Business rating: 3.5 stars
Star cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster.
What’s Good: A number of action sequences that keep the audience engaged; the plot, which has many twists and turns; the comedy.
What’s Bad: The absence of an emotional connect.
Verdict: ‘Fast & Furious 5’ is an action-packed potboiler that will do well.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not? Watch it for sure. But do not expect high-brow entertainment.
Original Film’s Fast & Furious 5 is the fourth sequel in the action-thriller franchise, Fast & Furious.
Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), a former cop on the run, and Mia (Jordana Brewster), a car thief, rescue former con Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) from police custody. While Mia is Dominic’s (Dom) sister, Brian is in love with her. Soon, all three are declared wanted by the police. Brian and Mia escape to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Mia’s former accomplice, Vince (Matt Schulze), offers them a daring job – robbing expensive cars from a moving train. As they need the money, Brian and Mia agree.
Even as they break into the train compartment carrying the cars, Dom joins Mia and Brian on the daring theft, which also involves Vince and a few local thieves. Dom smells trouble and asks Mia to wait for his call and not go to the designated drop point. After Vince and Mia leave with two cars, Dom and Brian break into a fight with the locals. Soon, federal agents arrive on the scene but are killed by Zizi (Michael Irby), a local. Dom and Brian manage to jump off the train into a moving car but are then captured by the local goons, who owe allegiance to a corrupt businessman, Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Reyes controls Rio’s mafia and also the police force. After a brief encounter with Reyes, Dom and Brian manage to escape and join Mia at their hiding place in the slums of Rio. They discover a hidden chip in Mia’s car. The chip contains detailed description of Reyes’ black money, which is stored in various locations across Rio.
Within minutes, Dom, Brian and Mia are attacked by Reyes’ men and also by elite US agents, led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). The trio manages to give both parties a miss by jumping over the sprawling slum rooftops but not before Dom has a close encounter with Elena (Elsa Pataky), a local police aide to Hobbs.
When Dom suggests that they go separate ways to avoid getting caught, Mia announces that she is pregnant. Dom and Brian are happy but decide to do one last job, so that the family can buy its freedom. They decide to steal $100 million of black money from Reyes. They assemble a team including their former accomplices and friends to do the job.
Soon, Dom and the team strike one of Reyes’ secret locations and burn all the money. Immediately, Reyes moves all his money to a vault in a police station in Rio. Dom’s task just gets more difficult but they persist and hatch a plan to sneak the money from right under the police’s nose. In the meantime, they are declared wanted in Rio after Hobbs learns of their plan. Dom and Hobbs have another confrontation.
On D-day, when they set out to loot the vault, Hobbs arrives and foils their plan, apprehending Mia, Dom, Brian and Vince. On their way to the airport, Hobbs’ cavalcade comes under deadly fire from Reyes’ men. While Hobbs’ men are killed, Dom is able to get him out of there, unscathed. How Dom’s team is able to complete their mission of stealing the $100 million forms the rest of the story. What happens to Hobbs? What about Reyes? The climax reveals the rest.
Fast & Furious 5 Review – Story and Screenplay
Chris Morgan’s script, based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson, packs a punch. In spite of the linear narrative, the plot is interesting as it has lots of twists and turns. The highlight of the screenplay is a number of brilliantly-executed action sequences, which keep the audience glued to their seats. The train sequence, the ambush and the climactic chase sequences stand out. Unlike the previous films of the franchise, there are no car races, but that is more than made up for by the amazing stunts.
Most characterisations are interesting but one-dimensional. Also, there is never an emotional connect between the audience and the characters. A few emotional scenes, between the action sequences, do not come through well. The budding relationship between Dom and Elena seems unreal. The redeeming factor here is the element of comedy that has been added through the character of the loud-mouthed Roman (Tyrese Gibson). The camaraderie among members of Dom’s team works well. The rest of the job is done by the racy cars, hot girls and beautiful scenery of Rio. The dialogues are good. Hence, overall, the script succeeds in keeping the audience engaged.
Fast & Furious 5 Review – Star Performances
Vin Diesel is in top form. Diesel and Dwayne Johnson ooze masculinity and do very well in the action sequences. Paul Walker looks disinterested, but maybe that is because of the casual character he plays. Jordana Brewster does an average job. Tyrese Gibson (as Roman) has the audience in splits with his funny lines, which he delivers with panache. Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (as Tej), Matt Schulze (as Vince), Elsa Pataky (as Elena) and Sung Kang (as Han) also do well. Gal Gadot (as Gisele) adds to the glam quotient. Joaquim de Almeida (as Reyes) is effective. Tego Calderon (as Leo), Don Omar (as Santos), Michael Irby (as Zizi) and Joseph Melendez (as chief of police) support well.
Fast & Furious 5 Review – Direction, Music & Editing
Justin Lin’s direction is very good. He keeps the narrative simple and well-paced, delivering dollops of action and entertainment throughout the film. He manages to extract good performances from his cast. Brian Tyler’s music score goes with the mood of the film and enhances the impact of the action sequences. Stephen F. Windon’s cinematography is stylised and effective. The visual effects are top-notch. Editing (by Kelly Matsumoto, Fred Raskin and Christian Wagner) is snappy. Production design, by Peter Wenham, is good.
The Last Word
On the whole, Fast & Furious 5 will fare well at the Indian box-office due to the entertainment it offers.