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Author Topic: Road to Furious 7: Fast Five  (Read 9064 times)
dnwilliams
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« on: April 06, 2015, 06:32:56 PM »

This isn't up yet because I'm slow.
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Sheridan Passell
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 01:28:03 AM »

Somebody's granny shifting.
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dnwilliams
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 10:44:21 AM »

I will be double-clutching tomorrow!
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dnwilliams
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 06:18:40 PM »



Now that Furious 7 has hit theatres worldwide we're taking a look back over how we got here. We're on Fast Five. Fast Five is life. The Fast & Furious franchise up to this point is primordial soup. All the basic materials were there and then, unexpectedly, because conditions were just right, the wonder that is Fast Five into the world.

DalmatianJaws: Alright, Fast Five. Or as I like to call it, one of the best action movies ever made, let alone for the fifth entry in a franchise. A Good Day to Die Hard is another example. Kidding!

 DNWilliams:  Batman Begins is like the only other example I can think of, and that really doesn't count, because if you're going to include the Burton movies, you should include the Adam West one, which would make it the sixth entry. That's without acknowledging that Begins is really not a part of the same series at all. I'm sure Marvel will get there with a fifth entry at some point, but Fast Five definitely holds the title. It's ridiculous how good this movie is.

 DJ:  Here's how fucking awesome this movie is – the pre-credits teaser is a freaking jailbreak.



 
DNW:  Yeah, it starts right where we left off, and we get to see the result of what was teased: Brian and Mia flip the prison bus Dom is riding. It's awesome and, as we're reliably informed during a news montage, there were no fatalities, which is hilarious.

DJ:  Yep, they need to make sure our heroes are still heroes.

 DNW:  So they went full A-Team with it. I love it though. Also, Perd Hapley is one of the news reporters.



DJ: They follow it up with one of the very best action scenes I've ever seen. Ever. We talked about it earlier in this series, but we next see them using moving vehicles to steal moving vehicles from a moving vehicle, and Toretto gets to see Brian in full criminal mode.

 DNW:  We've jumped over the reintroduction of Vince, but yeah.

 DJ: Oh that's right!!! Vince has this fully loaded posse, living in the ghetto, and here comes O'Connor with his former flame. Great tension and character work.

 DNW:  It's so good to see Vince back, he's got such a well-defined persona and brings a great vibe to the team. He's resentful of Brian, which makes perfect
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dnwilliams
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 06:19:45 PM »



 DNW:  Yeah, it's a natural fit in a way that Tokyo Drift logically should have been, but wasn't. So, Hobbs instructs his team to find out what was so special about the car and they can't, but he’s a savant. He sees that there have been modifications, slyly references previous movies with a "may as well slap neon lights on it" quip, and figures that there's a chip missing from the computer. Meanwhile, Dom's newly assembled team/family figure out that all of Reyes's money goes to....THE POLICE STATION. We're in damn fine heist movie territory already. Luda, tech genius that he is, has Tyrese smuggle in a remote control camera that he can case the joint with.
 
DJ:  And Tyrese reveals his super power: kinda being a chump. Sorry, I hate this character so I crap all over him, but he just makes no sense, has no discernible skills, and he’s annoying.

 DNW:  The "it says Caucasian" moment with his fake ID gets a chuckle out of me every time. He's certainly a chump here, but not accidentally so.

 DJ:  He's meant to be the wildcard of the team, but he's consistently underwritten I think.

DNW: Because it's a heist movie, they start planning the heist without the audience being fully aware of the plan, but the next step is, predictably: acquire cars.

DJ: Step one: cars. But the money is in a building, Dom... CARS!!!!! I said CARS!

 DNW:  Exactly! So, we're about to get a street racing sequence to see Dom and Brian win a car. Then we don't, because obviously they win the car so we just skip straight over it. I like that choice a lot. Then we get to see everyone competitively practice their driving skills, which is a cool team-bonding sequence.



DJ:  It's a bit of a time-killer, plot-wise, but it works.

 DNW:  That's the thing with movies like this, it's hard for some of the planning and character stuff not to feel like filler, but I actually really enjoy it all. They practice driving and Han falls for Giselle, then Han and Giselle go and get the handprint that they need from Reyes because she intuitively knows that he's going to palm her rear. I want to know how Han planned to get the palm print on his own, this is never addressed.

DJ:  Yeah, the answer is the writer didn't know, the whole point was to get Gal Gadot to be half naked. Let's face it.

DNW:  How dare you question the screenwriter's integrity!




 DJ:  I'm not questioning anything, it's a great ... scene. So – they get caught by Hobbs, but the bad guy kills Hobbs's team, so now Hobbs wants them to win. Great turnaround here, I love this.

 DNW:  We're not skipping the invisible cars!

 DJ:  Wait, what? Oh yeah, they drive really fast to avoid cameras or something like that right?

DNW:  They try to, but it's not working, they'd need invisible cars. Dom says he know where to get them. So they steal cop cars.

 DJ:  That's right!

 DNW:  Then, stealing the cop cars isn't enough - they have to race in them. A quarter mile for a million dollars.

 DJ:  Hahaha, oh yeah.



 DNW:  It's another really inventive scene for the movie. Roman uses his lights and sirens, because of course he does, and Brian FINALLY wins. Yay!

DJ:  But DID Brian win? DID HE REALLY?!

 DNW:  Brian gets deflated a little when it's suggested that he didn't. I love that bit. He's so smug and then...so confused.



 DJ:  Again, showing that he and Toretto really are the core of this movie. Okay, can we scream about the safe sequence now?

 DNW:  ALMOST. Vince saves Mia from Reyes's guys and brings her back he's welcomed with semi-open arms, they have another almost-BBQ, and everyone finds out Mia is pregnant, so the whole letting-Brian-win thing falls into place, because it was Dom's baby gift. We get a great Rock vs Diesel fight when the cops finally track the gang down, and Dom just stops himself from killing Hobbs. When the crew are hauled off, there's an ambush which takes out Hobbs's team. So now he wants vengeance, and letting Dom pull off the heist is the  best way to get it. "I'll ride with you, Toretto" got a massive laugh from me when I first heard it. Then, yes. Driving. The. Safe.

 DJ:  YAY!

 DNW: There's this one shot of a baby watching the chase with his mouth wide open - that's us, that's the audience. We've got Mia on comms giving a bit of a running commentary about how awesome everything we're watching is. It's so inventive. Brian and Dom have to do some synchronised driving, the safe is used as a weapon. It's all so, so good.




 DJ:  Here's the thing about the safe sequence. It's not just a one trick pony, they keep raising the stakes. They learn how to use the safe to their advantage and they even pull of a final switcheroo on Hobbs.

 DNW:  That's when they go full Ocean's Eleven. That awesome thing you just saw? It was EVEN MORE awesome than you thought.

 DJ:  Yep, it's in keeping with their characters and it keep Hobbs a semi-antagonist for the next film. Great stuff.

 DNW:  Yeah, it's perfect. Final thoughts and Eva Mendes?

 DJ:  This movie seriously is just a miracle. It has no reason to be this good. And things like the Eva Mendez mid-credit teaser are just the sort of thing that make it work. Ridiculous and totally for the fans.

DNW:  The Mendes cameo was the icing on the cake, because the movie was so over the top, so ridiculously, consistently entertaining, such a massive cartoon, then they throw on the twist ending at the end of Letty still being alive. It's 100% soap opera cliché, and it couldn't have made me more happy. I wouldn't have minded if it was Lefty’s evil twin, but it's just as good, it's Letty with amnesia.

 DJ:  Yep.

 DNW:  It really is an unreasonably fun movie, with the promise of more fun in store...and more fun is exactly what we got.
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dnwilliams
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 07:41:39 PM »

Good to go.
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dnwilliams
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2015, 06:18:06 PM »

Crap, I just noticed on the front page...there's a MASSIVE chunk missing that must've gotten erased when I cut and paste the image. Right at the end of the first part where my sentence ends on 'perfect':

Quote
perfect sense, protective of Mia, and loyal to Dom.
DJ:  Yep, I really wish Vince made it into the later instalments.
DNW:  Same, Vince brings something to the team no one has been able to since. He brings tension to the unit, he was like the Loki of the family. You need an under-appreciated dude that screws up sometimes.
 DJ:  They kinda do that with Tyrese Gibson later, but he’s just a buffoon.
DNW: Vince offers Brian the train job and Brian takes it before Dom is there to give his opinion. Like you said, it's a phenomenal sequence. Way better than I remembered, even. The stunt work is amazing and the tension is great too. They don't know the guys they've teamed up with - Vince vouches for them, but that's it - and it turns out they were right to be distrustful. These new team members want to get their hands very specifically on the car that Mia is driving off of the speeding train, and that's when Dom (who gets to make a great entrance here) knows something is up. As amazing as all of the stuff leading up to it is - it's the bridge leap that stands out, because it's so crazy. Pre-Furious 6 it was the most outlandish thing to happen in the franchise. Dom has to rescue Brian so he speeds alongside the train, but it's not quick enough for him to stop the car, so they have to jump into the water below, and it looks NUTS. It'd also injure or kill them but hey, it's too awesome to worry about that. They survive the fall, but wind up captured. Once they escape they have to figure out why the car Mia took is so special. Meanwhile, we're introduced to Luke Hobbs, played by the inimitable Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
 DJ:  It's a great, cheesy intro.



 DNW:  From the moment he says "funderwear" you know he's going to deliver the goods. He also gets the movie's one f-bomb right out the gate. His character is a brilliant addition to the series. The Rock is one of those guys whose potential was always there, but it was never utilised. Fast Five fully makes use of him. It's not just that he's one of the best things to happen to the franchise, the franchise is one of the best things to happen to him.
 DJ:  Agreed. He's essentially the hand of God, an even bigger Alpha than Toretto. He's a big brother, in other words.
 DNW:  He's fierce, he's relentless, and he doesn't underestimate the main characters. If anything, he mythologizes them. He's also comedy gold. The Rock is backed up by Elsa Pataky, who becomes Dom's new love interest. LETTY IS ONLY JUST COLD, DOM!
 DJ:  But she's SO HOT!
 DNW:  She’s Thor's wife in real life. Chris Hemsworth Thor, not Samoan Thor.
 DJ: Yeah, Hobbs is such a great addition. The thing that really makes Hobbs work isn't just the fact that he's entertaining, it's the fact he creates tension within the "family".
 DNW:  Speaking of tension, Brian blames Vince for all of the stuff that went wrong with the train job, and Vince rightly calls out Dom for not trusting him when he told him Brian was a cop back in the original movie. Again, I love that his character is back in the mix.
DJ:  A lot of this franchise is about second chances. O'Connor gets a second chance, Vince does later in this movie too. Hobbs gets a chance to prove himself part of the family, and he gives Toretto's clan a second chance. Even the actors they bring back from the dead...
 DNW:  That's a good point. So, soon after Dom, Brian and Mia figure out that the car that is so sought-after has a shipping schedule for the corrupt dealings of one of Brazil's most powerful men, we get the favela chase. Again, Lin's skill is on full display, he set up the environment well.
 DJ:  Wait, what chase? I don't remember it.
DNW:  The Rock chasing the gang through the slum. On foot.



 DJ:  Oh Yeah! The foot chase over rooftops, ala Incredible Hulk opening. I was thinking cars.
DNW:  It's very Bourne/Incredible Hulk.
DJ: Yeah, it's a really damn good chase, and it's not just action, all of the action illustrates how the characters think and work. Toretto saves lady cop, Hobbs just bursts through walls in a straight line towards his target, O'Connor and Mia make a baby announcement after it all.
DNW:  That bit where Hobbs crashes through an obstacle that Dom leaps over is right out of Casino Royale.
 DJ:  Yep. I love it.
 DNW:  Likewise. The sequence may not be the most original thing in the movie, but it's superbly executed. Mia announcing her pregnancy soon after so that the gang won't split up is a sweet moment too. Now that Brian knows he's going to be a father he has a little heart-to-heart with Dom about fathers, and they settle on taking Reyes's money to disappear forever and secure their freedom. Which requires a heist, which requires a team.
 DJ:  So they randomly decide to form a team out of the side characters from all the other movies. And Dom immediately accepts them as family. Because. Tyrese is Tyrese. Suddenly Ludacris is a tech genius.



DNW: I like the Luda retcon, myself.
 DJ:  I like it too, but it's ... ludicrous.
 DNW: Luda had a life before you knew him, dude. Han and the two Spanish-speaking dudes already have a connection to Dom, as does Gisele. Tyrese goes way back with Brian, so really Tej/Luda is the only person Dom doesn't have much of a connection with. Tyrese is the one Dom disrespects upon meeting though. They exchange a look and Dom says "I've heard about you", which I'm guessing is a nod to the fact that he's looking at his would-be replacement.
 DJ:  And then all of a sudden they’re thrown smack dab in the middle of a heist movie. So out of nowhere, but so perfect.
 DNW:  I think we can agree that switching genres here was entirely the right move.
DJ:  Yeah, the genre curveball is a great one. The heist format allows for banter between the members, which always good for this franchise. It allows for the glitz and glamour of the franchise too.

I thought it looked a bit short  Embarrassed
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Sheridan Passell
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 01:19:01 AM »

Done
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dnwilliams
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2015, 05:19:43 AM »

Thanks. Such a rookie mistake.
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