Fast Five (12A/PG-13, 130 mins)
Director: Justin Lin ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
At the end of Fast and Furious (which happened to be part four of the increasingly ridiculously titled fast car franchise), thief Dominic (Vin Diesel) was heading to jail for his crimes. This kinetic fifth entry opens with his partner, and former cop, Brian (Paul Walker) busting him out before they hotfoot it to Rio where they get involved in a bungled train heist that ends with them falsely accused of killing some DEA officers. They're now wanted by the FBI (led by newcomer to the series, Dwayne Johnson) and a Brazilian crimelord, whose money they intend to steal by putting together a crack team. This moves the series farther than ever from its street-racing roots, not necessarily a bad thing, and gives it more of an Ocean’s vibe. Though instead of George Clooney and Brad Pitt we get characters who flitted in and out of previous instalments who you’ll be hard pushed to remember, even if you have seen them. It constantly walks a very fine line between nifty and ludicrous, but there’s no suppressing the verve with which the action is executed. A foot chase over the roofs of the Rio favelas is terrific, while the colossal budget allows for unhinged carnage on the roads and watching Diesel and Johnson face off in monolithic combat is a sight to behold. It’s a bit too padded with unnecessary talk, but if you can look past the risible dialogue, tree-stump acting and frequent forays into the unintentionally hilarious, it will keep you smiling throughout, if not always for the reasons intended.