12A - 130mins - Action/Crime/Drama - 21st April 2011The latest in the Fast and Furious franchise has recently hit the screens and what with the others being a good way to spend a few hours I was hoping for a similar type of movie from this one with plenty of great cars and car chases to boot. Set after Fast & Furious (No. 4) but before The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (No. 3), this time the action is played out in Rio, Brazil after Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has escaped from police custody in the US with help from his old pal Brian (Paul Walker) and sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and gone into hiding. With them needing money to disappear forever, Dom hatches a plan to steal all the money from Rio's most reputable underworld kingpin Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). At the same time they are being hunted down by the elite federal agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his team who are trying to capture and take him back to prison. Although it is quite possible to watch this movie without seeing the previous 4 there will be some parts that may slip you by as the writers have assumed that, if your coming to see this movie then there is a very strong possibility you have seen at least a couple of the prequels/sequel. One thing that I was quite surprised about was the lack of actual cars in the storyline. Sure they were involved slightly more than a normal action movie but I was expecting a lot more. There were probably only 2/3 scenes involving racing or car stunts and when the whole movie is supposed to be based around cars I was expecting just that little bit more. If fact in one scene just when you are expecting a good old fashioned drag race, they cut away to reveal the car back in the garage and already won! The action does make up for this though and is fast flowing throughout as they jump from one explosion/fight scene to the next. The casting of Johnson as the bad-ass agent was a stroke of genius with him bringing his former WWE smack talk to the character. He really makes you want to hate him and I especially enjoyed the Johnson Vs. Diesel fight scene as the 2 heavyweights traded blows. At over 2 hours this is by far the longest in the franchise and although in general the time will pass quickly, they could have easily chopped off a few minutes here and there to stop the risk of it dragging for some people. The acting and script is nothing special and you will have to sit through a fair bit of 'we're doing this for family' talk but that is not what people will come to watch this movie for. With Neal H. Moritz announcing in March the development of a sixth and seventh movie for the series it is doubtful that this surprisingly long lasting franchise will go away quietly. Despite having lots of good action and successfully filling a void in my day, lets just hope that they return to the core basics for the next one rather than forgetting the main reason for these movies was supposed to be the cars.
For further reviews feel free to check out: http://www.fanaticalaboutfilms.com