The Fast and Furious franchise has catapulted into pop culture for the past two decades with every film upping the ante as far as action goes. The movies have gone from simple heist capers to spy action movies over the years, but it seems like the story and action have gotten ridiculous in the past few installments. Fast X, is considered the final trilogy in the Fast Saga as audiences prepare to say goodbye to the Toretto clan. Unlike the last film, Fast X does what audiences will expect from these movies, but the only difference is that it is embracing the silliness that comes with the franchise with some new characters that breathe some new life into the franchise as we almost get to the finish line with these movies.
In Fast X, we find Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) with his family and friends settling into their lives after the events of Fast 9. Dom is prepping his son behind the wheel to pass off his teachings of being on the road with him and spending time with his love Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) as they are ready to leave their professional lives behind. Their lives are soon interrupted by the arrival of Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the son of the late drug lord Hernan Reyes as he seeks revenge for his family’s misfortune after his father’s death. Dom will rely on some old friends and new ones as they attempt to stop Dante’s wrath on his world and those around him.
For a film with such a huge cast, Fast X splits the group into different paths that result in many storylines that fail to flow throughout its big runtime. It often feels like different movies are taking place where it jumps from one character to another and it is difficult to keep up at times. Going on a mission in Rome for the Agency, we see Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) dealing a lot with the comic relief that feels very stale and falls flat as they use the same kind of dialogue from previous entries. John Cena also puts in his comedic chops returning from F9 as Dom’s brother Jakob as he goes on a little road trip with his nephew getting chased by authorities and Dante’s men. It may seem a bit much for a kid to handle this kind of violence, but it is refreshing to see Cena playoff with a young actor to put some fun into these ridiculous action sequences.
We also get some returning players who don’t get as much screen time as they should, but they are given some things to do throughout the film. We see a reunion of sorts with Sung Kang and Jason Statham’s characters when they were teased for a reckoning from the last film. We see some of their banter for Deckard’s role in killing Han despite him surviving thanks to Mr. Nobody, but its cool to see Statham putting up some impressive stunt work reminiscent of his Transporter days, which Fast X director Louis Leterrier was a part of. There’s also the return of Cipher (Charlize Theron), who gets some great fight scenes with Letty in one great showdown at a Black site base. Besides the main cast, we do get some more top talent like Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Daniela Melchior, and Brie Larson. Most of them don’t get a whole lot of screen time, with some acting more like exposition to catch up on the events that led up to the latest installment.
What everyone will surely talk about is Momoa’s villainous role as Dante. What the film does so well is integrating his character seamlessly into the narrative of Fast 5 to give him a proper backstory. Momoa lets loose into this role as a flamboyant and sadistic villain who ends up being the complete opposite of Dom in terms of personality. He is borderline crazy with how he handles Dom and his family by taking them apart where ever they go and causing mass destruction in his path for revenge. However, it often feels as if he doesn’t completely go evil whenever he gets the chance to eliminate his enemies, which kind of lessens the stakes for our heroes. The chaotic energy that Momoa brings is entertaining to watch, to say the least, making him one formidable opponent that Team Torreto has faced.
The car sequences are always known to be over the top when it comes to the Fast and Furious franchise. It is no different in Fast X where cars are being pulled by helicopters, being chased by a nuclear bomb, or torpedoes being blasted from vehicles. It does feel less silly than the last installment where most of the action is on the ground rather than up in the air. Fast X does embrace the craziness of it all, which is what it should be doing as the franchise has crossed over from being realistic into a downright fantasy where anything goes with these vehicles. It is at a point where even the most insane scenarios can become reality in this universe.
With Fast X racing to the finish line, there are some bumps in the road on the film’s last legs. Momoa brings it his all with his antagonistic character, even if it often feels more silly than it should. However, it does bring some freshness into the franchise. Having the family split can be a detriment of the film having such a large cast as the direction can be all over the place. Nothing usually makes sense in these movies, but it provides some fun for anyone who doesn’t care much about the story and just wants to see cars doing these dangerously insane stunts. With a few surprises in store, there’s a lot to love about this first part of what is to be the big finale for this franchise. Despite its many flaws, Fast X delivers on being a thrill ride that is worthy of being seen on the big screen.
Fast X is now playing in theaters.
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