This might yet again be an illustration of the power of low expectations. I was not impressed by the prior movies in the series, but was looking forward to a fun mindless evening and ended up with more than I bargained for.
Many sequels which extend and mix the cast of characters from prior movies end up not developing any of them enough and feel like they lack depth and are all over the place (e.g.; Spiderman 3 & Shrek 3). In some movies the ensemble comes together in support of a single coherent storyline as it did with Ocean’s Eleven.
Fast Five brings together all the main actors of the past movies and manages to utilize them effectively and coherently by focusing them on a heist whilst being chased by The Rock and his team. In many ways, the movie is more Ocean’s Fourteen than The Fast and the Furious and is all the better for it.
The movie is a much more violent and action packed Ocean’s Eleven. It’s a bit less slick than that movie, yet manages to mix extreme brutality with humor in a way that makes it highly enjoyable. It goes without saying that the car chases and action scenes were fantastic (the best in the series yet) and a ton of fun to watch.
Turn off your brain and go along for the ride, you won’t regret it!