Guilty pleasure: Fast Five
We speed straight to the end of the Fast and the Furious franchise.
A cascading oil slick of testosterone, Fast Five eagerly embraces its moto-meathead provenance to become one of the most gleefully absurd entertainments of the year. No longer Furious, the series has entered its playful self-reflexive phase, with the stars exaggerating their personas to the brink of self-parody. Vin Diesel returns in a puffy Brando-mumble mode, turning every line reading into a Lettrist nonsense poem. Dwayne Johnson, new to the series as a Diplomatic Security Service agent, barks orders with a starved-pit-bull intensity while sweating buckets, his forehead even glistening when he picks up his keys. The rest of the cast of almost thousands is kept immaculately dry throughout, but director Justin Lin orchestrates some appropriately ridiculous action to contain their collective machismo, including a wonderfully imaginative car chase in which torn-out bank vaults serve as wrecking balls. That’s enough to beat this viewer into enraptured submission. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tue 4.)