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Thursday
Oct 23rd

Fast Five

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fastfiveVin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in Fast Five.  Newly joined by Dwayne Johnson, they take the series that hooked the world on adrenaline and amp up the action and spectacle on a global scale.

In Fast Five, former cop Brian O’Conner (Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) in a very unfamiliar place: the opposite side of the law in exotic Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Elsa Pataky joins Johnson and returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderón and Don Omar in an ultimate high-stakes heist.

The series that first captivated audiences a decade ago with its crew of underground Los Angeles street racers bound by a code of family and loyalty takes its die-hard audience on the biggest thrill ride to date.  After blasting through heart-stopping runs in Miami’s race circuit, exposing the insular underworld of Tokyo, drifting and rocketing through tunnels hidden underneath the U.S./Mexico border, our heroes are back in action.

Since we last saw them, Brian and Mia Toretto (Brewster) broke Dom out of custody and have blown across many borders to elude authorities.  Now backed into a corner in Rio, they must pull off one last job in order to gain their freedom.  Their mission?  Assemble an elite team of top operatives made up of their family of friends to orchestrate an insane heist worth $100 million.  Dom and Brian know their only shot of getting out for good means crippling the corrupt businessman (Joaquim De Almeida) who wants them dead.  But he’s not the only one on the unlikely allies’ tails.

Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) never misses his target.  When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them.  But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can’t separate the good guys from the bad.  Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey...before someone else runs them down first.

Returning to this installment is a talented production crew of series favorites, led by director and executive producer Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Better Luck Tomorrow) and producers Neal H. Moritz (The Fast and the Furious series, I Am Legend, The Green Hornet, Battle: Los Angeles), Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious, Los Bandoleros) and Michael Fottrell (Fast & Furious, Live Free or Die Hard).  Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious, Wanted) writes from characters created by Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast and the Furious, television’s Las Vegas).  Also rejoining the series is an accomplished behind-the-scenes team, including cinematographer Stephen F. Windon (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, HBO’s miniseries The Pacific), editors Christian Wagner (Fast & Furious, Mission: Impossible II), Kelly Matsumoto (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and Fred Raskin (Fast & Furious, Kill Bill series), costume designer Sanja Milkovic Hays (The Fast and the Furious series, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor), composer Brian Tyler (The Fast and the Furious series, Rambo) and executive producer Amanda Lewis (Fast & Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and Samantha Vincent S (Fast & Furious).  Production designer Peter Wenham (The Bourne Ultimatum, Battle: Los Angeles) joins Lin’s group for Fast Five.

Lin knew if he were to helm his third film in the series, the expectations from the fans would be huge, he offers: “I know the action in this one is bigger than the last two combined.  There are about six action pieces in this movie, not just car chases, but foot chases and a heist as well.  It’s just jam-packed.  For me, each chapter in this franchise is an extension of the first one, and they each get bigger.  It is always a privilege to be able to revisit a good character-driven story.  This franchise is more than street racing and tuner cars; it really is about this larger family and community of racers.

The idea of assembling more alumni had been floated around during preproduction of Fast & Furious, but it had been ultimately shelved when the storyline began to focus more on Dom and Brian and the women in their lives.  The premise lingered, however, and the team returned to the idea after the film’s record-breaking release in 2009.  Shares Moritz: “Bringing everybody back was sitting in the back of our heads when we did the fourth one.   Once we saw the audience reaction to Fast & Furious’ combination of Vin, Paul, Jordana and Michelle, we all had that collective ‘wow’ moment.  There’s this storied history for each of the characters throughout the franchise so it begged the question, ‘What if we brought them all back?’”

When the production team began work on Fast Five, they understood that the themes of family, loyalty and sacrifice that are so deeply entrenched into the series bring fans back again and again.  Introducing a formidable enemy who threatens to bring down Dom, Brian and their crew solidified when Dwayne Johnson expressed interest in joining the franchise.  It was a coup for the filmmakers to cast the action star in a role that has him go head-to-head against such a celebrated character as Diesel’s hero. After witnessing the fight scene, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges sums up the cast’s feelings: “You have Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson up against Vin Diesel.  There hasn’t been anything this big since King Kong vs. Godzilla.  Period.”

Fast Five is showing in theaters now.


 

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