Fast Five (alternatively known as Fast & Furious 5 or Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist) is a 2011 American heist action film that was directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. A sequel to 2009’s Fast & Furious, it is the fifth installment in the Fast & Furious film franchise and stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Sung Kang, Dwayne Johnson, and Joaquim de Almeida. Fast Five follows Dominic Toretto, Brian O’Conner, and Mia Toretto as they plan a heist to steal $100 million from corrupt businessman Herman Reyes while being pursued for arrest by U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs.
While Developing Fast Five, Universal Studios deliberately departed from the street racing theme that’s been prevalent in the previous films, to transform the franchise into a heist action series involving cars. By doing so, they hoped to attract wider audiences that might otherwise be put off by a heavy emphasis on cars and car culture. Fast Five is considered to be the transitional film in the series, featuring only one car race and giving more attention to action set pieces such as gun fights, brawls, and the heist of $100 million. The production mounted a comprehensive marketing campaign, marketing the film through social media, virtual games, cinema chains, automobile manufacturers, and at NASCAR races.
Fast Five was released first in Australia on April 20, 2011, and then in the United States on April 29, 2011. The film achieved financial success, breaking box office records for the highest-grossing April opening weekend and the second-highest spring opening weekend, and surpassing Fast & Furious to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise. Fast Five grossed over $625 million worldwide, making it number 66 on the all-time worldwide list of highest-grossing films, in unadjusted dollars, and the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2011.
Fast Five received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising the combination of comedy and “action sequences that toy idly with the laws of physics”, some labeled it the best film in the series. Johnson was singled out for praise in numerous reviews for his performance, with critics calling him “the best thing, by far, in Fast Five” and remarking that scenes shared by Johnson and Diesel were often the “best moments”. Despite the positive response, many were critical of the film’s running time, considering it to be too long, and others criticized the treatment of women, stating “[Women] cameo strikingly in buttock form. Others actually have first names.” South American reviewers were critical of the film’s portrayal of Rio de Janeiro as a haven for drug trafficking and corruption, labeling it as a “stereotype”. A sequel, Fast & Furious 6, was released in May 2013 to box office success, surpassing Fast Five as the highest-grossing film in the franchise. Another sequel, Furious 7, released in April 2015, soon surpassed Fast & Furious 6, grossing over $1.5 billion worldwide.
The Film Itself (4.75/5):
Making one hell of a comeback from the nearly disastrous experience that was the last film, Fast Five takes the concept of driving and turns it into a much more appreciated format by making it into a heist series. Having only one single real race scene, and placing the focus on the character development, generation of the new story arc, and having the cast be more involved and “into” their characters, this movie is definitely one of the best ones of the saga. The combination of the action that accompanies heist experiences and the hilarious banter between the characters really made this one of the best experiences of the saga so far.
Picture Quality (5/5):
Fast Five comes at us with another insanely brilliant transfer. While the previously released Blu-ray counterpart still holds some pretty high merits, the UHD release brings it all to a whole new level. The definition of the facial details, sharpness of the scenery and crisp articles of clothing, it’s simply beautiful. The HDR offers a really solid boost to everything, bringing the contrast even further than the previous release. Everything was, simply put, clean, clear, and extremely pleasant to the eye.
Audio Quality (5/5):
Packaged with another DTS:X Master Audio track, the UHD release of Fast Five definitely reaches the peak of audio engineering. Pushing all of the high-octane experiences in the story right into the viewers lap, all while not being too over-powering. The transitions from channel to channel were effortless and added a good bit to the overall level of immersion. Dialogue is spoken cleanly, and all of the characters were able to be heard and understood without needing to adjust the volume levels.
The Packaging (4/5):
The 4K UHD release of Fast Five comes packaged in the standard two-disc amaray case. In that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the movie, the standard Blu-ray copy as well as a digital copy redemption pamphlet. There is a slipcover that was made available during the first pressing of the release that features the same artwork that’s made available on the case.
Special Features (4/5):
There are a number of supplements that come with the 4K UHD release of Fast Five. The stuff that’s included offers a really nice look at some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into the production efforts, as well as some expansion upon the characters. Included with this release is:
- Second Screen
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- The Big Train Heist
- Reuniting The Team
- A New Set of Wheels
- Dom’s Journey
- Brian O’Conner: From Fed to Con
- Enter Federal Agent Hobbs
- Dom vs. Hobbs
- On Set With Director Justin Lin
- Inside the Vault Chase
- Tyrese TV
- Optional Feature Audio Commentary with Director Justin Lin (Extended Version Only)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: DTS 5.1
French (Canada): DTS 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
1 Movie, 2 Cuts – 130 Minutes
Overall, I really like Fast Five a lot. It really might be my top favorite of the series; but, we all know there’s a special place in the heart for the movie that started it all. The audible and visible experience that the UHD provides is huge and really offers a great way to show off your 4K home theater setup. If you’re looking to add this to your collection, I’d definitely recommend picking it up. Fast Five is available on 4K UHD today.