Co-producer and star Vin Diesel can also celebrate the movie’s solid reviews. Set in Rio and uniting stars from the previous films for a heist story a bit removed from the franchise’s street-racing roots, “Fast Five” is the first in the series to win over critics. Each previous “Fast and Furious” movie, including the 2001 original, was overwhelmingly panned, but “Fast Five” boasted a 79 percent positive critical rating on movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes at press time.
“Fast Five” clearly benefited from its ethnically diverse cast — which includes Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges — as well as its international setting. It made $45.3 million overseas, and in the U.S., the mostly male audience was 35 percent white, 33 percent Hispanic, 19 percent African-American and 9 percent Asian, according to Universal.