The fifth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast Five, comes complete with much of what we’d expect. Eye candy for the girls in the form of the muscle-men Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and even Dwayne Johnson (once The Rock), and for the boys in the midst of the scantily clad ladies draping themselves over any and every performance car they can get close to. Some excellent action, an interesting plot and a great cast of old school characters from previous Fast and Furious films show that there is still some life left in this old girl.
Fast Five picks up from where the previous movie left off, literally. In an attention grabbing and action-packed opening sequence we see Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) freeing Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel) from his prison bus. Together the three head to Rio, intending to live something of a more quiet life, with the occasional heist of course! After a plan to steal three cars from a moving train goes wrong, one last all important job is the gang’s only strategy to get even.
Diehard fans of the Fast and Furious series might be disappointed to hear that the drag racing which has characterised the previous films is mostly absent from this movie. There are still plenty of cars to drool over, but director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan have chosen to focus the film on the big heist about which the story focuses. This change of pace does nothing to diminish from the quality of the movie though, and if anything breathes new life into an existing formula that could, otherwise, be struggling to maintain its success. Every detail is put into the setup of the plan, including scouting trips, discovering floor plans and deciding how to overcome the many obstacles that will understandably arise when you try to break into a heavily guarded and highly corrupt police station. While this does leave you with a bit of a sense of the Italian Job with better cars, the inevitable break down of the plan once started brings us firmly back to the Fast and the Furious.
Lin and Morgan have really played to their strengths to create Fast Five. Dialogue is cut to a minimum, making the focus of the film the excellent action. There’s no shortage of twisting of the laws of physics themselves to make some great scenes, and though Fast Five is long for a movie of this genre, coming in at over two hours, it never really feels drawn out and is certainly never boring.
One interesting addition to the cast in this latest foray into the world of fast cars and lovable criminals is that of Dwayne Johnson as the FBI agent hell-bent on capturing our intrepid ‘heroes’. Whether it is the script itself of Johnson’s acting ability that lets down this role we’ll probably never know, but unfortunately he never quite comes off as believable. If nothing else you have to question the intelligence of an agent so obsessed with capturing the small criminals when the drug lord at the heart of the problems is still at large.
Despite this, Fast Five is a movie that’s incredibly fast paced, action packed and generally entertaining. Fans of the genre will definitely want to watch this one, but it’s not only petrol heads that will enjoy the unfolding plot of this particular film.