Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Movie Review

Fast Five

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language.

Reviewed by: Joseph Yates
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Action Crime Thriller Drama 3D Sequel
Length:
2 hr. 10 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
April 29, 2011 (wide)
DVD: October 4, 2011
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

high-stakes race

fugitives from justice

crime

corrupt businessmen

sin and the Bible

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

Featuring: Vin DieselDominic Toretto
Paul WalkerBrian O’Conner
Jordana Brewster … Mia
Tyrese GibsonRoman
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges … Tej
Matt Schulze … Vince
Sung Kang … Han
Gal Gadot … Gisele
Tego Calderon … Leo
Don Omar … Santos
Joaquim de Almeida … Reyes
Dwayne “The Rock” JohnsonHobbs
more »
Director: Justin Lin
Producer: Dark Side Productions
Original Film
Amanda Lewis … executive producer
more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

What guy doesn’t like watching a movie with fast cars, fighting, and explosions? “Fast Five” comes at you with both barrels. The beginning starts with a jailbreak, moving on almost seamlessly to another country where the racers (Paul Walker and Vin Diesel’s characters) are lying low. Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) makes a call for another “job.” All does not go as planned, which then sets up the story for the rest of the film.

The story itself is very well done, with some interesting plot twists. It is cohesive and believable as a film. Each character in the movie goes together and brings the story to life. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character, an FBI agent named Lucas Hobbs, provides an excellent conflict for the racers. He is a no-nonsense tough-guy agent, who sometimes takes matters into his own hands. The fight scenes, car chases, and explosions are all nicely done and good special effects. The only minor quibble: the jailbreak scene at the beginning suffers from some second-rate CGI. Other than that, the effects team did a very good job with this film.

“Fast Five” is rated PG-13, and for good reason. The film is constant action, featuring explosions, fist fights, gun fights, and neck-breaking (literally). Many people are killed in fights, including FBI agents and criminals. The violence, although high, is not that bloody. There are street-racing scenes, ogling scantily clad women, some of whom are suggestively dancing. A female character is pregnant, but not married. There is mention of “vaginal action,” and one female character is asked if she would spread her legs. Foul language is moderate, with one f-word and several uses each of h-ll, b-tch, sh-t, d-mn, g-dd-mn, and a—.

When FBI agents are thought of, they are thought of as good guys. However, Dwayne Johnson’s character Lucas Hobbs shows the audience how a life of violence can desensitize and turn you cold. When reminded that the street racers they are pursuing are people, Hobbs remarks that they are just faces on a page. This emotional detachment can be seen elsewhere, as he shoots an enemy, when the enemy was unarmed and probably willing to surrender. This illustrates King Solomon’s point: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT), and yet also proves Jeremiah correct in saying “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB). Movies like this one are fun, but avoid growing desensitized. For some people, it takes a lot to desensitize them. Others it doesn’t take much, at all. As Solomon said, watch your heart.

“Fast Five” is a fun action flick to kick off the summer movie season. Well-acted, excellent special effects, and a great story make this movie a fun choice.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie has a pregnancy and a child involving two couples, and I did not notice any wedding ring. It also has illegal acts by “good police” on the basis that the end justifies the means. It also shows huge collateral property damage inflicted on innocent persons. There are also a lot of deaths.

It also has a braless actress with erect nipples and an immodest bikini bottom. It also ends with—in one case—a gang member being involved with 2 good time girls—but they are properly dressed.

That all having been said, this is a fun movie, with huge amounts of action and great photography with beautiful backdrops. It is completely unrealistic, but it is fun. My view is that it is best for adolescents not to see this, BUT if they do, they should be accompanied by an adult and counseled thereafter. From a Christian perspective this is not a good movie, but at a fundamental level of rough justice—poetic justice—in a fallen world, it does not deviate too far from fundamental principles of right and wrong.

Interracial relationships do not offend me, but they are not all that common. I am getting sick of the new trend in movies of EVERY relationship being interracial/interethnic in some pathetic attempt to deflect critical scrutiny from the lack of proper relationship dynamics and development. The relationships in this movie are little more than “cardboard cut-outs”. The female wardrobe budget for this movie appears to have been $400 or less. It is a failing—women are not men.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Blue, age 52 (Australia)
Positive—Went and saw the movie the day it came out. Hadn’t seen any of the other films in the series. I was blown away. Talk about non stop action. The racing, the shoot outs, the fight scene between Vin and the Rock,and car chase at the end was mind blowing. There was no sex in the movie. A few shots of young women in bathing suits, but no nudity. I would caution younger viewers from ages 10-13. They might the wrong impression when it comes to driving and the respect for the law. There’s mild language and one drop of the f-word. Overall, I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Travis Ginther, age 26 (USA)
Positive—Fast Five was FUN! I took my 16 year old son and his two friends and they had a blast. Good music, great car chases and exciting “shoot outs”! Dwayne Johnson added a lot. ***spoiler*** I liked that Mia’s pregnancy was seen as a happy event and not a problem. ***end spoiler***

Remind your teen that this is entertainment—and revenge and human collateral damage are not okay.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cat, age 40 (USA)
Positive—The only other movie I’ve seen in this franchise is the first, and in that one I lost interest and didn’t even finish it. I had heard this one was better, though… and boy where they right! There’s just something about heist movies… This was just a fun movie, with some pretty cool action sequences to boot!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kadie Jo, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—“Fast Five” is, in my opinion no more or less offensive than many, many other movies out there. It has an engaging plot and is a great closing to its prequels. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the others, the Bourne movies, etc.

There is strong emphasis placed on the value of family throughout the movie, which was very touching and gave it a lot of appeal.

As to its moral content, the review does a great job of letting anybody interested know what to expect. If you go see it, don’t expect rainbows and unicorns, OR conservative values, such as modest dress for women, sex out of wedlock=a bad thing, etc. I’ve overheard comments by other Christians who innocently (or unthinkingly) went to see it and were horrified. It’s ridiculous for people to go see it and come away “shocked and saddened” by certain aspects of the content, when the facts are readily available, to say nothing of the obvious reputation of the movie’s predecessors. This is Hollywood—either lower your expectations or avoid it!

Again, a great action movie with a happy ending, and plenty of ethical questions for the rhetorically minded.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Rebecca, age 20 (USA)
Negative
Negative—There’s a certain spirit to this movie beyond the brainless, mindless action, explosions, gunfights, sleazy outfits, car chases and wrecks. And that is that good ol’ fashioned “fun” popcorn flick quality. It’s there, in abundance, but there’s still that intrinsic, hokey quality that goes with a movie based solely on brainless, mindless action, explosions, gunfights, sleazy outfits, car chases and wrecks.

Wanna do an action movie right? Watch “Tombstone,” or “Casino Royale” or the real McCoy “Taken”. “Fast Five” is simply your standard derivative sequel drivel.

I’m really alarmed by the mounting desensitization to violence we’re all under. In “Fast Five,” the leads murder and maim dozens of cops and innocent bystanders with their romp through the streets of Rio, with a 2-ton safe as their wrecking ball. Guys with families, mortgages, lives of their own.

Yeah, going back to the previous comment about the nature of this movie, you can laugh and say I’m thinking too much into it. Sure, but that’s the beauty of desensitization. You watch a movie like this, and you wanna root for the guys that steal, kill, and destroy. “It’s okay to wreak havoc on a crowded city”; oh wait. What was the line that made it all okay? “You’ve got every corrupt cop on your tail.” Oh okay, every freakin’ one of these 4 dozen cops chasing you is corrupt, so it’s okay if their brains splatter all over the pavement so you can steal 100 mil. Yeah, that’s totally justified.

Movies like this or last year’s “Kick-***” are dangerous. They highlight violence without any real, substantive repercussions. End of story.

I don’t endorse this film, for anyone. Christian or not, it matters not. Aside from the ethical dilemma, it’s just poorly done. Now full of anachronisms, the series inadvertently created with the third movie (“Tokyo Drift”) still being the chronologically latest movie, the “Fast and Furious” franchise is quickly jumping the shark.

Bury the series, and don’t let it go on to be a bad run-on sentence like the Jason or Freddy movies. When you’ve got the Rock oiled up and dripping sweat from every pore in every scene, plus M. Rodriguez being resurrected from the ashes, you’re getting there. Fast. And furiously. Maybe that’s the final joke?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Mega Tron, age 24 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I have to say, I kinda expected a little more from this movie—it was totally unrealistic (example: When “The Rock” and the female cop drive through a 3 foot thick cement wall, and emerge on the other side without a single dent on the car) and cheesy. Vin Diesel’s acting wasn’t exactly amazing, and the story wasn’t either, but, hey… it’s an action movie—who really cares? There were a lot of good explosions, and that’s all that really matters.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Lili, age 13 (Canada)
Positive—Although I have not seen the other “Fast and Furious” movies, I definitely enjoyed “Fast Five.” There were amazing stunts and a whole lot of action. There wasn’t much offensive content, at all, except for a few cuss words (including one f-word), here and there. Overall, this was a very good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—C, age 13 (USA)