Fast Five

Fast Five ★★★★

The fifth instalment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, Fast Five is an intensely gripping, thoroughly engaging & relentlessly entertaining sequel that not just brings several upgrades in all departments of filmmaking but by replacing the street racing formula with elements of a heist thriller, it ends up resurrecting this derailed franchise in style and heralds the series' heading into a new direction.

Set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the story of Fast Five follows Dominic Toretto, Brian O'Conner & Mia as they plan a massive heist to steal $100 million in cash from a ruthless drug lord & corrupt businessman and enlist the help of former allies to pull off the job which would buy them their freedom. But at the same time, they find themselves being pursued by a federal agent who's in Rio to arrest both Dom & Brian.

Directed by Justin Lin, Fast Five presents the director in much different form as his kinetic work behind the camera keeps the story running on top-gear from start to finish, and the earlier momentum it gained with its explosive opening sequence is never lost. The screenplay at last places more emphasis on its story & characters, adds in a welcome amount of humour and even though the route it takes is new, the old-school formula isn't entirely discarded.

The technical aspects exhibit a complete overhaul which is in sync with the transition this franchise itself undergoes through this chapter. Production design team puts up some wonderfully detailed set pieces, Cinematography makes exuberant use of its camera while the applied colour tones are more vivid than before. The events unfolds at breakneck pace, Editing is at its best during the action sequences, and the vehicular carnage it has in store is simply overwhelming.

Coming to the performances, Fast Five brings the notable characters from all the previous chapters together under one roof and all of them deliver more confident performances. Vin Diesel & Paul Walker show greater maturity in their respective roles of Dom & Brian but it's the swashbuckling input from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson that turns out to be the biggest surprise of them all. It's not difficult to assess that he was really enjoying his character and it reflects in his impressive performance.

Last but not the least is Brian Tyler's score which packs in some intense, vibrant tracks that never allows the film's charged atmosphere to settle down and actually enhances the whole experience by a considerable margin. The visual effects team also brings its A-game, for the moments of action seem convincing for the most part, even if it's a tad over-the-top on few occasions. There are more thrilling moments to be found here than in all previous chapters combined and every moment featuring Johnson & Diesel together is a highlight, right away.

On an overall scale, Fast Five is without a shadow of a doubt the finest chapter in The Fast and the Furious franchise and the first one in the series that manages to find a near-perfect balance between its elements of style & substance. High-octane, full-throttled & immensely satisfying, Fast Five is an action-packed, roller-coaster ride that packs in all the ingredients in just the right dosages to succeed as a genuine summer blockbuster material & a quality entertainer for not just the fans of the series, but newcomers as well. Absolutely worth your time & money.

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