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Fast and Furious 5: Rio Heist
Genre Action

On your marks... get set... GO! Just like the Need for Speed video game brand, The Fast and the Furious has built its own empire out of man's desire to win, conquer and defy death. Fast and Furious 5: Rio Heist is Fast and Furious in fifth gear and they've made a few modifications... powering the same dopamine-infused head rush that generally comes after the chequered flag or "The Brazilian Job" in this case.

In the fifth installment of The Fast and the Furious, Dominic Torretto (Diesel) and his crew find themselves in Rio on the wrong side of the law after inciting the city's most-feared drug lord. With a tenacious federal agent (Johnson) hot on their trail, they decide to go for broke... calling in favours from old friends to pull one last job.

Fast and Furious 5: Rio Heist is a fresh blast of cold air... refocusing superficial egocentric clashes of machine and man-on-the-run to mirror the The Italian Job. Instead of minis, they're racing just about anything from armoured vehicles and muscle cars to street racers and police cars. The movie has shifted the focus from just looking cool and winning to a heist in the style of an Ocean's Eleven round-up. To spice things up even further... the heist goes down in Rio De Janeiro - the setting for movies like City of God and La Linea.

Letting the party get started in Rio was an inspired move on the part of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift director Justin Lin. Not only is Brazil's crime and festive capital a cesspit of hard-living, guns and drugs... it also enables the bad guys to take on the cops, have bigger gun fights and get away with more full-throttle action. Rio is the perfect setting for a showdown and from the energy of the production, it's quite phenomenal to think this is the fifth installation of the long-running series. Most multiple sequel sagas taper off in an attempt to rehash a popular concept. Fast and Furious 5: Rio Heist have just modified it, taking the same characters and basically hijacking any promise held by filming The Brazilian Job.

Fast Five delivers all the hot shot drivers from the series including: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson and introduces Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson still burning after Faster. It's a bad ass action collective with Walker, Diesel and Gibson on one side of the law and Johnson going "Old Testament" on the other side as a federal agent and man hunter. Each of these leading men could and have taken the lead in their own respective films, but having them team up just makes the occasion bigger, meaner and heavier.

Fast Five or Fast and Furious 5: Rio Heist balances racing action and gangland shoot outs... using the fast cars and hot girls more creatively to execute the heist. Blending the world of Fast and Furious with The Italian Job is such a snug fit that you wonder why they didn't do it sooner? The stakes are higher, the cast is meaner, the stunts are more imaginative and there's even some acting! Having Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel stand-off is one highlight of many in this frenetic balls-to-the-wall actioner that even has touches of Gone in Sixty Seconds.

Action junkies will be hooked, people expecting the same old formula will be impressed and fans will be wondering when the next sequel will be coming to cinemas. If The Fast and the Furious was hoping to repeat the magic of the first film or go out with a bang, they managed on both counts with this all-round actioner. There are one or two unintentionally funny moments, but overall the feeling is great... making Fast and Furious 5 the best of the sequels and easily the best of the franchise in terms of entertainment value - clocking in at just over two hours.

The bottom line: Surprising.




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