Dominic Toretto and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to buy their freedom while in the sights of a powerful Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent.
THE RECOMMENDATION: Fast Five was going so, so well. It had some great and surprisingly heart-pounding scenes that were the most exhilarating so far in the franchise. It’s story focused heavily for the first time on family, a theme which I think is at the core of why The Fast and the Furious franchise is so great. And finally, it also introduced some great new characters, including the wonderful Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) who seemed a bit odd and over-the-top to begin with, but very quickly grew into the macho problem-solver with wit that was so appealing. Every element was making this a memorable film and a standout in an already vastly improving franchise.
But then the ending — sorry, endings, plural — began. Fast Five is the first film over two hours and it certainly feels like it because the last twenty or so minutes are completely superfluous. There’s already a great and natural ending point built into the story on the bridge with the safe. It works and when Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’‘Connor (Paul Walker) drove off I was sure the credits would begin rolling. Instead, I was greeted with several wrap-up stories to show where all the characters went afterwards. Lots of people complained with the multiple endings of The Return of the King (a feeling I do not share — I enjoyed it there because the journey and ending of it was warranted). Seeing the end of Fast Five gave me a sense of how those people felt and for this reason alone, it detracted from the pure enjoyment that came before it. I can’t actually recommend stopping the film early since that goes against my very nature of film watching, but I’m extremely tempted to recommend that.
THE RATING: 3 out of 5