My Media Digest

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Fast 5 Review : Media Digest Style : A Look Into How We Review Films

Since everyone loved the looks into television criticism, we figured we would offer the same for a few films.


Fast Five

Log Line:  Bryan O’Conner, Mia Toretto, Dom Toretto decide they need to pull off one more heist and then they can disappear forever, so they decide to rob the head of all of Brazil’s business weather legal or illegal, Hernen Reyes.

Synopsis: After the recently escaped Dominic Toretto and his sister Mia Toretto along with boyfriend Bryan O’Conner make it down to Rio, Brazil they meet up with Vince to pull off a simple carjacking as he calls it.  However, when plans get changed the man who hired the heist tries to take on Dom and Bryan as revenge. Before he can succeeded though, Dom and Bryan decide  to flip the tables and plan on doing one last job  They are going to go after the man who hired them, and who runs every legal and illegal business in Brazil, Hernen Reyes.  Although Dom is not only fighting a battle with Reyes, he is also the number one most wanted man and has the United States top bounty hunter Luke Hobbes, who eventually turns into one of his most valued allies in the end.

Genre: Action

Aesthetic Analysis:

Act I:  The movie starts with three blacked out cars stalking a prisoner moving bus.  The leader of the heist flips the bus and then the shot cuts to a news report talking about the recently captured most wanted criminal Dominic Toretto who was freed by and Bryan O’Conner, old friend and boyfriend of his sister and other accomplice Mia Torretto.  Then the movie moves to Rio, Brazil where Bryan and Mia meet up with old partner in crime Vince.  He lets them in on a soon to be job and offers it to them because he does not think Dom will be able to make it back.  The movie then cuts to the middle of the desert then cuts to Bryan and Mia on a train.  They proceed to begin to walk to the back when they see two high ranking police officials seated in the same car.  They swipe the conductor’s key card and steal all the keys for the cars there going to steal.  However, they find out that the cars have DEA tags and have been seized, but they go along with the heist anyway.  When the rest of the team who has been following in a truck breaks into the car’s storage car Dom unexpectedly appears.  Mia gets her car off clean but Dominic and Bryan’s tension with the other members of the heist rises when Dom changes the plan and they feel there being crossed.  During the scuffle another member of the team shot 3 federal agents and then turned his sites on Dom but was unable to connect.

Act II:  The next scene is the man who hired the heist, Hernan Reyes, demanding the car back that Mia drove away with Dom and Bryan in shackles which they were able to escape from.  The FBI blames Dom, Mia, and Bryan for the murder of the three agents.  It is also at this time at the house Dom realizes that they wanted Mia’s car in particular, he suspects it’s for more than the cars value.  They then cut to Luke Hobbs who is the FBI’s most ruthless bounty hunter who never misses his target, and his new target are Mia, Dom, and Bryan.  Movie then cuts to Vince returning and Bryan blaming him for what went wrong with the heist.  Then Vince turns the tables and blames Bryan for all that has gone wrong in the past and attributes it to him being a cop.  Movie then again cuts to Luke Hobbes recruiting local newly appointed police officer Elena Neves whose husband was gunned down in the line of duty a few months back.  Movie then cuts to Mia, Dom, and Bryan all inspecting the car Mia stole and they discover that Hernan Reyes wants the cars stolen because they used to be his and the cars memory chip is very important to his illegal drug ring.  Then Hobbs and his team storm in on the three and after a shoot out and a chase Elena Neves has Dom cornered and at gun point but as members of the drug cartel begin to open fire Dom pulls Elena out of the way of a sure fire bullet and then we see he is gone when the rock arrives. After they reunite they say they have to split up but then Mia and Bryan tell Dom she is pregnant and they stay together.  During a conversation between Dom and Bryan they reminisce on their fathers and Bryan fears he will fail.  The conversation then moves to Bryan telling Dom he needs to disappear and get out of this life so Dom suggests one last job where they steal all of Reyes one hundred million dollars.  They decide to fly in friends and people who would prove valuable to the team who have appeared in previous movies such as Roman Pearce, Tej Parker, Han Lue, Gisele Yashar, Tego Leo, Rico Santos.  Dom lets everyone in on the job and after he tells everyone the targets one hundred million dollars they all agree to join.  Then it cuts to a bunch of masked robbers tying up the workers while they also piled up the money.  After one worker claims there crazy and do not know who they are messing with Dom removes his mask and tells him he is not scared of Reyes and to tell him it was them.  He then proceeds to burn all of his money and not actually steal any of it.  The worker then reports it to Reyes and then murdered by Reyes himself when he hears about it.  After Reyes hears of this he decides to move all of his money to one location as they expected but they were not aware that he would move his money into the police station.  After everyone objects Dom says he is doing it and everyone switches back over.  Next cut scene is Hobbes running known associates of Bryan and Dom and once they see all their friends coming to Brazil they know for sure something big is going to happen.  After Pearce tries to get access to the police evidence room and is denied he gives the officer the package and requests he does it.  When the package is placed in their a camera to a remote control car reveals a giant safe to which Reyes is holding all his money.  After some careful planning they decide to blow the sewage system up in order to obtain access to the bathroom to test the thickness of the wall to the safe room.  After a race for pink slips in which Dom wins Bryan a car they figure out that they will not be able to avoid the cameras vision with any car.  Then it cuts to Dom who had previously lost his necklace and he saw Elena had it.  He decides to break into her house and rip it off her neck and at this moment they talk about why the necklace is important and both sympathize with losing a loved one to crime.  Then they decide to race them for fun in a million dollar quarter mile race and Dom lets Bryan win because of the soon to come baby. After the team decided that it was impossible to get a car fast enough to make the heist Dom decide they need discrete cars and says he knows just what they need.  They steal cop cars because they would not stand out at the police station Next it cuts to the day before the heist and the team just waiting at their hideout when Hobbes busts in with his team and fights Dom.  When Dom grabbed the clamp that Hobbes tried to hit him with and strikes the ground next to Hobbes he sends the message that I could have killed you but I am not like that.  As Dom and his team leave with Dom and the team in custody their caravan is ambushed by the drug cartel.  When Hobbes is shot Dom is there to take both him and Vince to the safe house while Elena drives with Mia in the front.  Once Hobbes is nursed back to health they decide to still go along with the plan even though they know it is coming and Hobbes says he is going to help.

Act III: Hobbes drives through heavy gunfire and the banks wall to enter the banks safe room.  As Elena and Hobbes provide cover fire Dom and Bryan hook cables up to the banks safe and pull it out with two cars.  They drive the giant safe through the street and after a long chase Han and Roman arrive to take out some police vehicles in their own police vehicles.  However there are too many cars after them that Dom insists he breaks off and goes to take out a few and stall them basically sacrificing his life.  However he jumps out of the car before it crashes into Reyes car and as one of his henchman goes to shoot Dom, Bryan off screen shoots him, then the rock arrives and walks up nonchalantly shooting Reyes multiple times in the head.  He then tells Dom and Bryan that he cannot let them go but for their help he can give them a twenty four hour head start, but he has to leave the money.  It then cuts to the previously removed ten second window they were received from Han and Romans help and shows them switching out the safe with their empty duplicate.  Then it cuts to Tej trying to use a copy of Reyes handprint to open it and it works and money falls out.

Epilogue: After what is clearly the climax of the movie, it cuts to a woman carrying the child who we know is Vince’s kid that Dom swore to watch over and she has a duffle bag full of money.  Then it shows the two Spanish brothers playing roulette arguing weather red or black is going win and they both throw ten million on their choice and it cuts before the ball settles around red, green, and black.  Then it shows Roman ride up to Tej’s new shop bragging about his new car that is one of four in the world and boasts the only one in the western hemisphere.  That is when Tej has the same car pulled up right next to it and tells him to now make that two.  Then it turns to Bryan challenging Dom to a race to once and for all settle who the better racer is with no waders or spectators.    Then after the credits it shows Hobbes receiving a picture of the previously thought to be dead girlfriend of Dom

Sight:  They use different lighting styles to simulate different mood sets.  Then Dom and Bryan are tied up and Reyes is talking to them it is very dark and a good portion of the screen is covered with shadows.  They frequently have a dark shadow coving parts of Dom’s face to give him a very dark and unknown feeling to his character.  Whenever Hobbes is in the shot he is shot from an upward angle to give him a large appearance and is always shot in dark lighting to give him a stern appearance.  As a contrast to the dark lighting when they are in the streets and outside everything is very bright and very rustic.  The colors are mostly a pallet of yellow and browns and set a desert tone.  During the train scene the whole surrounding is just sand a brush weed which contrasts the dark cold insides. At other times when the action is rapidly building up, especially any driving or shooting scene, the shots are very short, under three seconds, and spliced together to give every moment shots at multiple angles.

Space:  They chose to open the movie in the desert and for the rest of the movie they moved it to Rio, Brazil. For the beginning when they are stealing Dom from the bus they used a very open desert to break him out into.  It represents the openness and freedom he received when he was taken out of that bus.  It then, moves to Rio which has a very high poverty and homeless rate which builds on the feeling of desperate, impoverished, and worn down.  When they are doing chase scenes the buildings unique structures are shown often.  Houses tend to not line up vertically and it gives the houses a very staggered and unorganized look. The way the houses are set up is a direct correlation to how the country is run and the chaos in the community.

Motion: There is constant motion throughout the entire movie for the most part. The angles vary widely depending on the situation and the person but the motion always is there.  Most of the time when they are driving they are filmed from the dashboard of the car looking up at them. However there are a few examples of the camera representing a backseat passenger even in two passenger cars.  When they are filming Dom and Bryan with Hobbes it has a downward angle whereas they shoot Hobbes upward.  This not only gives the authority figure the appearance of superiority but also him the illusion of being even bigger then he really is.  The camera never really stands still; it is always either sliding to the left or right with the occasional vertical elevation to give the scene a sense of motion.  Since all the action scenes are shot in short choppy sequences it allows for the scene to move around more then it usually would and really build on to the intensity of the scene.

Time:  The exact time the movie takes place over is not known but they do make some very important uses of time.  They have to speed up the whole job because Hobbes is chasing them and work in certain time delays such as when they discover the money is hidden in the police station.  Han specifically states that once because they are on Hobbes target list that they need to speed up the projects time line.  Hobbes also gives them a timeline of twenty four hours to run before he begins his search for them.  The director did not make the time a primary element but he defiantly keeps it in the viewers mind and makes multiple references to it.

Sound:  They try to keep the focus on the car and they always make the engines loud and try to keep them true to the sound of their particular make and model.  The director also tried to stay true to the whole South America culture and used background music that has a warm and tropical feeling.  At confirmations with Don and Hobbes they play dark orchestra music in the background to add to the tension they have been building too.  The same shows up in other moments such as when Dom breaks into Elena’s house to get his necklace back.  When they film Hobbes at his main base they have computers making background noise to build the feeling that they have all of the latest hi-tech gadgets.  The night before the heist they have music playing in the background to also help set the mood of a relaxed and calm team even before one of the most stressful and nerve racking days of their lives.

Conclusion:  I think this was a great movie and my personal favorite in the series.  The setting in Rio really set the mood for movie.  It complimented the hardships and miseries they have been living with since they have been on the run and are on the top of the most wanted list.  The contrast between the escaped convict Dom and the ruthless bounty hunter Hobbes creates an intriguing side plot.  Their face to face conversations and fights are some of the most intense moments of the movies.  They peg two extremely strong and prideful personalities against each other and create a very strong tension.  The movie slowly builds up to the climax and never really leaves the audience board.  It also leaves you with hope for another movie with foreshadowing the return of old character.

Denzel Freeman

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2015 by in Denzel Freeman, Movies, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , .


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