Fast Five vs. Pirates 4

Posted: 22 May 2011 in Movie reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday night was a double feature night. It has been a while since I’ve seen two movies in one night, but it was worth it. As by the title, we went and saw the newest addition to the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast Five, and then went to the midnight showing of Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides. 

I’ll start with Fast Five. Overall it was an enjoyable movie. There was a lot of action and excitement. The flow of the film keeps you involved until the very end. But would we expect anything less from this franchise?

The film revolves around Dom played by Vin Diesel, Brian by Paul Walker and Dom’s sister Mia by Jordana Brewster. After Brian and Mia rescue Dom from going to prison, the meet up in Brazil at the home of Vince, played by Matt Schulze, reprising his role from the first film. In need of money, Vince persuades them to join him on a job stealing three vehicles from a train. In the process, three agents are killed and Mia disappears with the vehicle most wanted in the heist. After escaping from the clutches of the biggest crime lord in Rio de Janeiro, the meet up with Mia and Vince to discover what was so important in the car. Hunted now by the crime syndicate led by Hernan Reyes, by Joaquim de Almeida, and American federal agents led by Luke Hobbs, by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Elena Neves, played the incredibly gorgeous Elsa Pataky, the three fugitives lead one more job to take down Reyes and earn their freedom.

As I have said before, the movie is fast paced and exciting. But like the other films, the script leaves something to be desired. It is choppy and filled with random clever moments. Thankfully there is no real need to much dialogue so the movie isn’t totally marred by it. Same with the generic performances by Walker and Diesel. As a side note, there has only been one movie in my mind that Walker has truly shined as an exceptional actor: 2006’s Running Scared. Fantastic movie and performance by Walker.

One thing that really impressed me was the use of subtitles. That may sound strange, but as the film was filmed in Brazil, I am happy that there was portuguese spoken and subtitles used. The same cannot be said about Pirates 4.

Now Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides was also enjoyable. Like the previous three movies, the movie was cleverly thought through and executed. I personally would never have thought of creating such a ritual to finding the entrance to the Fountain of Youth, as that is what the film is about. It is a race to discover the location of the Fountain of Youth. Blackbeard is trying to find it to trump the one-legged man who is supposed to kill him, King George, played by Harry Potter‘s Uncle Vernon Richard Griffiths, send Captain Barbossa, played by Geoffrey Rush, in order to beat the Spanish to it after they catch a man in a fishing net who is still alive.

Just like the other three films, the script and acting were excellent. Captain Jack could never be played by anyone other than Johnny Depp. The quirkiness he exudes is truly amusing. I love that despite being a pirate, he has a conscience. He wants the right to triumph and is generally fair. He is a character that you cannot help but love. But you all know about that. It’s the other characters that are intriguing.

We are introduced to Angelica played by Penelope Cruz. We first meet her posing as Captain Jack in order to procure sailors for an expedition. Drugged and essentially kidnapped onto Angelica’s ship, we the watchers begin to discover a deeper understanding of their relationship as well as a sinister truth: that she is in truth Blackbeard’s daughter.

She plays her part well as well as Sam Caflin as the missionary Philip and the gorgeous Astrid Berges-Frisbey as the mermaid Syrena. Philip was saved by Angelica and sounds like your typical Christian missionary. He is mocked for his belief that ever soul can be saved and is manipulated for his concern and love for Syrena, who has no name until he gives it to her. Syrena on the other hand is different from the other mermaids. I shan’t say why as it would give stuff away. I loved Stephen Graham as Scrum as well. He was witty and played his part very well.

In all I had two issues with the film. The first was that it was a touch too long. Now that might of had to do with the fact that I was at the midnight showing and was already a bit tired. Personally, I think it would have still been a bit drawn out. The other is that when they showed the Spaniards, they were always talking in english. Even in Spain. That was a disappointment to me where it succeeded so nicely in Fast Five.

While Fast Five was definitely better than any of it’s predecessors, Pirates 4 was good just like the three before it. In that case, the prize would go to Fast Five. For script and acting, Pirates 4 hands down. For cinematography, both were done very nicely.

Overall, both films were enjoyable. There were moments of laughter, but only Fast Five gave you a moment of true sadness. I would definitely buy both films and recommend them to everyone 😉

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