Director: Justin Lin, Universal Pictures, Rated M, 130 Mins
Here we go again with another successful franchise but this time around it is centred on fast cars, fast racing car drivers and plenty of action.
Filmmaker Justin Lin returns for his third movie in the series (having earlier directed Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift in 2006 and Fast and Furious in 2009) together with XXX action star Vin Diesel reprising his ‘fast and furious’ role of Dominic Toretto, Paul Walker as former cop Brian O’Conner and Jordana Brewster as his girlfriend Mia (Dominic’s sister).
As a hallmark of the high performance franchise the opening sequence sets the pace for the rest of the movie with Brian and Mia using their turbo-charged cars to set Dominic free from a prison transport van.
All three then escape to the exotic surroundings of Rio de Janeiro where they plan another heist - stealing some very expensive cars off a moving train that belong to the city’s most corrupt businessman Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).
Having stirred a hornet’s nest the trio soon find themselves being hunted by Reyes’ henchmen as well as the demonstrable muscle bound federal agent Hobbs (Faster star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).
With the real game plan being to rob Reyes of his corrupt fortune totalling some $100 million, Dominic recruits some of his former buddies (who appeared in some of the earlier Fast and Furious movies) to assist him with the operation including Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang) and Giselle (Gai Gadot).
What ultimately transpires is a series of amazing action and car chase scenes that are quite unbelievable - the other highlight being the interaction between Diesel and Johnson especially their fight sequence.
With so much action coming fast and furious it is no surprise that Lin’s entertaining movie (especially for car fans) has already grossed some $71 million in its opening weekend.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamp
DVD REVIEW (Sony)
Release Date: May 2011
Director: Dennis Dugan, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 117 Mins
Sony’s latest DVD is German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s wonderful thriller filmed in the fine tradition of a Alfred Hitchcock movie featuring Johnny Depp as ‘The Tourist’ Frank Tupelo and Angelina Jolie as the enigmatic Elise Clifton-Ward whose alleged lover is the fugitive Alexander Pearce who has stolen two billion dollars from Russian mafia boss Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff).
Besides being chased by Shaw and his thugs there is also Scotland Yard Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany) who wants to capture the mysterious Pearce for unpaid taxes but doesn’t know what he looks like.
By tailing Elise, Acheson believes that she will lead him to Pearce.
Instead Elise deliberately meets up with tourist Frank on a train in the hope of throwing Acheson off the track.
Thus begins an entertaining ‘cat and mouse’ game that sees Elise and Frank becoming romantically involved at the same time as escaping from their adversaries though a series of amusing action sequences shot in the waterways of Venice.
Donnersmarck has adopted a Hitchcockian approach to this delightful movie through his picturesque settings in Paris and Venice as well as having the talented Depp and Jolie play the lead characters - similar to those portrayed by Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in Hitchcock’s classic To Catch a Thief but with a comical twist at the conclusion to his charming movie.
This DVD also includes a number of enjoyable extras in addition to director Donnersmarck’s interesting audio commentary.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
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