The thing with franchises is, you've got to have a fair idea of the central premise or at least have a fair idea of the last story twist was. If you don't, you're going to ask people around you a lot of questions
Dir: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris
WHAT'S IT ABOUT: The thing with franchises is, you've got to have a fair idea of the central premise or at least have a fair idea of the last story twist was. If you don't, you're going to ask people around you a lot of questions.
So to bring you up to speed, the last installment saw Dominic Toretto (Diesel) being taken to a high-security prison in an armoured bus, following a trial. A dejected Brian O'Conner (Walker) and Dom's sister, Mia (Brewster) break him out at the beginning of this film, going underground soon after.
The trail leads us to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brian and Mia seek out Dom but find his estranged buddy and an 'almost family' friend, Vince (Matt Schulze) instead.
A 'job' follows. Seized cars are stolen from a moving train, with one car in particular holding something of interest to the person who ordered the job. Mia and Dom change the plans at the last minute and after a chase, get away. What the trio finds in that car is what drives all the chases in the film.
Soon after, a crack team sent by the FBI and led by the no-nonsense Hobbs (Johnson) lands in Samba country. A dogged pursuit follows with Dom, Mia and Brian barely making it out in time.
A team is assembled by the trio, all specialists at what they do. They decide to 'retire' after one final job. To know what that job is, watch the film.
WHAT'S HOT: Who cannot love the Rio landscape? We've grown to love the place after a slew of movies were shot there, most in recent memory. Lin is in his best form yet and never lets the pace drag, except somewhere in the middle when the group is looking for fast cars. The film is relatively low on cheesiness and there is some attempt at working on some sort of a story. Also don't miss the beginning of the end credits. You're in for a surprise!
WHAT'S NOT: Franchise fans would be sorely disappointed as the car chases and the races that the series is known for, are few and far between. The best one is right at the ending. Most of the banter is boring and trivial. Ludacris and Tyrese come off more caricaturish than funny.
WHAT'S THAT! I'm unaware if the writer meant it as a parody or if this was the actor's interpretation but the Rock's portrayal of Hobbs seems way too uptight, upright and so on. And he seems too pumped up to be taken seriously.
WHAT TO DO: Entertains, yet leaves a lot to be desired. Those who loved the series will enjoy this one. Personally, we feel this film could do with a lot more speed.