Friday, April 29, 2011

The Most Erotic Movie I've Seen All Year: Fast Five

This review originally appeared on the San Francisco Appeal.

"Fast Five" is the most erotic movie I've seen all year. At one point in the hot mess that is the "fifth" entry into this ridiculous series, Vin Diesel, (back again some more!), and the Rock, (once again his hulking self, after some scary skinny years), stare intensely into each others eyes and start sweating. It is so obvious they want to kiss. Instead, they kick each others asses, but really, this is just foreplay.

I have seen every entry in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what actually happens in any of them. If that's something you feel you need to know before going into this, I suggest Wikipedia. But if you want to catch up on these films, you really only need to see the first one, ("The Fast and the Furious") and the fourth one ("Fast and Furious"), which, yeah, is confusing since that means this one is actually the third real sequel, and that "Five" means nothing.

The film begins with a prison break, and ends with a bank heist. Dom (Diesel) is back, as is former cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), and the woman he loves, Dom's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). Together they gather a team of everyone who has ever appeared in any of the previous movies (this includes Ludacris, Sung Kang, and Tyrese Gibson), to pull off One Final Job, stealing $100 million from Rio de Janeiro's criminal kingpin.

Hot on their trail is a Federal Agent named Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who has put together his own team, which includes local law enforcement officer/beauty queen Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), one of the only officers in Rio not in the pocket of crime lord Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).

Of course, plot doesn't really matter in a movie like this, does it? It's all about the cars and the explosions. And to tell you the truth, I thought there was a little too much plot, and not enough cars. (The amount of explosions is fine.) The whole thing runs over two-hours long, and there's a solid 30 minutes in there that does not involve cars and/or fights. That is unnecessary, especially when the action is as well directed as it is here. (Justin Lin, who directed the previous entry, as well as "Tokyo Drift," is back in the driver's seat for this one.)

But what car action is presented, is all kinds of awesome ridiculousness. Most people will probably laugh at the implausibility of almost every stunt in the movie. But I'm not going to argue over the plausibility of a bus t-boning a 1970 Dodge Charger, with the result being the bus then flips over ten times, killing absolutely none of the dozens of prisoners chained up inside, and the Charger driving away with some minor cosmetic damage. I'm not going to argue about this because it's pretty obvious this could happen. The Charger is an awesome car.

But let's get back to the film's eroticism. Most of the men in this movie are buff and sweaty, except for the Rock, who is ripped and greasy. I found it pretty refreshing that while there are three attractive women with supporting roles in the film, there's only one scene featuring one of them in a bikini. The men and the cars are the real sex objects here.

I'll admit, I still love me some Vin Diesel, even if more and more he is beginning to resemble the bastard love child of Yul Brynner and Corky. And pairing him up with the Rock is so obvious I can't believe it hasn't been done before. So, even if the two of them are unable to consummate their love in this film, you can be damn sure there will be a sequel. (Especially since a scene that runs during the end credits drops a bombshell reveal about one of the series regulars.) And I say, bring it. "Fast Five" is about as much fun as a big, dumb, greasy slab of man-meat movie can be.

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