Nominee #14 - Fast Five (2011)
Dominic Toretto, a street racer and his crew venture on a heist to earn their freedom whilst in the sights of a Brazilian drug lord and a federal agent.
Justin Lin Writers:
The Fast and Furious franchise after ten years of screeching tires and revving engines showed no signs of stopping. The movies had gradually become an action sub-genre of their own, intense, at times silly, fun and pulsing with adrenaline. It was the combination of these ingredients that created the soul of the franchise, something insane and yet riveting. However, it would take five movies and ten for the series to really find itself, ten years since audiences first met Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner. Fast Five brings together everything the franchise is and adds a flavour of its own, a heist.
The greatest heist movies are more than the heist itself.
Dominic Toretto and his crew now wanted fugitives must buy their way to freedom. With their sights set on Brazilian drug lord, Reyes, they must plan and execute the perfect heist. However, with federal agent Hobbs hot on their tail, Toretto may have for the first time met his match. It’s a straightforward premise that promises a thrill ride, and it delivers, giving us one of the strongest, if not the strongest instalment in the series.
The greatest heist movies are more than the heist itself. Heists are crimes and despite how creatively or artfully they are constructed, legally speaking, the thieves are the bad guys. So how does a director get an audience on board with the criminals? Character. Building convincing and meaningful characters is perhaps the most vital component of a heist film. Fast Five accomplishes this in a way never before seen in the series, characters are given depth and the heist is driven by emotional purpose.
Fast Five captures the art of the heist, the planning, the practice and the execution. We are introduced to new and interesting characters, each with their own quirks and each with purpose. From Gisele (Gal Gadot), to Leo and Santos (Tego Calderon and Don Omar) to Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), the film also brings characters seen before, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Han (Sung Kang) to create the perfect team. Fast Five combines character with action therefore creating one of the most riveting, fast paced and explosive heist movies ever made.
The franchise’s heart has really always been the theme of family, which seems unusual in a series that boasts some of the most bizarre stunts and action sequences ever put to film. Yet, family in many ways is the unbreakable backbone of the franchise, Fast Five however, takes it front and centre, giving the film emotional depth that elevates the experience. Fast Five remarkably retains everything the franchise has been known for, drag races, excessive downshifts, mind blowing stunts and mayhem while artfully constructing the perfect heist as well as introducing new characters.
Fast Five took the series in a new direction, a change of gear, a breath of fresh air. Fast Five reinvented its formula while keeping its soul. There is no shortage of action, in fact it’s all dialled up, creating one of the impressive heist movies, one quarter mile at a time.