January 21, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Furious Fridays: Fast Five

We took a break last week so Ryan could not go to Belize. But we're back with a chat about Fast Five.

Next up in our rewatch (and first watch for Tom) of the films in the Fast and the Furious franchise, is the 4th sequel: Fast Five. For this viewing we all watched the Extended Cut, which is a whopping 73 seconds longer than the theatrical cut. What are the differences you ask? Well, you can read about them here, but for the most part not having to stay within the confines of a PG-13 rating, a lot of cgi blood was added.

tomk: Fast 5: Get That Title Out Fast

Started the movie…so Dom died when the bus flipped, right? And everything from here is his personal afterlife?

jimmy: No, this is the one where they brought him back as a Terminator. Did you hear the metallic clang when he was hit in the forearm with a crowbar while on the train?

tomk: I did see him break chains by simply flexing.

jimmy: He’s the new prototype D-1000. (D for Dom obviously.)

tomk: Hey, it’s a guy who’s bigger than Dom!

Mia’s pregnant, isn’t she?

Oh, what a surprise…she is.

There’s some rather unintentionally portentous dialogue regarding Brian here…

Man, Roman sure is a ray of sunshine.

Wow. You can do anything with cars.

jimmy: I hope you noticed this…

tomk: Huh.

They’re using Dells. Ryan will be pleased.

jimmy: Exactly.

tomk: I mean, Han is a chameleon. He fits in everywhere. No one would ever notice the Japanese man wandering around Rio.

jimmy: Lol, I thought the same thing.

tomk: It was a better plan than sending Roman in with Brian’s ID to the cops.

jimmy: It’s a tan.

tomk: Yes, and I know very well how well men with names like “O’Connor” can tan…

jimmy: The whole movie was funny with regards to the plan. Even though it moved in a logical progression, it was like “we need some 10 seconds cars”. “Forget that, we need some invisible cars.” “Ah what the hell, let’s just crash through the wall in this all-terrain vehicle.”

tomk: Yeah, the whole bomb in the bathroom really wasn’t necessary when you have an all-terrain vehicle. At least the police cars came in handy in the end.

jimmy: Well, the ATV was Hobbs, so it wasn’t part of any plan until the end. But good point about the police cars. And they sure did wrangle up those two black cars with the wenches awfully quick.

tomk: That back-up vault also came in handy.

jimmy: And the custom fit garbage truck they had lying around.

tomk: And they had Wonder Woman on speed dial.

jimmy: Han’s a big fan.

tomk: He can drive while making out. How is he not the hero of this series?

jimmy: Well, Brian can do that drive while not looking trick that seems to work on the ladies.

tomk: And they tried out another Replacement Letty in this one only to have it be revealed she never died, big surprise.

jimmy: Yeah, nice little teaser there. And completely gratuitous cameo by another former series “star”.

tomk: Abe Vigoda?

jimmy: Close.

tomk: I’m just amazed sometimes that cars can apparently be used at high speed for any theft.

Like, stealing cars from trains.

And, er, using a bank vault as a wrecking ball at high speed.

jimmy: So, what did you think of the vault scene? It had the potential to be completely ridiculously…ok, it was completely ridiculous but somehow it worked. Even the ending when he somehow swung the car around and had it fly through the air and hit the bad guy’s car perfectly. If you weren’t smiling during that whole sequence you must be, you guessed it, dead inside.

tomk: I realized the whole series made a turn for the ridiculous when Brian made the prison bus flip because his car was apparently built on the planet Krypton. I took the whole movie as such and enjoyed this one the most so far.

jimmy: I agree. It’s hard to believe that a fourth sequel of a franchise that was really on life support and then DOA, could be it’s best yet.

tomk: I think it helps if you accept that it really is a completely different animal by this point. The first one was trying to be Point Break with cars, and then there were a pair of largely by-the-numbers sequels, and now we’ve gone full batspit crazy.

jimmy: Heh. Exactly. And I think this is where people like yourself have missed out. This is a very different beast. So fun. So much action and deftly directed by Lin. I think how the series has matured is most evident by the scene where they go to the street race to win the first car. Instead of being a 10 minute sequence of precision driving…they show none of it and the guys just return victorious.

tomk: True. I mean, there is an obligatory race scene later, but it was stuff like this made me realize I must have missed out on something. This is not the first one, the second one, or especially Tokyo Drift. They got away from being simple racing movies and moved into more Heist Film territory, and these characters fit that. And they do it while still somewhat respecting the past, as seen with bringing Vince back.

jimmy: Bringing Vince back was a nice nod to the first film, but he seems like mostly a waste or just in the way. It gave them a chance to show Dom being Dom though, leaving the money for little Nico.

tomk: Well, he may not have done much (and heck, I expected he was going to be a traitor in the end when he first saved Mia), but I was wondering what happened to the rest of Dom’s crew for a bit there.

jimmy: I was expecting him to be a traitor by the end as well.

tomk: Is Ryan coming this week?

jimmy: *shrug*

ryan: Yup. Finishing my rewatch right now.

jimmy: The Fast and the Subtitled.

ryan: Those mumbles and growls don’t translate themselves.

Watching this whole series again makes me appreciate how brilliant Fast Five really was–the pivot to a heist series was just incredible.

And after watching these first four, then seeing the people all come together was just awesome. Even Vince as an is-he/isn’t-he turncoat was great.

Loved the references to the earlier movies, from the Miami job to Dom cheating in the race with Brian in 4.

There was even a throwaway line about the time in DR stealing gas–they gave the gas away??? That seemed odd. But whatever. So much fun.

That three party chase through the favela was fantastic. Although the rooftop scenes were much better than the alleys but the action between then was pretty cool.

And in addition to the bank vault dead inside test, I’d also say you might be dead inside if you didn’t feel anything when The Rock said “I’ll ride with you, Toretto.”

tomk: Hooray! I am no longer dead inside!

Is Rio made for rooftop slum chases? I could’ve swore I saw Tim Roth pursuing Edward Norton in the background.

jimmy: Is that an Incredible Hulk reference? I’m striking it from the record.

tomk: Do you know of other movies where Tim Roth chases Edward Norton through the slums of Rio?

jimmy: No. But I hope that’s what you are talking about. This isn’t a Marvel chat. We only deal with gritty realism here in The Fast and the Furious.

tomk: Oh. Right. I forgot.

ryan: I know it’s not Brian’s style, either because of the writing or because of his acting or probably both, but I really wish he would be a bit more assertive. Instead he just stares a lot. Like when Vince starts yelling about him saying he knew when he was a cop, etc., I really wanted Brian to yell back “How’s that arm, Vince?” Or *something*. Nope, he just glares.

But again, that’s the talking part. We’re not here for the talking part.

jimmy: I know they are on course to bring back everyone that has ever appeared in the series, but I still found Vince’s return a bit of a surprise.

tomk: Maybe Vince did too. He barely had time to gloat over spotting the undercover cop.

jimmy: He was the only one. Of all the things that happen in this series, Dom’s blind spot for Brian in the first film is one of the biggest head scratchers.

tomk: Dom knows cars, not people.

ryan: I disagree with that only because Brian isn’t really written as a cop. He is a cop, but doesn’t act like one. Like I said in our first rewrite, that scene when they catch Brian breaking into the garage–there’s no reason why Vince would think *that* makes Brian look like a cop. It was a very un-cop-like thing he was doing.

tomk: You say that like whoever wrote the original screenplay knows proper cop behavior.

ryan: I don’t expect them to be experts in undercover operations–but finding your street racing companion breaking into the garage of a rival street racer doesn’t say “HOLY CRAP HE’S A COP!”

Especially when it turns out that you’re actually a bunch of thieves trying to fund your expensive street racing habit. And you always win at said street races. So it turns out that street racing is not self-sufficient and you need alternative sources of income. Finding a fellow street racer breaking and entering should say “HOLY CRAP HE’S LIKE US!” before it sets off the cop detector.

Still, Vince was right. And he was very wrong in getting involved in the train heist. Dom could have thrown that back in his face too and said that’s Vince’s thing–he’s always right half the time.

tomk: As long as he’s right in the second half, everything should work out OK.

jimmy: Kinda cool they brought him back all the same. Really builds the F&F universe up nicely, which we’ll see more of as we go through 6 & 7.

tomk: Oh, is Hayseed McGillicutty joining the team, too?

jimmy: Time will tell my friend. Time will tell.

Speaking of telling, Ryan, do we have the latest standings in our rolling list of truth?

ryan: What a fantastic segue, Jimmy! Yes, the results are in and no surprise to anyone but Fast Five takes the lead on every category.

The rest of the four films come out like the previous results just moved down a slot. I’m expecting we’ll see similar results for the next films as the movies from 5 and up are in a whole different class.

Just for recap purposes though, our overall ranking from best to worst are Fast Five, F4 and original (tie), 2 Fast, and Tokyo Drift.

For Action it went Fast Five, F4, Tokyo, original, 2 Fast.

For Plot it’s Fast Five, F4, original, 2 Fast, Tokyo.

jimmy: I’m curious how 6 will shake out for me. I don’t remember liking it more than 5, but as Tom knows, my memory isn’t the greatest.

tomk: Who said that? Was it on a Minority Report TV show?

ryan: I remember liking each movie more than the last after 5 started the heist theme. I think 5 was innovative and daring for making the swivel, but they really embraced the insanity that this all meant in the subsequent films. And I’ve rewatched some of the scenes from 6 and 7 since they were released, but never the whole movies again. Can’t wait!

jimmy: You guys have anything else to add?

tomk: Not really. Ryan ends the chat well.

ryan: You know why? Because I’m family.

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