Fast Five – review

Dom Torreto and his family ride into the action genre in Fast Five, directed by Justin Lin, centred on Torettos crew aiming to pull off a bank heist in Brazil to buy their freedom, they get caught up with a drug lord and a US federal agent who ruthlessly hunts them down. The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Elsa Pataky.

Fast Five is the Fast franchises’ fifth film and arguably also its best, at the time, before its release the series needed re-invigoration and new direction though fans didn’t necessarily want a Fast action film, Justin Lin took the franchise in a fun new direction and pulled it off, still including elements of that core street racing but changing up the premise. And while Fast and Furious exists and elements of/plots around crime have been in the series for a while, this was the franchises foray into action and not pure racing, being more of a heist film than with a lot of shootouts, fights and just one actual car race… yes, just one.

The plot is great and brings the first international setting into play, plonking Torettos’ crew in Brazil, planning to pull off a heist of a lifetime, we see the crew at some of its’ funniest, with some memorable humor and with the characters playing off each other, Tej (Chris Bridges) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) especially, though Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the others all add to the plot and make it a fun watch with some good writing. And with such a large cast and Doms’ crew at its biggest, Ttere is a real ensemble and family feel to Fast Five, adding to that the heist element, with new dangers and opposition to their plan in the team facing drug lord Reyes and DSS agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) are great additions to the story.

Johnson especially brings the feeling of a genuine physical threat to the group as we see him take on Dom in a vicious one on one match, bringing more physicality and a palpable threat to the team, Johnsons’ inclusion in the film was a great idea and helps to solidify Fast Five as more of an action film, with a more established film star joining the cast, adding some tense shoot-outs in the film and great chase sequences, the film also works well in its’ ambitiously done set pieces.

The plot plays out like a fun blockbuster with characters fulfilling roles you’ve come to expect them to in the Fast films and it works well, Tej as the hacker and the brains, Roman as the joker, Dom as the muscle and leader, with Brian as his second etc but Fast Five never feels boring or formulaic, keeping that feeling of a fun, entertaining heist film with plenty of humour and action to satisfy you. Some scenes are physics bending and pure spectacle for sure with that memorable bank vault sequence coming to mind but it is great spectacle and seeing Torettos’ crew work together and come up with solutions on the fly is fun and is part of why the film is such a thrill ride and why audiences keep returning in mass to watch films in the franchise.

8/10

. Some great set pieces

. Awesome plot, engaging throughout

. Sets a new, exciting direction for the Fast franchise and pulls it off

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