We went back to the tried and true Fast and Furious series this week. There is so much to love about these movies, and we have less than a month to finish the series before the big one comes out (Furious 7), so we have to get through the rest of them, fast.
Fast Five is set in Brazil, so we decided to cook a Brazilian feast, the kind that we could imagine Dom sharing with his family. Family is a very big deal to Dom, and for him, family has nothing to do with blood and everything to do with relationships forged in fire. We took that philosophy and applied it to our chicken. In other words, we cooked it with fire. Behold, our take on churrasco chicken, marinated for hours in a homemade mix of lemon zest, Piri Piri hot sauce, sugar, more lemon, and cooked on a plain ol’ barbecue. For good measure, we added a side of grilled pineapple rubbed with brown sugar.
For the main course, we had feijoada, which could have been renamed Rain Shadow Meats Stew considering we bought all of the pork for it from them (and it was impeccable, as always). Like Fast Five, feijoada is a medley of flavors. The movie is a mash up of all your favorite characters from the first five movies – Dom, Han, Roman, Tej, and of course, Brian O’Connor – and the stew is a mix of ham hocks, bacon, diced ham, and black beans. What is so impressive, though, is how both cast and ingredients alike meshed so well, resulting in a beautiful, and tasty, end product.
We finished off the meal with some light and tasty pasteis de nata, a Brazilian custard pastry dessert. These little guys were a real treat: smooth, creamy vanilla custard surrounded by buttery, flaky puff pastry.
Did you know Brazil had a national cocktail? Let me back up for a second, did you know that national cocktails are a thing? We didn’t, but we did some research and as far as we can tell, Brazil is the only country that has a national cocktail, so hats off to them for starting something great.
Brazil’s national cocktail (That sounds so official, I love it) is the caipirinha: a mix of simple syrup, lime, and cachaça, an alcohol made out of sugar cane. Fun fact, the cocktail was originally prescribed to people in order treat the Spanish flu!
1. Drink if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is sweating profusely.
2. Drink if something blows up.
3. Drink any time someone mentions “family.”
Ho boy. This was the best Fast and Furious movie yet. Every one of the first four movies featured, for the most part, a different set of characters, and it was always sad to not see a favorite character return in a sequel. In Fast Five, they brought back the best characters from each movie, making it essentially the Super Smash Bros. of the Fast series.
Quick recap of the characters, for those who have forgotten: you’ve got Dom, the family man, from the first and fourth movies (if we don’t include the brief but plot-critical cameo in Tokyo Drift). Dom is played by the ridiculously ripped Vin Diesel, a man with one of the most badass names in Hollywood. When Mr. and Mrs. Diesel named their son Vin, they must have known they were setting him up for success.
Next up, you have Roman, Brian’s man-crush from 2 Fast 2 Furious, who always has a great one liner up his sleeve.
We’ve also got Han, the Yakuza-member-to-be with the perpetual munchies. We even got a little backstory into his eating problem: apparently he used to smoke and now just needs something to do with his hands. Good on you, Han.
We’d be remiss to not mention Tej, played by the one, the only, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Apparently Luda was no longer content to be comedic relief, as his character did a 180-degree turn to become one of the most serious members of the group and a bonafide expert on cracking safes. Buuut he’s still hard to take seriously because he is Ludacris and we remember when he used to dress like this in the first two movies.
Finally, there is Brian O’Connor, played by Paul Walker. By the fifth movie, Brian has betrayed three different law enforcement agencies, and the US government finally decided to make him a wanted man. We chalk so many agencies accepting him back into their ranks up to the fierceness of his blue eyes.
The movie would have been good enough with those five, but the director decided to kick it up a notch and add our favorite actor and good friend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hobbs, the head cop. We don’t know much about Hobbs’s backstory, but we could surmise that he must have some condition that causes him to sweat profusely, because that dude was sweating in every single scene. He also had some of the best lines in the whole movie. Our favorite was the following exchange:
Cop: Good news, bad news.
Hobbs: You know I like my dessert first.
Cop shares good news
Hobbs: Now, give me the damn veggies.
So, that’s our cast. The setting is Rio De Janeiro, which we were able to figure out by the 27th time they showed a shot of Christ the Redeemer. The plot doesn’t matter so much, since Fast Five is, at its heart, a character-driven drama. For those who are still interested in the plot in which the character drama unfolds, you should know that Fast Five is a heist movie; basically a more action-heavy Ocean’s Eleven. The ultimate goal was to steal from a bad dude who stored all his money within a corrupt police department, a true Robin Hood story. This could only be accomplished after all the characters have a chance to show the camera how much work they each put in to prepping and preparing for the heist. And, since this is a Fast and Furious movie, the heist itself paled in comparison to the getaway, which was one of the surprisingly few car chases in Fast Five. While we don’t want to give too much away about the getaway, we’ll leave you with this image: two blacked-out, converted cop cars towing a bank safe through the city streets.
André: Fast 5/5. So fucking cool. This was by far the fastest, most furious Fast and Furious yet. I love that they got the whole gang back together, and I loved seeing how all the previously disconnected characters played off of each other. Can I just say I’m so excited for Furious 7?
Leanna: 8 shots of cachaça out of 10. By now we’ve all seen the infamous teaser for Furious 7 that involves Vin launching a luxury sports car out of the window of a high-rise in Dubai. Fast Five lays the groundwork for the audience’s expectation of these outrageous stunts that might make your high school physics teacher cringe. Considering physics was the last advanced science class I ever took, I was more than happy to watch two hours of high octane stunts and capers that often defy basic laws of phsyics. Budgets and special effects have only gotten bigger and better with time, so I can’t wait to see what Hobbs, Dom, Brian, and family all get up to next.
Ben: 83%. The Fast and the Furious is the franchise that just keeps on giving. Just when you think it should be washed up and over with, it surprises you yet again. This time, it takes the formula that built the series, throws it out the window, and goes with a tried and true heist movie formula instead. Pour on a generous serving of fun and varied cast members and you have yourself a good time. It is hard not to smile at how ridiculous some of the scenes in this film are, but you love it for that. You love it for the crazy stunts and stay for the talk of “family.” I can’t wait to watch the next two.