Movie review – High five for fast five

2011-05-06 12:39

Film: Fast Five (UIP)
Director: Justin Lin
Featuring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris
Rating: 7/10

Fast Five could be described as an American muscle convention – and I’m not talking about the cars.

This fifth film in the ­lucrative Fast and the Furious franchise brings together characters from all the previous films to pull off an outrageous heist under the sultry Rio sun.

Those who like their action far-fetched at high speed with a side order of macho hijinks presented with plenty of eye candy will lap this up.

Vin Diesel, he of the single expression and the impressive biceps, returns again as Dominic Toretto.

The film begins with his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and his best friend and rogue cop Brian (Paul Walker) breaking him out of a prison bus.

The rescue is the first in an increasingly impossible series of stunt setpieces that put this film on the fast track to finish way ahead of the competition at the box office for the next few weeks.

Dominic, Mia and Brian find refuge in Rio, but not for long. Joining the cast for the first time is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hobbs, the FBI’s best fugitive hunter, and Elsa Pataky as Elena, seemingly the only honest cop in Rio (I am sure the Brazilians are delighted with that sweeping statement made by the film).

Johnson, who has recently rejoined the wrestling circuit that made his fortune, has bulked up so much that he looks like he could double for the Incredible Hulk.

Kitted out in cargo pants and a body armour vest throughout, he’s the original mean machine and it takes an impressive scriptwriting stunt to get him onto the same side as Dominic and his crew.

The crew is an amalgam of past films – Matt Schulze returns as Vince, Tyrese Gibson as Roman, Ludacris as Tej and for the next one, yip there’s definitely another (stay until the end of the credits to see the teaser), fans can expect both Eva Mendes and Michelle Rodriguez to be back.

As with all the films in this franchise, the line between criminality and heroism is blurred, with the criminal protagonists following an honour code that allows the audience to root for the wrongdoers.

In this one it’s an über-baddie Brazilian druglord who brings both sides of the law together for a final wingding of a showdown.

Fast Five polishes up the sleek lines of the franchise as it revs up to fuel Friday night entertainment with a hi-octane blend of growling motors, glossy-haired babes and oil-rubbed flexed muscles. Suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.

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