Fast Five
3.5/5   aka Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist
dir Justin Lin
scr Chris Morgan
prd Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, Neal H Moritz
with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Elsa Pataky, Joaquim de Almeida, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Eva Mendes
release UK 21.Apr.11, US 29.Apr.11
11/US Universal 2h10
Fast Five
Who's driving? Walker and Diesel

brewster johnson gibson
See also:
FAST & FURIOUS (2008) Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Fast Five Director Lin and writer Morgan throw literally everything at the screen in this loud, meaty, almost breathtakingly stupid sequel. The stony performances don't really matter, and neither does the blunt dialog. But it's still great fun.

After ex-cop Brian (Walker) and his girlfriend Mia (Brewster) break Dom (Diesel) out of prison, they head to Rio to hide out with Dom's old pal Vince (Schulze). Naturally, Vince has an elaborate heist planned, of course involving superfast cars. And it goes so spectacularly wrong that doggedly determined Federal agent Hobbs (Johnson) heads to Brazil to track them down. But there's one last job to do, which involves getting even with Rio's ruthless crime boss (de Almeida), so they call their old team (including Gibson, Bridges, Gadot and Kang) into action.

The filmmakers plunder the cast lists of the previous four films to bring back every character they can contrive to convince us is still alive, even though they spend all their lives driving like maniacs while dodging machine gun fire and being blasted off their feet by apocalyptic explosions. And that's the part of the film franchise that makes the most sense. Because we never believe a single moment of what we see on screen. And we actually like it more as a result.

The plot is a mind-boggling collection of impossible scenarios (where exactly do they get the cash to stage these insanely complicated capers?), ludicrous action sequences (in which their cars barely get scratched despite colliding with everything in sight) and corny sentimentality. And it works only because no one is taking any of it seriously, so it feels almost like a comedy-fantasy with flying cars, free-running stunts and spectacular scenery. Plus astonishingly beefed-up men and near-naked twig-like women.

So we don't care that Diesel and Walker never even try to act, while Brewster, Pataky (as a staggeringly hot cop) and Gadot stand around being smart, sassy and sexy. And then there's Johnson and Gibson, who can't look stupid if they try; the intelligence behind their eyes and their irresistible on-screen charisma makes them by far the most likeable characters on screen. And the closing teaser for Part 6 leaves us wanting more.

cert 12 themes, language, strong violence 18.Apr.11

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© 2011 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall