Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in Fast Five. In this installment, former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Dwayne Johnson joins returning favourites Jordana Brewster, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon and Don Omar for this ultimate high-stakes race.

Since Brian and Mia Toretto (Brewster) broke Dom out of custody, they’ve blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. But he’s not the only one on their tail.

Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can’t separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey…before someone else runs them down first.

Fast5 starts with a bang.  A very big, very loud bang as Brian and Mia break Dom out of jail through some nifty (and by nifty I mean insane) driving, guaranteeing themselves a place on the FBI’s most wanted list as they go on the run.

Dom goes one way, whilst Mia and Brian go theirs.  Their end destination: Rio de Janeiro.  Mia and Brian get to Rio before Dom does, where they meet up with Vince (Matt Schulze).  They are down and out on their luck and in desperate need for some cash.  Brian and Mia agree to help Vince out with a local heist of some cars and Dom joins them at the very last minute.  But there’s more to the heist than originally thought and things go disastrously wrong. The team only just survive, unlike some DEA agents, and go to ground as the ramifications of the failed raid become clearer.

The killing of the DEA agents brings out Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of specialists from the US. They soon make inroads to locating Dom, Brian and Mia, setting the stage for a thrilling roof chase that is part free-running and part gun-battle as the third party who had a hand in the failed heist steps in as well. We soon learn that the third party in the picture is the local drug lord, Reyes. And Reyes is after something hidden in one of the cars that the team stole.  With Reyes, Hobbs and almost every other law enforcement agency out for their blood, Dom and Brian come to the conclusion that they can’t keep running, that it’s time to take a stand. They start assembling their team, including faces from the previous Fast franchise movies. What follows is the what made the original movie such a cult success.  Dom’s “family” gets back together again and they form a strong, dependable unit with their various skill sets.  As the plan expands to take down Reyes (and relieve him of $100m in the process) whilst escaping with their lives evolves into something very high concept, we have the chance to sit back and let the director lead us through the rest of the set-up. 

The action is insane and fantastically loud.  The cars take a backseat to the characters this time round but there’s still plenty of burnt rubber, screaming engines and impossible stunts to keep fans happy.  There is some character development, especially for Dom, who is still pretty torn up about Letty’s in one of the previous Fast movies.

Hobbs and his team are relegated to a secondary threat for most of the movie, until the director decides to fire the nitrous and rack the action up several notches. There’s a bone-shaking  fight scene between Hobbs and Dom that is superbly choreographed.  It is so rare to have two big guys so evenly matched face off on the big screen and you can tell they had an absolute blast doing it.  I am happy to say that the Rock (I seriously can’t call him Dwayne Johnson) does less of the crazy eye thing and more of the shooting guns and breaking heads thing.  There is one telling line that sums up his character really well in the movie where he says to a colleague that he is ‘not here to ask why or how or what, but to get the job done’.  It shows his single mindedness.  And it also gives the scriptwriter something to play with later on in the movie to turn that around and make it personal to Hobbs’ character.  Also, the Rock, looks utterly incredible in this movie.  I think the term is “cut”?

I personally cannot wait to go and see this again.  The set pieces are excellent.  The final scenes with the heist is superb and so over the top yet you believe every single second of it because you’ve checked in your disbelief when you came through the doors at the start of the movie.  Fast5, as I mentioned, is the best one in the franchise thus far, apart from the original.  It bristles with testosterone, adrenalin and high powered action.  It may not be for everyone, but it has certainly heralded the start of Summer in a big way. 

As we were putting our things together to get up and leave as the credits rolled, there’s a bonus scene at the end which had me whooping like a deranged monkey.  But I won’t give it away.  Let me just say that another heist happens some time after Rio and strangely, it’s not run by Dom, but by someone altogether more surprising.

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  1. If I wasn’t already excited about this movie I am now!

  2. montoc1701 /

    Man I really want to see this. Great review.
    Who is the person from the 3rd movie. It is not the main star Lucas.

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