“Fast Five” was directed by Justin Lin who had previously directed “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” & “Fast 4”. This is the 5 film in the franchise and sees a majority of its cast return from previous films. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Sung Kang & Matt Schulze all reprise their roles from previous films. Joining the cast are newcomers Dwayne Johnson, Elsa Pataky & Joaquin De Almeida. This film in particular was the first to feature more an action film storyline rather than about underground street racing.
At the end of “Fast 4”, Dom Toretto (Diesel) is sentenced 25 years in prison. En route to San Quinton State prison, Dom is rescued by his sister Mia (Brewsters) and FBI agent turned criminal, Brian O’Connor (Walker). The 3 become wanted by all major agencies. They end up in Rio De Janeiro reuniting with Vince (Schulze) and teaming up in car boosting job. However, the job horribly wrong as the other guys involved double cross them. Vince and Mia get away while Brian & Dom are captured by Hernan Reyes (Almeida) a corrupt businessman who runs the drug & weapons trade in Rio. Dom & Brian manage to escape but realize that if they are going to take down Reyes, they’re gonna help. They recruit Tej Parker (Ludacris), the circuit man from Miami, Roman Pierce (Gibson), Brian’s childhood friend and partner from the “Miami Job” (2 Fast 2 Furious), Han (Kang) Dom’s partner from the previous film and Gisele (Gadot) a former soldier and mercenary from the previous film. Their plan is rob all Reyes’ cash houses and forever disappear from the world. What they didn’t expect was the U.S. Government to be involved by sending Diplomatic Security Service agent, Luke Hobbs (Johnson) also in Rio looking from Dom, Brian and Mia. The crew must not only face Reyes’s men but also stay ahead of Hobbs’ investigation and hunt before they end up either arrested or dead.
The “Fast & Furious” franchise had always been considered a solid action film franchise but lost little bit of traction with 2006’s “The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift”, the third film in the series. While it was entertaining, it was also mediocre at best compared to last 2 films. “Fast 4” saw the return of four main characters of the very first film. Now 5, was best of one to date. This was a damn good action movie. The return of Diesel & Walker was great and them being joined by The Rock himself was amazing. The action sequences were fantastic along with the great chemistry and comedic timing of the whole cast. Rather than sticking to its own traditional story elements, Justin Lin goes all in with a high octane action movie. The performances were good and the storyline is a bit cliche but its over the top execution gave the movie a major boost.
After the huge success of “Fast Five”, Universal would release 3 more sequels. Part 6 in 2013, “Furious 7” in 2017 & “The Fate & the Furious” in 2017. Vin Diesel would go on and appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its 2017 sequel and even “Avengers: Infinity War” & “Endgame”, voicing the humanoid tree known as “Groot”. Paul Walker was star much smaller films such as 2010’s “Takers”, 2013’s “Hours” & 2014’s “Brick Mansions”. Walker would appear in next “Fast” 2 sequels before his tragic and sudden death from a car accident in 2013. Justin Lin would direct 5 & 6 before stepping away from the franchise. He directed 2016’s “Star Trek: Beyond”. Lin was announced to return as director for the 2021 release of “Fast & Furious 9”, which sees a majority of the main cast return and also some new ones.