Movie Review: Fast 5 Revs into 5th Gear

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When speaking about the Fast and the Furious franchise of movies, the phase ‘beating a dead horse’ comes to mind. The first movie in the franchise broke records when it finally brought the world of street racing and ‘pimping rides to the mainstream, making Hollywood stars out of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in the process. But the sequels that followed proved that there’s only so much street racing and booty shaking audience can take.

This year sees the release of the 5th movie in the franchise, aptly named Fast and Furious 5: Rio Heist. The movie sees the return of most of the original characters in the franchise, starting immediately after where Fast and Furious left off. Having broken Dom (Diesel) out of custody, the team finds themselves on the run from American forces, retreating to the extradition free paradise of Rio de Janeiro.

After a train heist goes wrong, the team find themselves back on the American forces’ radar as well as being hunted down by a menacing drug lord. With US Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs hot on their tail, the team plot to evade capture from as they bring down the corrupt mobster and escaping with his vast fortune.

Surprisingly, the movie was quite an engaging adventure. Producer Neal H Moritz admitted to film news sources that Fast Five was a transitional movie in the franchise with its production studio, Universal, wanting to retool the street racing franchise into a series of heist movies. The movie lives up to that expectation, with only two comic racing scenes filmed between Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.

Despite the dialogue between characters being simplistic and shouty, the attempt to rid the franchise of its street racing image certainly has worked. Instead, the film concentrates more on the plans behind the heist and the eventual reveal of how the caper was carried out certainly keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.

Overall, film reviews for the movie have been overwhelmingly and surprisingly positive. Critics have praised the heist movie theme as well as the decision to cast former wrestler-turned-actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as the American agent trying to capture the team. Others have noted positively the return of many old faces to the franchise as well as the casting of Joaquim de Almeida as the ruthless drug lord who will do anything to protect his fortune.

If you’re looking for a movie this weekend to enjoy, it’s definitely recommended. You no longer have to worry about faking an interest in street racing to justify the guilty pleasure as the movie’s heist elements are sure to keep your eyes on the screen. If you’re still having second thoughts, be sure to check out the movie trailer online.

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