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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fast Five the fifth in a series of action movies that began with 2001's The Fast and the Furious. This one is more of a heist movie than a slam-bang racing movie, but it's still heavy on violence. Property is destroyed more frequently than people, though many minor characters are shot and killed (one bloodily), and there are some brutal fistfights. Language includes one "f--k" and several uses of "s--t." There's social drinking, kissing between a couple, and many scantily clad women on display and treated as sex objects.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After the events of Fast & Furious, Dominic (Vin Diesel) is arrested and sent to prison in FAST FIVE. So his sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), and her ex-cop boyfriend, Brian (Paul Walker), break him out and hightail it to Rio to hide out. There, they get involved in a car robbery that goes badly; to avenge themselves and earn enough money to clear their tarnished reputations, they assemble a team and plan to steal a fortune from a local gangster (Joaquim de Almeida). Unfortunately, this involves breaking into police headquarters. Worse, a gung-ho cop (Dwayne Johnson) is after them and won't stop until they're caught.
Is it any good?
Despite the movie's overlong feel (it clocks in at 130 minutes) and its general lack of originality or responsibility, it has enough slam-bang, popcorn-munching action to keep most fans happy. After practically sinking the series with the terrible The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), director Justin Lin refreshed things by changing the series from testosterone-fueled car racing action to Ocean's Eleven- and Italian Job-style heists. Fast Five, like the previous films, still objectifies women and features lots of car chases, but at least it also has some clever stunts and amazing set pieces.
In particular, there's a great bungled robbery in which the thieves try to steal three cars from a moving train; and then, at the climax, we get a has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed robbery involving two supercharged cars. These moments are beautifully handled, more so than the more typical shaky fight scenes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Fast Five's violence. How did it affect you? Does it seem at all realistic? How does that change its impact?
How does the movie treat women? Do you think they're included because of who they are or how they look? What effect does this have on a female audience's body image? What effect does it have on a male audience?
What makes these characters sympathetic -- even heroic -- even though they steal and destroy things? Can you think of other movies where "bad guys" are the heroes?
- In theaters: April 29, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: October 4, 2011
- Cast: Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel
- Director: Justin Lin
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 130 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language
For kids who love action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.