Fifth films in a series are rarely considered the peak of any franchise, and in many cases are usually at the bottom. From “Star Trek” to “Friday the 13th”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” to “Rocky” – the track record is usually not that good, though there are some exceptions (chronologically speaking “Empire Strikes Back” falls under that number, while “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” ain’t too shabby).
With “Fast Five” however, the fifth film in its particular series, a change in the formula and tone of the series has yielded a considerable change in critical sentiment. Before now the best reviewed film in the series was the first one “The Fast and the Furious” with a 52% and 5.4/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. The subsequent sequels hit bottom with 2009’s “Fast and Furious” scoring just 27% and 4.5/10.
“Fast Five” however has scored solid reviews and currently sits at 78% and 6.3/10 with almost 120 reviews counted. The same at Metacritic where it has scored a 68/100, well above the previous peak of 58/100 that the first film scored.
General opinion seems to be that it’s as dumb as it ever was, but the move of focus away from street racing and towards an old fashioned heist film, combined with a stronger casting line-up and solid stunt set pieces means it’s entertaining and enjoyable even to those who normally aren’t fans of the series.
I have to admit I was reluctantly dragged to see it and walked out surprised with how much I enjoyed it. What did you think? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and please try and keep spoilers to a minimum.