May 012011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

Turn off your brains and rev-up your engines folks because it’s officially the start of the summer movie season.

This year things get started off with “Fast Five,” the fifth entry in the high-octane “Fast and the Furious” franchise.

If you have seen any of the previous movies in the series, you already know what to expect with “Fast Five:” Implausibly over the top action sequences, a lot of cars, bad acting and stupid dialogue.

Although this movie does not relinquish these strengths and weaknesses of the previous films, it takes a page out of the “Ocean’s Eleven” series by adding a heist element to the formula.

This makes “Fast Five” the freshest entry in the series since the original and a whole lot of fun.

The movie picks up right where the last one left off, with Dom Torreto (Vin Diesel) on the way to prison when his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and ex-cop Brian O’ Connor (Paul Walker) break him out.

In doing so, the trio rises to the top of America’s Most Wanted List and flees to Rio de Janeiro, where they decide to conjure up one final job to set themselves free.

Because the movie focuses on a heist rather than strictly car racing, it feels dynamic and prevents the series from becoming too stale.

This is all the more impressive considering that the “Fast and the Furious” mythology has stayed long past its welcome.

Most importantly, “Fast Five” never lets off the gas when it comes to entertainment value. After you look past some of the movie’s more ludicrous components, you’ll find an enjoyable action film to kick off the summer in style.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at and can be followed on Twitter at

 Posted by at 5:19 pm

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