First Hit: Some fun car chases but mostly an unrealistic ill-advised script attempting to masquerade as an interesting film.
Vin Diesel has screen presence as does Dwayne Johnson. In this film they are adversaries and in a country, Brazil, where they are out of their element.
Dom (Diesel), Brian (played by Paul Walker), and Mia (played by Jordana Brewster) have to leave the US because both her brother Dom and her boyfriend Brain are fugitive escaped prisoners from the United States.
The US Government sends Hobbs (Johnson) to bring back these most wanted men but in Brazil the problems are more complex. Dom, Brian, Mia and a crew of misfits want to do one last job where they each will get 11 million dollars.
Their idea is to rob a local mob leader named Reyes (played by Joaquim de Almeida) who illegally runs Rio de Janeiro through drugs, prostitution and other graft. He owns the police and neighborhoods by bribes and giving people the minimum to survive. He wants a car which has been seized by the U.S. DEA. The car has an electronic chip in it that tracks where his money is collected and when all of it is transferred to banks. Dom and Brian find the chip and plan a robbery.
Reyes, worried about a theft, puts all his money (over $100 million) in a safe which is in the basement of the main police station. However Dom and Brian take two cars and some cable and are able to drag a multi-ton safe filled with money all around Rio (Yeah, sure). Hobbs is simply trying to catch Dom and Brian but runs into problems because he tries to strong arm Reyes thugs with his American arrogance. This gets everyone to be shooting everyone.
Granted some of the car scenes are fun to watch and I would have like to seen a list of the cars used in the credits but, it just didn’t happen that way even though after a majority of the credits rolled there was a clip of more film. (Yes folks, I sit through the credits.)
Diesel was, as he usually is, gruff with a soft heart and plays a good outlaw. Walker is a pretty face but his role is marginalized and minimized by stronger actors. Brewster is attractive. Johnson is always a dynamic person on the screen and here he is thuggish and righteous. Almeida is very good in his role as tough master criminal. Chris Morgan and Gary Scott Thompson wrote this unrealistic script. Justin Lin spent a lot of money blowing things up, car chases, wrecking cars and creating long complex foot chases. The difference between amazing foot chases and long and uninteresting foot chases is to watch Daniel Craig in Casino Royale and this one. Craig’s chase is amazing.
Overall: This “Fast” series needs to end as the stories and execution are getting worse and worse.