We’re all very excited indeed for the Fast and Furious movies to return to multiplexes when the Fast and Furious 10 release date comes around. So now is a good time to look back at the crowning achievement of one of the best action movies of recent years.
Fast Five was the movie that transformed the franchise from being a gritty thriller about street racing and small-time thefts into something akin to the best superhero movies that were dominating multiplexes throughout the 2010s.
The movie concluded with one of the most brilliantly over-cranked set pieces of the entire franchise, putting the best Fast and Furious characters at the wheel of cars dragging a bank vault through the streets of Rio De Janeiro. Just a usual Thursday afternoon, right?
In an article for Mel Magazine unpacking the incredible sequence, stunt driver Henry Kingi explained that the desire to avoid using CGI left him with the job of sitting inside the prop vault, piloting it as carefully as possible around the set.
He said: “When I was driving that vault, I felt like Hannibal Lecter when he’s in that mask. I just had little slits to see out of, and it was very hot. When we were testing it out, they had funnelled the exhaust outside, but the heat from the car was still inside, so it kept getting hotter and hotter and hotter.
“I even bought a thermometer, and at one point, it got up to 135 degrees. I tried to see if I could stand the heat, but it got to a point where it felt like my brain was actually being cooked, so I yelled: ‘Get me out’.”
Stunt coordinator Jack Gill explained that the team subsequently came up with a strategy to keep Kingi safe while they got the shots that they needed.
Gill said: “I put dry ice in there to keep the inside cool for him, but when I did that, it sucked away all the oxygen, so then he couldn’t breathe. Finally, we had to put a full NASCAR helmet on him with a breathing device on it and run the hose out of the top so that he could get air. Henry might have a little brain damage from that, but he had brain damage before, so I don’t think it’s much different.”
It sounds like there was plenty of innovation at play on the set of one of the best movies in the franchise. The result was impressive, bagging by far the biggest box office total of any new movie in the series, and pushing it into the blockbuster stratosphere.
For more of the 2023 movies vying for box office glory, check out our guides to the Indiana Jones 5 release date, the Barbie movie release date, and the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 release date.