Ace car thief Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is freed from a prison bus in a daring four-wheeled raid by sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and his old pal Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker).
Hiding out in Rio de Janeiro, the trio get involved in an elaborate attempt to steal three cars being guarded by DEA agents. Unaware that one of the gang, Zizi (Michael Irby) has a hidden agenda, Dom and co soon find themselves in hot water when the agents are brutally gunned down and they are fingered for the crime. In the frame for murder, Toretto's crew are forced to go on the run as relentless US Security agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is dispatched to bring them down.
The free-wheeling franchise seemed to be running out of juice with its tepid fourth instalment Fast and Furious, but steps back up a gear here.
With Diesel and Johnson gleefully smacking each other about and Justin Lin amping up the action sequences to ridiculous, gravity-defying levels, Fast Five gives the series the jump-start it's been looking for since the 2001 original.
Benefiting from less of an emphasis on boy racer auto-fetishism and a stronger focus on heartpounding heists, this dazzlingly entertaining action romp was a surprise box office smash and just may be the first fifth film in a franchise to leave its predecessors in the dirt.