This is a guy boner movie: fast cars, under-dressed woman, criminals with hearts of gold.
Vin Diesel (who can’t really act except for this great upper-lip quiver he does but is still way better than Christine Aguilera–more on her in my Burlesque post) is Dominic or Dom who’s self-created family is a bunch of car thieves like himself. His sister and her bf, a former Fed, bust him out of prison and they all end up in Brazil. (We know it’s Brazil because we get an aerial shot of Christ on Corcovado mountain every 15 minutes.) They get set up by an unequivocally evil, crooked business man and decide to rob him and assemble their familial crew of uniquely talented thieves. (I was okay with this because it’s not bad to rob evil people.)
There are really inventive stunts, great car races through the streets of Rio and great fight scenes. After I got home, I was in bed wondering if two suped-up Celicas could really pull a safe full of $100 M. How much does that safe weigh? Wouldn’t the cables snap? And could you really outrun a Ford Explorer not pulling a safe? And how plausible is it to drive through a wall and not hit electric wires or plumbing? Then I remembered that this is a guy’s fantasy. Duh. You get away with whatever you want and you get the girl and the money. That’s not a spoiler because in these types of movies, the bad guys are really bad, the girls are really skinny, and the dudes always win. Fast Five is a really entertaining, terrific example of this genre.