THE FAST AND FURIOUS FILMS

by paul cooney

Get ready to feel old everybody: The Fast and the Furious, the movie that made Vin Diesel an icon to gearheads everywhere and paved the way for a hugely successful franchise (which proved it can still pull 'em in fast and furious this summer of 2011), was released 10 summers ago. A decade of Diesel! It seems unbelievable. Even more unbelievable is that Paul Cooney, licensed lover of the pulchritudinous Paul Walker, could only attest to having seen one out of five Fast and Furious films as of the release of Fast Five! As a tribute to the Paul Walker pentology, I convinced him to see all five movies and share his thoughts with us. This is the final installment of the series, which is a rarity indeed: a 'smoke series that actually gets finished! Take it away, Paul - vrooooooooooooooooooooooooom! -- john

    PART V: FAST FIVE (2011)

Do the Fast and The Furious movies make a great argument for genocide by their very existence? Does a populace that perpetuates the popularity of such an odious succession of craptastic crap really deserve to live? (I'm excluding the awesome Tokyo Drift of course.) Of course they do! You got me FF, I'm on board. Time to embrace the awesomely awful and furiously idiotic Fast Five!

The latest and most egregiously super installment of this continued atrocity begins with the always repulsive Vin Diesel being transferred to the zoo. Hello, what's this? His cute lil' band of cronies are gonna break his neanderthal ass out! Their ingenious plan calls for a tiny crappy car that's almost as light as the wispy girl driving it to stop in front of a speeding bus which outweighs it by tons but somehow gets the worst of the collision. You bet! I love it! Why film something that makes a modicum of sense and has an ounce of actual suspense? That's for squares! Just sit back and enjoy the awesome crash. Wowsers! I bet everyone of those prisoners and guards died in that incredible wreck. Jordanna Brewster, you have great genes and are a mass murderer! You go girl!

What a great plan. Jordanna Brewster's little car took the impact of the speeding bus which subsequently careened and crashed. Somehow they sensed that Diesel would emerge from the wreck unscathed and that the other guards and prisoners would...umm I guess they didn't care if they were all killed? These are the characters I'm supposed to be rooting for? Am I supposed to find their callous disregard for human life endearing? Cuz I do.

I digress...the boys are in Brazil and stealing cars again. Our intrepid duo eschews the conventional and highly successful route of targeting unoccupied parked cars. No no! That makes far too much sense and is too lucrative and easy. These dashing cats love a challenge! Instead of the possible they pull some ludicrous moving train/Bob the Welder style heist that is incredibly dumb even for this series. After a little tiff over which thief gets to steal which car, the caper goes awry and results in Diesel and Walker going off a cliff. Sure it may have been utterly implausible and completely stupid, but so's your mother. Zing!

I got to hand it to pretty boy and mongoloid, they sure dropped into that chasm with an air of calm. James Bond, you might want to take lessons from these two cool cats! Of course once they land their placidity turns to annoyance and Diesel once again casts blame on Walker. You're not his daddy, Diesel! Leave Walker alone! Speaking of Walker, just when is pretty boy going to stand up for himself and not let Diesel bully him? How many times does Walker have to save that cretin before he gets a little respect? I haven't seen this kind of sassy back and forth since Frankenstein threw that little girl in the lake.

The bad guy from Transporter is back! Yes! Don't tell me Statham might join Fast 6: Sexy Furious. Might he? He could reprise his Death Race character and then in Fast 7: Furiously Sexier, he could be his Transporter character. Santa, are you listening you fat asshole?!

Omg The Rock! The Rock is here! I knew I loved this movie for a reason...hello, what's this? He's being paired with a hot Brazilian girl cop partner! It's all coming together now. If you're going to be implausible, at least let tits be involved. Am I right? I said, am I right? It's the first rule of theater: Aristotle knew it, Shakespeare knew it, and the fine folks at Telemundo know it. Viva!

Diesel broods and plans. (Amazing how in these movies Diesel is the brains of his crew. Did they not see Saving Private Ryan? He was even dumber than Ed Burns in that movie. And when you're as beautiful as Burns you have to be pretty stupid. Baby Jesus don't just hand out brains to go with those looks! In fact, in the director's cut Tom Hanks gets Diesel to charge a German machine gun nest by yelling, "Sic em boy!" and then afterwards pats Diesel on the head and gives him a jerky treat, murmuring "Good boy" while Jeremy Davies quietly masturbates in the cove of a church.)

In any case, Disel determines that for his latest and greatest theft he's going to need a motely crew of pilfering superstars, including a "chameleon" who can "blend in anywhere."

And for the part of the chameleon he picks...a master of disguise? Or Han from the Tokyo Drift. Hmm...now I don't want to question the decision making of a grunting grease monkey who has gotten his gf killed and lead his crew to ruin but I'm not sure some Asian dude is really going to blend in so well in Rio. But I'll allow it cuz I heart any connection to Tokyo Drift, which is so awesome!

Ludacris also shows up and regales the assembled crooks with tales of working with Justin Bieber in the studio. Incredibly, that makes him the least respected member of this organization! At least lay down some tracks with Selena Gomez, you sellout!

So as a tune up to the main heist, they steal a bunch of money from a drug kingpin, but burn it to make a point of some sort. It makes no sense of course unless the point was, this movie is idiotic. Still I loved seeing a bunch of crooks go along with needlessly burning a ton of cash cuz they mindlessly follow the orders of some wife beater wearing moron.

In a delicious twist, the drug lord moves his millions to the police station! Potential! Anytime you rip off a central plot point of Blue Streak you are moving in the right direction. Just think of the hijinx Luke Wilson, Martin Lawrence and Bill Forsythe could get into in Rio - I know I have. Which one of that happy trio would defile the girl from Ipanema first? My money's on Luke!

In another pleasing development, they seem to finally be mocking the crappy tacky toy cars that were so inexplicably prevalent in the first 4 flix, and are driving things that people with at least a modicum of sense and self respect would drive. Is it possible I could grow to love this movie? Or at least not loathe it? That's all I ask. It's the standard I hold my family and pets to, and it's worked out well. That reminds me, I really have to get something nice for my pet turtle Mr. McBoodles this Christmas. He's been such a good boy!

Han the chameleon turns out to be useless...omg at least he had his dignity intact when he died a fiery death in Tokyo. Now he's a pointless 5th banana in some favela taking orders from a grunting galoot! You had class and white girls in Tokyo, Han! This role is beneath you!

Finally some sense, and of course it comes from the always righteous The Rock. He calls out Walker for being a criminal traitor, which is devastating cuz it's true and causes those chiseled cheeks of La Walker to blush crimson with shame! He knows that for no valid reason he has turned away from a noble and successful career in law enforcement and dedicated his life to crime and putting innocent lives at risk. All so he can be a dirt poor fugitive and be insulted by Vin Diesel. Fire your life coach, Walker!

The Rock isn't finished. In what clearly is the ad-libbed line of the century, The Rock squares Diesel up and levels him by calling him a "wannabe tough guy prick." Yowza! In Brahma beer veritas! He got you, Diesel! You're gonna take that in your own franchise?

This movie is turning awesome so I'll cut them some slack when I'm forced to watch a ludicrous scene in which Diesel somehow convinces a bunch of people he doesn't know, and whose language he doesn't speak, to challenge the police and risk incarceration/death, with no benefit to themselves. It's a cunning ruse all set up so Diesel's crew can plant a tracker on The Rock's truck. Umm The Rock is super awesome but he does sleep, idiot. Why not wait til he gets some shut eye and do it then?

In fact, in the very next scene Diesel is breaking into cute Brasilian cop's house! So planting the tracker required a dangerous and elaborate ruse but then you could find a cop's address and break into her house with ease by yourself?

Some other stuff happens and I'm too busy dreaming of Lucas Black and Nat Kelley enjoying their law-abiding lives to care. I suppose the producers of the FF series feel that the audience isn't interested in watching that dreamy duo lead exemplary lives of drama free fun and public sex. Or is Paul Walker jealous of Black's smoldering smolderingness? Is it too dangerous to have Diesel, the living emobiment of Lenny from Of Mice and Men, next to a delicate flower like Kelley? Omg! It's too risky! You're right producers, don't ever let Kelley and Diesel share the screen! Her hair is too pretty for Diesy to resist!

Back to the awesomness in Rio! The idiots have a race on the streets in stolen cop cars, once again endangering the lives of countless innocents. Now might be a good time to take a look at their Driver's Ed instructors, who clearly failed us all by not imparting a proper respect for the road in their students.

Some other stuff happens and then the director gets cute, trying to slip in a justification for Diesel's grotesque life of crime. "He stole gas and gave it away."

Bullshit! Bullshit has officially been called! Too late, Justin Lin! You can't pull that "he's a Robin Hood" type in the 5th installment.

a) It's fucking idiotic on its face. Stole gas and gave it away? To who? The poor and desperate who have plenty of food and a house and even a job and car...but could use a little extra fuel to get to their gigs each day? Eat me. "Oh thank god! That steroid-infused gas fairy is back! Quick everyone! To your cars! Finally we can drive again now that the gas fairy has returned!"

b) It really is inexplicable that the idiots who started this franchise didn't make Diesel and Walker Robin Hoodesque thieves from the start. The heroes of these movies are assholes! They're fucking common criminals! They're not sticking it to the man or taking money from corrupt scum and giving it to the less fortunate. They've spent the bulk of the series stealing from regular folk and driving like maniacs on public streets. When is Jordanna Brewster going to confront her a-hole bro and tell him he has likely destroyed countless lives? Diesel belongs in jail and Walker is a corrupt traitor. Fuck those dildos! Give me more Rock!

The vault drag. Well Jiminy Crickets. This extended ridiculousness was so impossibly stupid I quickly went from disgust to boredom to fascination at how anyone could ever create something so awful. Diesel is clearly a moron, which makes his playing morons so effective on screen, but I wonder what the legions of producers, key grips, costume designers etc. are thinking around the set when this nonsense is being proposed/prepared. So two cars drag a vault for miles on city streets? Is Vin Diesel in complete control of everything?

Jordanna Brewster is on the radio listening to police chatter and providing helpful intel. "You guys have every corrupt cop in Rio on your tail!"

This is awesome cuz a) since when does Princess speak Portuguese? I didn't know Italian chix in California spoke so much Portuguese in between making tuna sandwiches and having sex with Walker.

b) Considering her boys are engaged in a miles-long chase in broad daylight in which they are dragging a giant vault through crowded streets (smashing cars, buildings, and likely killing civilians, including innocent young girls...congratulations Vin Diesel, your greed has resulted in dead Brazilian girls!), I'm guessing some lawful cops are in on the chase too.

The whole scene is pretty dumb as is the one in which The Rock gets beaten up by Diesel, an event so ludicrous and unbelieveable that I'm going to pretend it didn't even happen.

So our heroes get the money and we're treated to a little montage of what the they do post heist. Han takes his 11 million and goes to Tokyo. Hmm...so that means Han took that 11 million and parlayed it into a sweet gig as a lackey to a high school hood? Hung around people like little Bow Wow in parking garages? Shame on you, Han! You stole 11 million for that? Why didn't you just keep crusing around with the chick from the camera store in Eurotrip?

In happier news, The Rock is upset and determined to track down Diesel in Fast 6. Yes! As long as he's chasing Diesel across the globe, he won't be in Hollywood making egregious kids movies. Maybe Diesel is a hero after all!

Just before I jumped up and applauded yet another superlative effort who shows up but Eva Mendes, fully clothed for some inexplicable reason. She has some stunning news... Michelle Rodriguez is alive! Gross!

Attain greatness, Fast 6! Bring back Cole Hauser and his special brand of deadly menace! Is it too much to ask for a cameo by Ben Affleck? Wasn't he a car thief in Reindeer Games? A tussle with Diesel would be the greatest game of all! I like dem apples!

 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PART I: THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS>>

<<CLICK HERE FOR PART II: 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS>>

<<CLICK HERE FOR PART III: TOKYO DRIFT>>

<<CLICK HERE FOR PART IV: FAST AND FURIOUS>>

 

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