- Running time:
- 130 minutes
- Vin Diesel -
- Dom Toretto
- Paul Walker -
- Brian O'Conner
- Jordana Brewster -
- Mia Toretto
- Tyrese Gibson -
- Chris ``Ludacris'' Bridges -
Former adversaries Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) are on the run from the law—together—with Dominic’s sister and Brian’s girlfriend Mia (Jordana Brewster). The trio land in Brazil, where they hatch a plan for a bank heist big enough to secure their future. They’re going to need a little help from their friends (Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar), and they’ll need to evade ruthless U.S. federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).
The buzz: Who knew the street racing action franchise started by 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” would look stronger than ever nearly a full decade later? 2009’s “Fast & Furious” was the most successful entry yet, and this installment plucks key cast members from all the previous films and drops them into a fast, furious, heist plotline, with hopes of launching a new direction for the series. It’s already working overseas—“Fast Five” dominated the box office in its early openings in the U.K. and Australia.
The verdict: Hollywood’s official summer movie kickoff is the beginning of May, but “Fast Five” revs the season up a week early with big, loud and dumb fun that avoids any aspirations to quality storytelling or meaningful filmmaking. Director Justin Lin (returning from “Fast & Furious” and predecessor “Tokyo Drift”) has practically perfected the demands of this mindless universe of fast cars and furious men, but he makes one surprising and crucial miscalculation. “Fast Five” runs over 20 minutes longer than any previous installment. The bloated length seems designed to serve the core characters, but they’re a plastic bunch played by less than accomplished actors who haven’t improved over the years. Spending time on their rivalries and family ties only causes unnecessary tedium between action highlights. At least those highlights are bigger than ever. Jumping right in where “Fast & Furious” left off—flipping over a prison transportation bus full of passengers (“no fatalities!,” we’re dutifully informed)—Lin goes all out with the kind of extravagant stunts that James Bond specialized in before Jason Bourne brought action back down to Earth. Cars fly through the air, gigantic bank vaults are hauled through city streets, shootouts crackle with intensity, and Diesel and The Rock trade blows in a scene that plays like the ultimate WWE Smackdown. It’s a giant overdose of testosterone mixed with soap opera for muscleheads and gearheads. There’s nothing terribly wrong with all this slickly executed inanity—but after the cool stunts and boring characters fade away, a question lingers. If audiences settle for “Fast Five,” why should Hollywood try any harder?
Did you know? The movie isn’t quite over when the credits roll—there’s still one more twist, and a familiar face or two—to come in a post-credits surprise that seems to set up yet another sequel.
“Fast Five” is also playing in select IMAX theaters. Find local showtimes here.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Fast Five in Louisville.
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