20. FAST FIVE
Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brester, Dwayne Johnson, Elsa Pataky, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Sung Kang
Let’s put it all out there: the acting is merely passable; the story is an arrogant Ocean’s Eleven knockoff; tricky camerawork somehow makes it seem that Vin Diesel is the same height as The Rock; the girls are hot, in a shallow way; and the action scenes defy all kinds of logic. Yes, Fast Five is a lobotomized case of style over substance, and we don’t love ourselves for saying this, but here goes: This movie kicks tremendous amounts of brain-numbing ass!
The fifth entry into everyone’s favorite drag-racing, car-jacking action franchise, director Justin Lin’s massive hit redefines the series, shifting from automotive obsession to intricate heist intrigue—it’s a brilliant strategy, since the whole Dub Gone Wild shtick petered out in 2009’s lame Fast & Furious.
Reassembling key players from each of the films, stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a pack of wisecracking cohorts through several adrenaline-charged action sequences, especially a climactic chase through busy Brazilian streets with a huge bank vault tied to two of the vehicles. Fast Five is a textbook example of giving fans what they want, succeeding through lack of pretension and a self-awareness that, yes, it’s a ridiculous romp, but that’s all the more reason to shut one’s brain off and have a blast.