FAST FIVE Oscar Watch: Best Visual Effects

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Gentle consumers of popular culture I wish to posit something to you. Throughout the years as the Oscars roll on we've seen some great films win some very appropriate awards, just this year Inception picked up the Oscar for best visual effects, but let us look briefly into the machinations of how a film even qualifies for such a prestigious golden man-trophy.

Firstly, "consideration of the contribution the visual effects make to the overall production" and secondly "the artistry, skill and fidelity with which the visual illusions are achieved" according to the academy folk. It is with absolute confidence that I then declare that Fast Five is not only a shoe-in if nominated but could very well deserve this award more than any nominee or winner ever considered.


315 visual effects artists created this glorious heist-centric world, and it is no surprise considering I only occasionally questioned if the mysterious, foreign and awe-inspiring fantasy land known as Rio was an actual place.

Whatever super-technical and intricate computer program they are using to generate these vast worlds needs some slight calibration, but for the most part the visual effects are stunning. Like Cameron's Avatar the foreign world of Rio is jaw-dropping and akin to Pandora, and lets face it, could have easily been in 3D. It is a world where each detail has been considered and the oiled-up inhabitants are vibrant criminals each with their own selfish agenda.

The uncanny valley is certainly getting closer folks, clearly Pandora was not a real place, but Rio is something else. The make-shift racing track, the endless fields, the cramped "favela" and all of the interiors are better than any visual illusion I've seen so far. Therefore of course Fast Five deserves the Oscar, it meets the criteria effortlessly.

Movie magic sure is wonderful, how they captured Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the rest of the cast in this fabricated reality is irrelevant, the illusion had me, much like The Matrix had Neo (hey, that also won this Oscar). We could question based on the superb visuals in Fast Five if our reality is even real, sticking to The Matrix ideology, but let's perhaps not go there.

Let's go here instead... Looking at Inception, which received the best visual effects Oscar for crafting dream worlds, I submit that Fast Five, who clearly has attributes in the field that surpass any of the prior winners also be considered for its meta-element of its supposed generic action blockbuster mold actually taking place the whole time in the brain of a pubescent male. Perhaps the series always has, going through phases with Tokyo Drift the anime-pop culture phase up until the latest iteration, a mash up of a level in the video game Modern Warfare (The Favela) and Grand Theft Auto. It certainly ticks all the boxes of an over-excited Red Bull fanatic; fast cars, muscly dudes, some fighting, some crime, guns, sexy girls.

So this my friends, is why Fast Five deserves this Oscar, oh yeah and the action scenes were pretty good.

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