The title may have shrunk and then expanded again - it was originally called 'Fast Five' - but the jaw-dropping action and unexpected twists remain in the fifth instalment from the 'Fast & Furious' crew. It's directed by Justin Lin, who also directed the two previous movies, and the scriptwriters have stayed true to the essence of the characters and their daredevil ways. Armed with some souped-up muscle cars, over-the-top action sequences and a good bit of eye candy, 'Fast & Furious 5' breaks the same red lights as 'The Expendables' but has just enough gas in its tank to pull off a cool, 'Ocean's Eleven' vibe.
The movie begins where the fourth one left off, as ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Walker) and his girlfriend Mia Toretto (Brewster) bust her brother Dom (Diesel) from police custody in an exciting train chase. A few emotional hugs later and O'Conner and Dom's bromance is right as rain again, as they hatch a plan to rob Rio de Janeiro's ruthless drug overlord Reyes (Almeida) of his cash.
And so the adventure begins.
Enter hotshot federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) to place a few oil slicks in O'Conner and Dom's path. But with old pals like Roman (Gibson), Leo (Calderon), Tej (Ludacris) and Han (Kang) making a welcome comeback, the crew's plans move up a gear. Can the F&F gang cross the finish line before Hobbs catches up with them?
Although it would be easy to nit-pick at all the flaws and ridiculous scenarios within the script, it seems pointless as it is blatantly clear from the beginning of the movie that 'Fast & Furious 5' doesn't take itself too seriously. While a bit less predictability would have been appreciated, the high-speed chases and the mesmerising location almost compensate for the flick's shortcomings.
An incredibly buff Dwayne Johnson has some punchy dialogue as a newcomer to the series and provides some mediocre gags throughout the movie. Walker and Brewster prove to be as one-dimensional as ever, while Diesel bags the most scenes, and is again the best thing on-screen. As for the rest of the 'dream team', they are just mere accessories to what is one heck of a dragged out movie - 30 minutes could have easily been left on the cutting room floor without affecting the plot.
It may be an overblown sequel, with a dumb script and a bucket load of cringey one-liners, but 'Fast & Furious 5' has just enough va va voom to earn a spot in the guilty pleasure section of your DVD pile.