RELEASED 21 April 2011
Celebrating it’s tenth anniversary, ‘Fast Five’ sees our petrolhead friends become great train robbers, run around in the Rio favelas, and come up against The Rock and a hard Playa. That’s not even mentioning the Rio heist of the subtitle (posters declare this is called ‘The Fast and the Furious 5:?Rio Heist’, but the movie title card states ‘Fast Five’, so that’s what we’re going with!)

Breaking Dom (Vin Diesel, Parts 1,3,4) off the prison bus in spectacular style (arrested at the end of Part 4 of course), Brian (Paul Walker, Parts 1,2,4) and girlfriend Mia (Jordana Brewster, Parts 1,4) flee with him to Rio de Janeiro. There they find old friend Vince (Matt Schulze, Part 1) and discover that they hold the key to a fortune in drug money. If they can steal it from druglord Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), they’ll be rich. But they’ll need help, so they call in old friends Roman (Tyrese Gibson, Part 2), Tej (Ludacris, Part 2), Leo (Tego Calderon, Part 4), Santos (Don Omar, Part 4), and Han (Sung Kang, Part 3, where he dies in fact, so presumably they didn’t bother with a Continuity Editor for ‘Fast Five’. I guess you could just think of it like a referee giving two yellow cards and the player staying on the pitch). New motorbike-riding gal Gisele (Gal Gadot) gives Brewster some competition in the hottie stakes.

Chasing the Fast Five ‘Ten’ (or ‘Fast 5×2’) is the ridiculously-pumped federal agent Luke Hobbs (The Rock), who never misses his target. That’s probably because he’s so big it would be like trying to get out of the way of a rhino. The Rock is so big in this film that it appears he physically cannot drop his arms from their action figure, swinging punch pose. Hobbs has a sweet local rookie cop on his team, Elena (Elsa Pataky).

Spoiler alert: ‘Fast Five’ contains cheesy dialogue, sweaty muscular men, women wearing shorts that go right up their arse, fast cars, loud explosions, and events that defy the laws of physics. If you’re okay with that, we’ll continue.

‘Fast Five’ is easily the second-best movie of the franchise since the original. It incorporates every single element of the previous films that have been successful. Each actor gets a fair crack of the whip, and it never feels like Diesel is hogging the limelight, as an actor with a bigger ego might do. In fact, with the superhuman figure of The Rock on the scene, not forgetting his dry wit and superb delivery, it’s even more impressive to see each actor get equal screentime. Each character has enough charisma and is distinct enough for the audience to certainly differ over their favourite.

The script veers from the inane (‘sooner or later we’re gonna end up behind bars or buried in a ditch. But not today.’) to the similar (compare ‘this just went from Mission: Impossible to Mission: In-freaking-sanity’ with ‘we just went from the middle of the “most wanted” list to the very top’) to the sentences that have probably never been said by anyone, ever before, in the history of mankind (‘$11 million? That’s gonna get me a lot of vaginal activity’).

The action sequences get bigger, louder and more destructive as the movie plays out. ‘Fast and Furious’ (Part 4 of course) featured some ropey computer graphics, especially in the final scenes of the movie, spoiling the movie quite a bit. Apart from some dodgy CG blurring around Dom and Brian as they leap out of a car in the opening action sequence, ‘Fast Five’ is totally free of crappy CGI. I’m not saying there isn’t some trickery in there, but it’s done to perfection. The final action sequence which sees our heroes drag a small room-sized safe through the streets of Rio is thrilling stuff. It goes on at least twice as long as you expect it to, and the filmmakers must have destroyed nearly a hundred cars in this movie. You’ve never seen so much ripping metal!
Having Vin Diesel and The Rock in the same movie, you’d be pretty pissed off if they didn’t have a colossal fight at some point. And they do, and it’s truly epic stuff!

And just when you think all this cops and robbers stuff seems to be ignoring the flash cars and sexy glamour of the secret late-night meets, the gang get back to basics and have a fun quarter-of-a-mile race down the midnight streets of Rio. Can Brian finally win a race for once? Does anyone called ‘Brian’ really deserve to come first?

Director Justin Lin (also Parts 3 and 4) has really pulled out all the stops for this fifth entry. It’s actually difficult to imagine what more they could have put in the movie. It’s tuned to perfection, and although it’s ten minutes over two hours, the movie gets better as the miles tick by.

Bring on ‘Furious Six’!