Fast Five Blu-ray review

            The wisest thing to happen to the Fast and the Furious series was not the retrieval of the original cast, because even that didn’t make the fourth film in the franchise anything memorable. It was a mildly entertaining thrill ride with the usual stunts and races, whereas the fifth film suddenly became edgy once again. With a shift in storyline and a more violent/action filled approach, Fast Five surpasses all other sequels in the series and was one of the most enjoyable action films of the summer season. Although PG-13, Fast Five pushed the boundaries with intense and highly unbelievable action sequences, and the Blu-ray also offers an extended version for even more of the same. It is only a minute more, but the trimming obviously came from some of the film’s more violent moments.

            The film opens with a an exciting escape sequence during prisoner transport, freeing Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) while making former cop Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) a fugitive in the process. These two are wanted and hunted by an overzealous Federal agent (Dwayne Johnson), even while hiding n Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also hunted by corrupt local cops who are working for a powerful drug kingpin, the gang of drivers decides to pull a heist to steal all of the money from the powerful criminal. The violence in this heist is incredible, but we are asked to dismiss destruction because most of it happens to cars. The smashing of metal is easier to take because we are never asked to consider the flesh of the humans trapped inside.

            Everyone who hasn’t been killed off in previous films is back for this heist film, including Jordana Brewster as Dom’s sister and Brian’s other half, Tyrese Gibson from the second film, and Sung Kang from the third. They all come together for a Robin Hood style life of crime, which is a welcome change from the street races and undercover cop routine from previous films in the series. Fast Five breaks out of the formula of the franchise and is highly entertaining because of this.

            The Blu-ray combo pack also comes with a DVD and Digital Copy of the film. The DVD special features include deleted scenes, a gag reel and three featurettes about the leading characters/actors in the story. There is also a commentary track with director Justin Lin. Exclusive to the Blu-ray are a series of additional featurettes, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. There are also the interactive features, including the Second Screen feature for iPads and Androids, and Universal’s U-Control feature for the Blu-ray players.



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