As a fifth sequel, I didn’t dare to expect that this film would have some sort of theatrical quality, at first. As it was, turns out that this film is quite an enjoyable one. Probably because this film turns itself into a caper instead of the traditional race and win stuffs as its predecessors were. Now I have a certain fondness to caper films and even if this film is still a far cry from my recent favorites such as “Ocean’s Eleven” for example, it wasn’t terrible. I could appreciate the level of craftsmanship exercised during the usual planning, execution, and improvisation of the caper. And even if I’m not entirely convinced that a couple of engines would strong enough to drag that monstrous cube thing across a busy street (and no innocents gets wasted, apparently, let’s keep it a PG-13), I could still enjoy much of its action scenes.
This film didn’t waste any time to get into a high gear (no pun intended). Great set ups at the railway, ending in a beautiful shot that went splashing into the water. If you don’t get entertained during the first few scenes of this film, you have my sympathy because apparently you have a bit of a problem outside of the theater and it was certainly affecting you in some way and therefore you can’t get entertained easily. I would give you a hug, but I’m not a hugger. Sorry. Anyways, though the film was often awkward (at best) when shifting between actions and its “softer” scenes, once the caper part of the story started, it’s obvious that this film is in a different league than its predecessors. And I’m liking it. Oh, and you certainly don’t want to miss the scene when two of this film’s biggest actors are trading punches. It was, for me, the highlight of this film. Hands down. Though the scene got me mused. I mean, when a certain actor reads a script that requires him to lose in a fight, what would he says? Probably doesn’t matter.
I was grown up with Rambo, Rocky, Predator, Commando, and Die Hard. Heck, one of my earliest theater experience is The Last Boy Scout. So, it’s probably quite understandable that I had a soft spot for a stereotyped action heroes. This has earned a frown from my wife, but the fact remains. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson may not be as great as Stallone or Schwarzenegger was, but to see them in one screen was enough to excites one that has this secretive soft spot to tough, muscular guys with guttural voices. Wait, that sounds gay. Anyway, though the casts were uneven (some are worthy for chuckles, and others are pain inducing to see) they did an awesome job. The clowns were funny, the banters are quite natural, and I suspect some of them are ad-libbed, but the romances are sadly, not quite up the par.
Of course, to be able to convince such an ensemble to participate, or in most cases, made their returns on its fifth sequel, you’ve got to had a potential in your pre-productions. Unless these actors are in a deep debt and desperately need a quick and easy cash. Most unlikely. And if this ensemble couldn’t produce anything fun on screen (not necessarily thoughtful, or masterpiece performances, just “fun” would do), then Justin Lin would’ve told by his friends to look for another career. Well, the latter didn’t happen, and “Fast Six” is right on this film’s heels. So, all things considered, Justin Lin did a great job bringing in the profits. Man, the memory of this franchise’s fourth sequels was still fresh in my mind. Maybe I’m getting smarter, or maybe these sequels are coming out too quick. Probably the latter. Either way, it’s fun time. In terms of enjoyment, I liked this one even better than that film about robots.
P.S: Any competent employee wouldn’t had any problem memorizing ten locations. I mean, come on, they were the same exact locations, week in week out. Why do you need to put it on a data trail?