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Surprisingly, the taste of freshly burnt rubber wrapped in oil-rich exhaust is not as bad as you might think — particularly when it has been served on four previous occasions. Where the cook has changed hands a few times, the ingredients have relatively stayed the same. How can you go wrong with fast cars, smart attractive women and tough guys with hearts of gold?

The latest installment of “The Fast and the Furious” saga picks up right where the fourth (“Fast & Furious,” 2009) left us holding our breath. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is onboard a prison bus in chains and a prison jumper heading for — you guessed it, prison — after being found guilty for the murder of Fenix Rise.

With a little help from his friends, whom Toretto has always thought of and treated as “la familia,” he is freed through a harrowing game of chicken between the prison bus and a souped-up Honda driven by Mia, played by Jordana Brewster. The result leaves the prison bus somersaulting down a remote desert road. Magically, and with no fatalities, the gang is able to free Toretto before briefly separating to avoid the long arm of the law.

Defying the instructions of Toretto, Mia and her heart-throb boyfriend Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) head down south to Brazil to rendezvous with Toretto and Vince (Matt Schulze) to piece together what they can to make a life for themselves now that they are all wanted fugitives living a life on the lamb. From there it is decided to pull “just one more job” in the hopes of acquiring enough money to leave for a non-extraditing country. Funny how things never go as planned.

As the plan unfolds, and after Toretto and O’Conner plunge into a conveniently-placed body of water (again, unscathed), the two manage to upset the plans of Rio’s own crime boss Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) by hijacking what Reyes himself was trying to steal back, his own car — which, as we come to find out, is just a mask for what’s inside; a micro-chip containing all of Reyes’ personal banking information, hidden, cleverly enough, in the in-dash CD player of his own car.

It is decided to hit Reyes where it will hurt the most: his money ($100 million to be exact). But first they need to get the gang altogether. Little do they know, of course, but Special Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his team are hot on their trail.

What begins as a roof-jumping, guns-blazing and eventual slug-fest introduction between Diesel and Johnson in the heart of Rio’s slum district ultimately results in the collaboration between Toretto and his la familia with Hobbs to take down Reyes and his band of thugs — to include every crooked cop in Rio.

In what can only be described as a poor man’s “Ocean’s 13”-like heist of an impenetrable money vault housed in the heart of Rio’s own police headquarters, the gang sets out on — as Roman (Tyrese Gibson) describes — a “mission insanity” plan that differs from the average run-of-the-mill “mission impossible” plan that usually defines their end-of-the-day actions.

Where grease monkeys will possibly be disappointed by a lack of emphasis on really cool cars doing really cool things, audience members will be pleasantly entertained by the suspense of reality and physics that this series is notorious for.

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