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The Slow Part of Fast Five and Every Other Damn Sequel

Critics will be falling all over themselves to evoke the thrilling kineticism of Justin Lin's Fast Five, but amid the high-decibel crashes and brain-swooshing whip pans, there is another, flabbier element, which it shares with many sequels: hugs. See, Vin Diesel has been separated for a spell from his ex-FBI-adversary-turned-outlaw-brother Paul Walker and Walker's lady (also Vin's sister), Jordana Brewster. So the movie stops--by my count three times, but it might be four--for Vin to wrap his muscular arms around each of them and pull them into his swollen pecs. Many of the other characters, reunited after long absences, hug one another, too (although the Rock hugs no one, perhaps because his biceps are wider than his head and he'd crush the average human to death). OK, maybe it warms the cockles of our hearts to see Harry and Hermione and Ron embrace at the start of each new book/movie. But the terrible Little Fockers was regularly interrupted for the same reason, which meant that valuable screen time once used for amusing conflict was wasted on huggie-wuggies between actors who could barely stand one another and reunited for one reason only: sequel money. Movies are full of phony things and I'm not sure why hugs stand out as egregiously bogus, but sequels ought to limit themselves to one hug per character and capped at four overall, and I'm being generous. Gropes and French kisses are a separate issue...

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