Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Read This: A physicist checked the math of iFast Five/i’s climactic bank vault car chase, arrived at the only logical buzzkill conclusion

The Internet is full of interesting things to read outside of The A.V. Club—no, really! In our periodic Read This posts, we point you toward interesting or norteworthy pieces that caught our eye.


The climax of Fast Five features the usual street-racing gang breaking into a Rio De Janeiro bank, ripping out the vault with cars, and dragging it along for a lengthy car chase (so much for that rumored Brazilian-set sequel to The Italian Job). Sure, it was visually engrossing—but does the math check out? Harvard physicist Dr. Randall Kelley helped Vulture run the numbers (on a question that's been posed before), coming to the stunning conclusion that Fast Five may have overstated the realism of towing a bank vault through the streets of Rio. To be fair, the basic feat of towing the vault is theoretically possible, just with significantly more horsepower—467 cars worth to be precise. It's a good read if only for how clean the computation is to see just how exaggerated the scene is from reality—and for a breakdown of how the scene was filmed, look here. But go enjoy Fast & Furious 6 this weekend and watch the drivers take on a tank and take down a cargo plane. Nobody’s checked the math on that stuff yet. And don’t even get us started on the physics of bringing back Michelle Rodriguez.

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