Fast and Furious 5 (M)

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/04/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 130 mins

Fast and Furious 5 starts well and has an exciting if ludicrous climax but unfortunately, the poorly written script ensures that there's over 90 minutes of tedious, frequently dull filler between those two set-pieces and the overall result is a huge letdown.

What's it all about?
Directed by Justin Lin (returning for his third entry in the franchise), Fast & Furious 5 (alternately known by several titles, but sadly not The 5st and the 5iou5) opens with ex-FBI agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and his girlfriend Mia (Jordana Brewster) breaking fellow fast car enthusiast Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) out of a police transport vehicle and heading for Rio. Once there they hook up with a few old friends – including franchise returnees Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges and Gal Gadot – and decide to stage a $100 million heist in order to annoy evil druglord Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).

However, the fast and actually not very furious fugitives have reckoned without the presence of hotshot federal agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who is soon hard on their trail with a trigger-happy strike team.

The Good
The Fast and Furious franchise depends on two things: the (often hilariously homoerotic) chemistry between its stars and action-packed set-pieces involving fast cars. The chemistry is just about there this time round, but it often feels forced and is badly diluted by the presence of too many characters, though there is an amusing scene where Diesel and Johnson square up to each other and it looks like they're going to kiss.

As for the trademarked vehicle-based action scenes, there are precisely two decent set-pieces in the film: the climactic heist (utterly ludicrous, but enjoyable) and an early train robbery. Non-vehicle-wise, there's a lengthy punch-up between Johnson and Diesel that's worth seeing, but a rooftop chase (featuring the world's stompiest free-runners) is badly edited and disappointing and the predictable race sequence is both poorly directed and utterly pointless.

The Bad
The main problem is the script, which pads out the lengthy wait between action scenes with extremely tedious, supposedly emotional filler, dreadful dialogue and constant rehashes of jokes from the previous films that didn't work in the first place. It's also way too long at two hours ten minutes and could easily have lost half an hour with no difference to the plot.

Worth seeing?
Basically, you know you're in trouble when the mid-credits sting is better than the entire movie. Despite one or two good moments, this is a huge disappointment overall, thanks to a tedious script, some dodgy editing and some serious pacing issues.

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Fast and Furious 5 (M)
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Content updated: 19/03/2019 04:59

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