Maybe I've been asleep at the wheel, but when exactly did the Fast and Furious
films develop a mythos? For this latest installment in the nitrous-fueled franchise, director Justin Lin assembles a cross-sectional cast drawn from the four previous films. On the lam from U.S. authorities, Brian (Paul Walker), Dominic (Vin Diesel) and Dominic's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) hide out in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Another crime job run afoul soon pits the expats and between a Brazilian kingpin and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a hulking DSS uber-agent. Lin's action segments are exhilarating and increasingly outlandish, starting with a spectacular train heist and ending with a massive bank vault being slingshot throughout the streets of Rio. Indeed, the film a cacophony of pretty cars, prettier women, and pretty loud gun fights, which is exactly what anyone going to a Fast and Furious
flick expects. However, it's also the mindless embodiment of American cinematic and militaristic might—a foreign land is little more than the picturesque backdrop for imported car chases and glorified lawlessness.