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April 7, 2017

F&F 5: Fast Five (2011) --- "A Team Of Felons Destroy A City When They Drag A Bank Vault Behind Their Cars."

Plot Summary
Former cop Brian O'Conner partners with ex-con Dom Toretto on the opposite side of the law. Since Brian and Mia Toretto broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. But he's not the only one on their tail. Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can't separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey... before someone else runs them down first.

- Written by Universal Pictures

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
      It has been 10 years since the first installment and since then the Fast and Furious franchise has been hitting the ground in top gear and with this fifth installment, it shows no signs of slowing down. Starting a new direction for future films to take by shifting gears from a film showcasing hot bodies and fast NOS enabled cars into the classic heist film with a growing ensemble that could give Ocean's Eleven a run for its money.
     The action in this film is superb. Every shot is deliberate and clean. Rio De Janeiro provides the perfect backdrop for Fast Five, not only has it been a popular location for films recently but it is also a great place for our characters to hide from authorities after breaking out Dom en route to prison. This time they are putting aside the rather repetitive and surface theme of races and wheels on the roads, and instead focusing more on the heist and staying out of jail despite not having many of the signature cars this time. The big bang finale, which you would have seen in the trailer, is a fittingly noisy last act of destroying everything in their path. The movie does slow down in the middle to what looks like Ocean's Eleven meets Fast and Furious and at times it feels like a parody action film filled with cheesy cliché's that are sometimes so subtle you'll miss it. But director Justin Lin (his 3rd film in the Fast and Furious franchise) and writer Chris Morgan always manage to toss in another scene in case you did see the cliché, and often it is in a hilarious way. Every shot is clean and deliberate, and aside from the action, the ensemble of both old and new characters is amazing.
     This time they have added Dwayne Johnson, who plays Hobbs, into the mix. Hobbs is a no nonsense and persistent FBI operative with an arsenal of technology and attitude to aid his team in tracking down Dom’s crew. Of course, seeing two tough guys like Dom and Hobbs go head to head with each other in this film was worth wild. The dynamic of having a guy like Hobbs who sees people as either being good or bad, while having Dom show that while people do some bad things maybe they’re not as bad as you think. It sets up a new rivalry, while still keeping the old relationship between Dominic and O’Conner with the latter always keen to prove who the better driver is. And after learning that Reyes (Joaquim de Almedia), a mobster with a businessman front and his hands of influence in almost every part of the city, has more than enough money available for Dom (Vin Diesel), Mia (Jordana Brewster), and O’Conner (Paul Walker) to start their lives over, they decide to assemble a team to rob him blind. Like with most ensemble films, it is a make it or break it moment given the character's appeal but I'm glad to say that they have successfully used skills of each member of Dom’s crew, bringing their know-how to the table, in order to pull off “mission frickin’ insanity”. Introducing a host of characters that we have seen spread out throughout the past films: Leo (Tego Calderon), Santos (Don Omar), Vince (Matt Schulze), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Gisele (Gal Gadot), and Han (Sung Kang); whom we know what happened in Tokyo Drift.  This puts the chronology of the films at 1, 2, 4, 5 and 3 – which should not happen sometime in the not so immediate future.
     Overall, I am very excited about the direction this film has taken. Even if it means limiting the number of race scenes or cars on the roads and since this film has clearly shown the potential of that chemistry between the cast and characters, then audiences can only anticipate more in future films. Sadly, though it will be a while before we see Lucas Black (Tokyo Drift, Fate of the Furious) join up with the guys. Stay tuned after the credits for a teaser of what is to come in Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

 “Aright listen up! The guys we're after are professional runners. They like speed and are guaranteed to go down the hardest possible way so make sure you've got your underwear on. We find 'em we take 'em as a team and we bring 'em back. And above all else we don't ever, ever let them get into cars.”
- Hobbs

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
F&F 1: Fast and the Furious (2001)
F&F 2: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
F&F 3: Tokyo Drift (2006)
F&F 4: Fast & the Furious (2009)
F&F 6: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
F&F 7: Furious 7 (2015)
F&F 8: The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Italian Job (2003)
Mission Impossible (1996)
Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
Mission Impossible 3 (2006)
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2016)
Need for Speed (2014)
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
xXx (2002)
xXx: State of the Union (2005)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Justin Lin


Writing Credits:

   (Written by) Chris Morgan
   (Characters by) Gary Scott Thompson.

Produced by 

   Vin Diesel                ---     producer
   Michael Fottrell     ---     producer
   Amanda Lewis        ---     executive producer
   Justin Lin                ---     executive producer
   Neal H. Moritz        ---     producer
   Fernando Serzedelo         ---       line producer: Brazil
   Samantha Vincent ---     executive producer



Paul Walker --- Brian O'Conner
Vin Diesel --- Dominic Toretto
Jordana Brewster --- Mia Toretto
Gal Gadot --- Gisele
Sung Kang --- Han
Tyrese Gibson --- Roman
Ludacris --- Tej
Matt Schulze --- Vince
Don Omar --- Santos
Dwayne Johnson --- Hobbs
Elsa Pataky --- Elena
Michael Irby --- Zizi
Fernando Chien --- Wilkes
Alimi Ballard --- Fusco
Geoff Meed --- Macroy
Joseph Melendez --- Chief of Police Alemeida
Mark Hicks --- Capa
Esteban Cueto --- Berto
Luis Da Silva Jr. --- Diogo

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