Friday 18 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Action · Fast Five

Fast Five

The most entertaining of ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise

Rod Lott April 29th, 2011

Some would equate the statement “the most entertaining of ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise” with “the best time I got punched in the face.”

And understandably so, as the first and fourth films failed to rev my fun engine. Yet “Fast Five” achieves that seemingly insurmountable peak. Once worldwide receipts are counted, I suspect its tally will be larger than any of its predecessors.

Part of that is because it mostly glosses over what the 2001 original so off-puttingly drowned itself in: the highly niche culture of modified cars for illegal street racing. Instead, while retaining its core characters, “Fast Five” opens itself up and casts a wider net. No longer is it mere automotive porn, but a full-fledged heist movie.

It’s not necessary to have seen the others, but doing so will increase viewer satisfaction, as on-the-run Dom (Vin Diesel) and O’Conner (Paul Walker) cull — “Ocean’s Eleven”-style — various cast members from the previous entries to an empty warehouse in sunny Rio de Janeiro for the requisite One Last Job: to rob a local drug lord (Joaquim de Almeida, TV’s “24”) of all his filthy money.

Dwayne Johnson (“Faster”) happily joins the fray as the federal agent on their trail. While Diesel and Walker act poorly, Johnson seems to be only one who realizes this is all for fun, infusing his orders-barking character with a sardonic, gung-ho machismo take on Tommy Lee Jones’ Lt. Gerard in “The Fugitive.”

Returning director Justin Lin delivers heavily in the amped-up action sequences, where life, limb and property are discarded with nonchalance, like so many empty pistachio shells. “Fast Five” may be equally as disposable, but it tastes delicious at the time. —Rod Lott
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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