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Fast Five’s bank vault car chase was “much more violent” than expected

Fast Five is primarily known for its bank vault car chase, and the stunt coordinator says that the sequence, which was filmed for real, was destructive

Fast Five

If there’s one scene from 2011’s Fast Five that still stands out, over a decade later, it’s the bank vault car chase. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) don’t do anything as namby-pamby are breaking into a vault. Because where would be the fun in that? Instead they hook their enhanced Dodge Chargers up to the 9,000 pound vault and steal the entire thing, dragging it through the streets of Rio de Janeiro, with the cops in hot pursuit.

While many have assumed that CGI played a heavy hand in the sequence, it was actually filmed for real – just with San Juan in Puerto Rico standing in for Rio. In the entire extended sequence, 98% of the shots feature a real vault and some shots even involved stunt people being inside the vault, driving it.

In a 2011 interview with ScreenRant, stunt coordinator Jack Gill says that; “There was never once a CG vault. We had 7 different vaults that each served a different purpose. We had 4 week of prep for the scene, storyboarded everything and every camera angle was pre-determined. The tumbling safe on the first turn was real, not CGI. It was much more violent than we even expected.”

He continued; “[Car coordinator] Dennis McCarthy always knows exactly what cars work for the action and script… When we came in, [director] Justin Lin was open to any and all action sequences we had. Nobody knew at first how the vault would react… Every actor wants to be in the stunt. We try to work you in, but studios and insurance weigh in their two cents. In the event they get hurt, my neck is going to be the one to swing.”

We’re currently waiting on more news regarding Fast X, which is now filming. Recent cast announcements include Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, and Rita Moreno.

In the meantime, check out everything we know so far about Fast and Furious 10.