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Fast Five (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD)
Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

Fast Five (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD)

The gang’s all back in this exhilarating action-packed thrill ride packed with spectacular stunts, intense races, and personality; easily the best in the franchise.

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The gang’s all here in Fast Five, the fifth and possibly best installment in the long-running (and seemingly never-ending) Fast and the Furious franchise. Justin Lin returns for his third directorial outing, joined by action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as DSS agent Luke Hobbs who’s hot on their rubber burning tails. Packed with non-stop action, fast cars (of course), and some truly incredible stunts, this is the fast adventure that fans have long been waiting to own since it broke all franchise records during its theatrical run last April. While most action franchises sputter as their sequel numbers get higher, The Fast and the Furious only seems to be gaining more traction, and every bit of that excellence is on display in this great Blu-ray release.

Fast Five is definitely a lot of fun, so much that even my fellow editor Chris Pandolfi enjoyed the ride. Here’s a small snippet of what he saw back in April, and you can check out his full review right HERE:

“Some action movies are so thoroughly cheerless and unexciting that they seem to exist primarily to be made fun of. What’s praiseworthy about Fast Five is that the actors and filmmakers were smart enough to not take the material seriously. It’s a film to surrender yourself to; either you suspend disbelief, or you go home. There really isn’t anything I can say about the story or the performances since that really isn’t what the film is about. It’s about the spectacle of the whole thing. All we’re meant to focus on is the stunt work and the special effects, and believe you me, they were both quite impressive. And now that I’ve taken a mental break, I think it’s about time I get back into the real world. All good things must come to an end, sadly.”

Universal has taken great care with the transfer of their highest-grossing film, as the picture and sound are just as outstanding as the action. Visuals come in clean and clear, while providing eye-popping detail with every bullet, punch, skid mark, and debris flying around from crashes. The sounds have to match the eye candy presented here, and they do perfectly with the high-octane 5.1 DTS-HD audio. As all of the action sounds come roaring through like any of the fast cars seen here.

The action doesn’t stop there, as the special features contain so much fast fun, I can barely list them all. There’s audio commentary by director Justin Lin, as he talks about the budget of the film, production delays, and of course, crashing the expensive cars. Two small deleted scenes and a gag reel bring even more fun to the package, while “The Big Train Heist” goes behind the scenes of the film’s awesome train heist scene. “A New Set of Wheels” talks about each new vehicle for the film, and how they worked with Dodge to get them on the screen. There’s also a few features where some of the main cast talks about each of their characters, and more.

Fast Five is a must-have for action buffs, as it’s not only the best and most exciting chapter in the franchise, but also one of the best action movies that I’ve ever seen. Every key player is present and accounted for, and the addition of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a no-brainer that only adds to the fun, as he brings considerable charisma and the machismo to match his equally macho co-stars. The stunts are truly spectacular, and director Justin Lin seems to have really hit his stride as a true action connoisseur and master of the craft. The Blu-ray release easily does the film justice, with a gorgeous transfer, intense sound, and a ton of special features that’ll keep the disc spinning long after the race is over. Fans should definitely pick this one up, as it’ll have their engines revved from the starting bell to the finish line.

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10/04/2011

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PG-13

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Universal Studios

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About the Author: Chris Mitchell