Reviewed by GREG KING

Director: Justin Lin

Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Chris “ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Joaquim de Almeida.

This fifth instalment in the Fast And Furious series delivers plenty of hard-driving action and fast cars that will satisfy petrol heads. But it also reunites many of the characters from previous instalments of the franchise, including Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges and Tyrese Gibson, his co-star from 2 Fast 2 Furious.

When the film opens, renegade former cop Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) are stealing some rare luxury cars that have been impounded by the DEA. They stage a daring and exciting get away from a speeding train. However, one of the cars belongs to vicious South American gangster Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), and contains a valuable computer chip that he wants back at any cost. Toretto and O’Connor assemble a crew to take down Reyes and relieve him of a fortune in drug money stored in an impregnable vault. Thus sets in motion the rather slim plot for this fifth instalment, which is largely set in Rio de Janiero.

A welcome new character is Hobbs, the ruthlessly efficient mysterious government agent on their trail, played with plenty of brawn and attitude by Dwayne Johnson, making a welcome return to full on action mode. There is even a showdown between Diesel and Johnson, which allows both action stars to flex their muscles.

Diesel and Walker reprise their roles, and have now developed an easy-going familiarity and rapport. The plot itself is nothing special but it gives plenty of scope for some fast paced action, which has always been the main attraction of the series.

Justin Lin, who has directed the series since Tokyo Drift, the third film, handles these scenes with ruthless efficiency. The climax features one of the most destructive car chases in cinema history. There are also a couple of spectacularly staged stunt sequences. Only when the action slows down for some plot exposition and dialogue does it lose momentum.

And a brief post credit sequence sets the scene for yet another sequel!




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