miércoles, noviembre 29, 2023

Why Fast Five Is a Perfect Fast and Furious Sequel

The fifth iteration is a heist movie, full stop. It is reminiscent of Ocean’s Eleven in that a colorful crew of personalities coalesce around a shared goal: getting very rich, very fast. Much of the fun comes from watching these people solve problems in their own unique ways. Later films use the same basic setup—because it works—but the impact ends up watered down between the ever-larger casts and the evermore ridiculous stunts. But in Fast Five, the formula worked to perfection.

The Best Chase Scene Doesn’t Involve Cars

That might be borderline blasphemous—this is, after all, a series with oodles of car chases—but it is nonetheless true. After Dom and Brian are framed for the death of several DEA agents, the US government deploys Lucas Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to Brazil to bring the fugitives to justice. Hobbs is a smoldering brick outhouse and the kind of agent who always gets his man. Thanos likes to brag about being inevitable but Hobbs got there first!

Hobbs tracks the fugitives to their friend Vince (Matt Schulze), but the minions for Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) arrive first, kicking off a three-way race across the favela. The scene has strong Jason Bourne vibes as the characters race across rooftops and skirt through narrow alleys. A temporary alliance is formed when Dom saves Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) from Reyes’ gunmen. But the highlight is the way Hobbs pursues Dom. He’s a freight train in combat fatigues, and though Dom gets away, you know it’s only a matter of time before these two clash. Speaking of which…

Dom vs Hobbs

For a franchise ostensibly about souped up cars, there are some incredible fight scenes. Hobbs vs Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Either of the prison fights. Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) vs Ronda Rousey (technically the character’s name is Kara but c’mon, she’s fighting Ronda Rousey!). But the clash between Dom and Hobbs reigns supreme.

Hobbs tracks the crew back to their hideout and practically ejects from his armored humvee in his eagerness to get after Dom. The men collide with the terrible weight of gravity. These are big men, and they fall like mountains. The fight is so sweaty you can practically smell the testosterone. Someone is tossed through two windows and two walls. A single wall would be enough to stop most fights, but these guys are cut from granite. Other fights are flashier or deadlier, but you can’t top this one for pure adrenaline-racing awe.

When You’re Here, You’re Family

Dom’s love of family—and his quasi-belief in it as a kind of higher power—has given rise to thousands of memes. It’s become the gift that keeps on giving, and it dovetails with the satirical trend of the series as a whole. But the family vibe was once pure, and it got its start here.

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