Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist is officially released 5th May 2011 in Singapore. While named Fast Five in the US, this post has been updated to reflect the local name for this movie.
The Fast and the Furious. One of those rare franchises that managed to hit 5 movies, and there’s already a sixth lined up. While not always featuring the most deep or cohesive of story lines, these movies have always been firm favorites for just two reasons – cars and babes. Take the actors and characters away, and you’re left with the… je ne sais quoi of the series, which might not work anywhere else. Cars, babes, and old characters return, and sometimes, what other reasons do you need to keep watching?
Before we continue – What is Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist doing here?! What is this doing on HereBeGeeks? Where are the comic book links? Could it be the rumours that Tyrese Gibson is the next Luke Cage (as is Idris Elba and Isaiah Mustafa and Jamie Foxx (lol))? Could it be Jordana Brewster’s old recurring role in Chuck? Possibly Ludacris in the gaming related movies Gamer and Max Payne? Or was it Dwayne Johnson’s star turn as a fantasy character (no, not the Scorpion King, the Tooth Fairy!)? Sadly – it’s none of the above. Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist is here because sometimes cars are just really cool, and I was just hoping we’d see them delve into the specs of each car. Also: drifting.
If you haven’t realised by now – I didn’t exactly know what to expect (drifting!). I have to profess to have never watched ANY of the first four movies, and maybe that leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage to appreciating Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist especially since this is like the huge reunion flick, instead of a huge gearhead movie (there are cars though, if you were wondering). Characters (but not all) from the first four movies return to perform a huge heist – the reason of which almost eludes me. True hardcore fans (by then you wouldn’t need a review to help you make up your mind) might enjoy this way more, but watching Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist as a standalone isn’t the most difficult thing to do.
Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist begins where Fast & Furious (aka part 4) left off and the way it begins just sets the tone for the rest of the film. Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster, aka Jill Roberts from Chuck) arrive to break Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) free from his prison bus, (slight spoilers here) and they succeed by getting the bus to hit the side of a car, causing the bus to flip right over like a somersault enthusiast. From that moment on it’s a ride of ridiculous physics and ridiculous ideas strung together by the weakest of motivations – but it is a RIDE.
I guess, with Ludacris involved, it’s gotta be ludicrious at some point. The gang end up in Rio, not just to see the flying, talking parrots, or Christ the Redeemer, but to hide from the feds. Problem is, money is getting low so what are a bunch of speed junkies to do but to do another heist (obviously a honest day’s work hasn’t come to mind). They get greedy and so they end trying to renege on their deal, which brings the most powerful criminal in all of Brazil against them. Add DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) into the mix and they’re in a whole lot of trouble.
And all the non-homoerotic staring between men (honestly the least homo-erotic staring between men ever, Legolas and Aragorn have something to learn) really highlights how weird the show is. It’s a whole lot of serious melodrama, until Roman appears, at which it becomes a comedy, then at one point his jokes fall flat, then we’re back to melodrama. In the meantime all you’re doing is screaming MORE CARSSSSSSSS because the babes are all kind of a little too skinny to be healthy, then people do the stupidest things, and the henchman of the crime boss (Zizi, played by Micheal Irby) is pretty much the worst henchman ever, always snarling and trying to look like a threatening puppy but never winning and always the last man standing the the firefight, swearing revenge as he leads another group of redshirts to their death (so that he can swear revenge again). But all this so that they can setup the final setpiece – and what glorious metal destruction that is (something to learn from, Micheal Bay?). I was left in either in giggles or swearing at the screen throughout most of the movie (and sleepy during the melodrama), but when the final setpiece hit, well, I could say that I know why this movie exists, and such entertainment is quite the masterclass in action movies (before they go on to make it stupid again at the end).
That is, to introduce the next installment. Yes, stay for the end credits.
Final Score: 3 / 10 for everything except for the 9 / 10 end setpiece. Given the length of the final setpiece, I’d then say we have to weight the score differently? (does the math…) The final score is 4.714286/10.