Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Surprisingly Great: Fast Five - No, really

I'm not a movie snob. I'll go see a wacky comedy or the big new superhero action flick. However, this weekend I encountered something that befuddled my expectations: Fast Five.

I had never previously seen a Fast & The Furious franchise film. I dismissively thought that these movies and the gazillions of dollars they make time and again weren't for me.

This weekend I had a family event, though, and my mom offered me two options of films she wanted to see: Fast Five or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I looked them up on my phone and went with the one with the higher Rotten Tomatoes score.

And boy was that ever the right choice. Friends, this is a capital-A-action movie. It's not often that you go to the movies and see a stunt/set piece that isn't similar to one you've seen in dozens of other movies, but I thought there were bits in this that genuinely surprised me.

The movie isn't all action. In fact, my mom literally cried at some of the more emotional moments. After walking out of this film, my mom repeatedly declared it the "best movie ever" for the rest of the weekend. This is more than a little hyperbolic, but I'd have to concur with her that it's a solid thumbs up as a moviegoing experience.

Is this a great screenplay? I'm thinking no. Frankly, I think it probably was a good thing I'd never seen any of these movies before, as whenever I didn't understand something, I chalked it up to being a reference to one of the previous films. Was it really? Probably not!

Will you have fun at this movie? If it's possible for you to have fun at a movie not written by David Mamet, yes. Yes you will.

What did you think of Fast Five? What movies did you go see this Memorial Day weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

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