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Letter to the Editor
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High action redeems shoddy content in 'Fast Five'

Fast Five is a terrible movie. The characters are cardboard cutouts, the plot is riddled with holes, the dialogue doesn?t make any sense and the acting is some of the worst I?ve seen in years.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything in the film, released April 29, is so ridiculous, so insane and so stupid that you just have to love it for what it is. The film, which is the fifth in the Fast and Furious series, is a dumb action movie, but makes no apologies about it.

Wanted criminals Brian O?Connor (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) escape to Rio de Janeiro, and undertake a job from their old friend Vince (Matt Schulze), to steal three cars from a train.

The plan goes awry when it is discovered that there are Drug Enforcement Administration agents on board, and that the cars are seized property. Mia?s brother Dom (Vin Diesel) shows up to help out with the heist.

They manage to steal the cars, but are then seized by corrupt businessman Hernan Reyes, (Joaquim de Almeida) who plans to take over Brazil. A shootout ensues, which ends in the team escaping with Reyes’s car and taking it back to the garage to find out just what he was hiding in it.

Vince is revealed to be working for Reyes after removing a computer chip from the car, which contains information on all of Reye?s illicit activities, including laundering over $100 million.

This soon becomes personal for Dom, who plans to steal the money from Reyes. This, of course, involves pulling a team together, a team of nine. Meanwhile, the team is being chased by Defense Security Service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who is the government?s best bounty hunter.

The plot is serviceable, if convoluted, and the characters, while one-dimensional, work well enough for the film. The acting is subpar at best. None of the actors have the ability to deliver the lines they?re given without sounding stupid, and what few attempts the actors make at real human emotion fall laughably flat.


Now, this is where I?m supposed to turn this around and tell you why Fast Five rises above sheer action movie dribble and is actually brilliant — except I can?t. There is no subtext. There is no hidden satire to Fast Five. This is just a stupid movie. However, it?s so stupid, that you have no choice but to love it.

Writing and the acting are not the film?s strong suits. However, the film seems to be fully aware of this, and instead decides to focus on the action scenes.

The stunt sequences are where the film really shines. All of the action scenes have a very visceral feel to them, which is heightened by the film?s surprising lack of CGI effects. The film?s final car chase is something truly spectacular to behold.

Fast Five is also appropriately self-aware. When a bus explodes and everyone onboard magically survives, you can tell that no one working on this film was taking it seriously.

The movie is also benefited by an exceptionally loud soundtrack. The near-deafening cacophony of loud music, gunfire and revving cars is so strong that you have no choice but to get pumped for each action scene.

I saw Fast Five at a midnight screening, and that may have altered my opinion of the film slightly. This is a movie best watched with a large audience; an audience that is hooting and hollering at every explosion, cheesy one-liner or ridiculous stunt.

Even without the atmosphere, Fast Five is the most enjoyable film I?ve seen in a while. If you have a penchant for fast cars, dumb action scenes and loud music, I highly recommend Fast Five.

Fast Five is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language. The film runs at 130 minutes and is playing at most local theaters. For tickets and showtimes, visit Fandango.

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    Alexandra BarisicSep 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Mucho kudos Mrs. Taggett. Trying to get a bunch of kids to keep the paint and paste on the paper and off of each other cannot be an easy job. I know William always enjoys doing art projects and having you as a teacher must make the experience even more pleasant.

    Next time I’m in Building 5, I’ll say hi!

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  • S

    Sharon ScharfSep 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    It was really neat to have our elementary and secondary schools and teachers working together to represent our school.

    Reply