Fast Five Review
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Matt Schulz, Joaquim de Almeida, Elsa Pataky, Eva Mendes.
Justin Lin continues at the helm, making this his third instalment and he makes it the longest of the series so far. There's something quite refreshing that Lin brings to the series. His fast and furious action that's really on point here, impressive, precise and actually one of the more believable films out of the more recent additions.
After fans complaining, Lin opted for more real stunts as oppose to CGI heavy effects which whilst limiting the action to some degree, it brings that realism to life so more. Right from the opening sequence followed by the train robbery and escape really sets up action for the rest of the film and is just a great opening for any action movie.
Brian and Mia have broken Dom free and are now on the run ending up in exotic Rio de Janeiro where they cross paths with a corrupt, ruthless drug lord and the unstoppable, relentless agent Hobbs who's determined to take Dom back to prison and take down anyone who stands in his way; that's including the gangs of the favelas.
De Almeida plays Reyes, the Brazilian crime lord who has come up the ranks since his Mexican gang boss in Desperado, but is unfortunately not the best casting here, feeling typecast with only two known roles, he's not what you might find to be the most convincing crime lord.
What is great casting, and off the back from a fan suggestion because originally the part was going to be offered to Tommy Lee Jones (who just can't stop chasing people) is Dwayne Johnson as Agent Hobbs, the bulking beast of a man who appears to be at his largest ever and if you've seen him in the previous year's Faster, you'll know he can drive. However, his lines don't seem to fit his frame, obviously still being lines for an envision Jones. But pitting him against Diesel was an excellent move and just increased the testosterone of the series.
Also the reunion of all the past films, nearly everyone minus Rodriguez's Letty, but Tokyo Drift and 4's Han is here, as is 4's Giselle and the terrible two, Leo and Santos. But it's Roman and Tej that probably ride shotgun after the main characters completely la familia in loving fashion.
What it does lack is some of the street racing and what is there feels forced only to pander to the fans. The iconic cars are missing and the only real product placement we see is Ludacris' very own brand of brandy, Conjure, sitting on the table. However, what action we see is of the highest quality making this one of my personal favourites of the franchise. The on-foot chase sequences are good, the coming together works and the finale, loaded with unlikely heroics that are similar to classic western themes is great. The code between good outlaws and compassionate lawmen.
It really comes together here, joining what has gone on before and to what is to follow after reuniting characters from all the previous four films. It's definitely one of the more polished films of the series with a working story, great action and the soundtrack is there.
Up next: Fast & Furious 6
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for the addition of Dwayne Johnson.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Already do.