72/ 365 – ‘Fast 5′ – 130 mins
Cinema Challenge #32 / 115
Former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Since Brian and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) Dom out of custody, they’ve blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they try 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 (Dwayne 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.
Now in its fifth instalment, you would have thought the Fast and Furious franchise would have started to wane, here though director Justin Lin reignites the series and brings it full circle, that was greatly effective in ‘The Fast and The Furious (2001)’ ironically Lin was the man who was responsible for the instantly forgettable ‘Tokyo Drift’ (2006) and its most recent outing ‘Fast and Furious’ (2009). Lets face it these kind of films aren’t about plot and are never going to win awards for poetic licence, but Lin knows his target audience well and serves them just what they want, pure and simple action and nothing more.
Set directly after F&F 4, Toretto quickly assembles together a team of new and old faces – for that one last job on the gang cultured streets of Brazil, where amusingly I was expecting Ross Kemp, of ‘On Gangs…’ fame to pop up in some form of cameo. In terms of the characters Hobbs, The Rock is the best one here by far, as he stomps and snarls his way around leaving testosterone trails in his wake, and in a one-on-one contest he could eat Vin for breakfast. There are come classic one-liners on display here, many of them spouted by rapper ‘Ludacris’ who quite frankly I have never heard of, until now thanks to our Film Club roving showbiz correspondent, Vicky.
Lin pulls out all the bells and jingles really ups the ante here to make the film a winner in terms of the action sequences, from its explosive opening, to stunning aerial shots right through to its extraordinary ‘money shot’ climactic sequence, where you go WOW. Fast 5 does what it says on the tin and brilliantly opens up the Summer blockbuster season by serving up a big dollop of solid entertainment, where you don’t have to be a petrol-head to enjoy.