast-paced. As noted, the characters and the performances driving them have an extra level of soul and emotion that are above the norm for the genre and that translates into a strong message in which family comes ahead of money, even for these criminals on the wrong side of the law. At one point, the sister reveals she’s pregnant, but this is seen as a joyous occasion, where family is expanded rather than a burden as some movies might do. However, she and the movie’s other lead hero seem to remain unmarried even at the end.
Despite this problem, FAST FIVE is laced with overtly positive Christian moments, including three dramatic shots of the giant Jesus statue overlooking Rio. Also, Dom prays the Sign of the Cross over a friend and clearly calls for a character to say grace before a meal. In addition, Dom speaks positively about his late father, describing him as a churchgoing man who made the family attend church every Sunday and who was happy to feed other neighborhood people as long as they went to church. In the end, he looks happily up at Heaven as he prepares to give a lot of the heist money to the widow of his dead friend to help raise her child. He also allows Brian to win a car race in the middle of the movie so that Brian and his sister will have an extra $1 million to raise his child with. While the gang keeps much of the loot, they are out to destroy the crime kingpin and set average poor people free from the kingpin’s tyranny. Another remarkable scene involves the federal agent Hobbs in danger of being killed by the Reyes gang members after he captures Dom, Brian and Mia, but they return to save him from certain death. This leads to a reconciliation of sorts between Hobbs and Dom and an allegiance to bring down the crime kingpin.
All told, FAST FIVE is edge-of-your-seat entertainment from start to finish, with a welcome extra dose of positive values in the mix marred by an antinomian set-up. Even so, the movie’s most positive message seems to be, “Faith, family and friends sustain us.” There’s still too much foul language, however, even though, in FAST FIVE, the filmmakers have eliminated the strong negative content of the last movie. Thus, extreme or strong caution is still warranted.
FAST FIVE is one of the most exciting, jaw-dropping popcorn movies to come along. The characters and the performances driving them have an extra level of soul and emotion. The movie still has too much foul language, however, though the filmmakers have removed the strong negative content afflicting the last FAST AND FURIOUS movie. In fact, Dom’s Christian faith seems stronger than ever in FAST FIVE, though the main characters are still on the lam from the law.