Friday 25 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
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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