Fast X

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Fast X is an outlandish chapter in a series overflowing with ridiculous entries. The template was well-established long ago. Take a beloved group of individuals working for a mysterious government organization known as The Agency. Have them jet off to far-flung areas of the world and participate in various death-defying action stunts against some evil baddie. Remove anything that approaches realism. Treat everything and everyone like a cartoon.

Even given these loose parameters, Fast X is a sloppily constructed picture. Louis Leterrier directs from a screenplay by Dan Mazeau and original director Justin Lin (who left after a “major disagreement” with Vin Diesel). The adventure opens with the heist from Fast Five. Even the writers acknowledge the franchise hit its peak when the gang dragged a heavy safe of money through the streets of Brazil. They lifted it from crime boss Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). In a bit of retrofitted history, the script asks us to accept that his son Dante (Jason Momoa) was watching it all from a bridge. Hernan dies, but Dante is knocked off the platform and safely lands in the water. He wants revenge naturally.

Every Fast & Furious entry boasts a unique antagonist. This one has a doozy. Jason Momoa isn’t the “best” villain (that’s Jason Statham), but he’s definitely the most memorable. Dante Reyes doesn’t want to kill Dom; he wants him to suffer. Dante is a preening sociopath that wears his hair in pigtail buns and paints his fingernails in pink and lavender hues. His twisted spa day of drinks with corpses that have their eyes taped open is the most disturbing scene in the entire decalogy. I wish I could unsee it. Momoa stands out in an ensemble packed to the gills with stars. I considered listing them all, but (1) this is a “fast” film review, and (2) being surprised by random celebrities who pop up is one of this picture’s few joys. Vin Diesel still unites it all in the role that defines his career. He’s as inextricably tied to Dominic Toretto as Stallone is to Rocky or Arnold is to the Terminator.

Fast X isn’t a coherent story but an assemblage of action spectacles strung together—most of which recall things we’ve seen before. The gang goes on a bombastic tour of the globe, where death and destruction follow them wherever they go. Dom, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Ludacris), Roman (Tyrese), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Han (Sung Kang) fly to Italy to apprehend Dante Reyes. There they confront a massive bomb on fire, rolling through the streets of Rome like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. A lot of other crazy things happen. It’s a blur. Precious little of it makes sense, including the physics of the stunts, who is working for whom, and why people are doing what they’re doing. I’m still amazed their ever-expanding “family” keeps absorbing past antagonists. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Jakob Toretto (John Cena), and now Cipher (Charlize Theron) are all serving a team they used to oppose.

Fast X uses the Roman numeral for 10, but it could well stand for X-treme. The end is in sight. We’re twenty-two years in, and the series finally appears to be packing its bags with an eye on the finish line. But ever so slowly, mind you. This installment is allegedly part one of a climatic trilogy. So be forewarned that the movie ends abruptly on a cliffhanger with the bad guy on top. Speaking of bad guys, if there’s a common enemy in every flick, it’s restraint. This has always been a franchise where more is more. At $340 million, it’s the most expensive of the Fast & Furious releases by a wide margin. It could have been the longest as well but F9 narrowly exceeds it by a mere two minutes. Fast X just feels the most exhausting. I did enjoy the film, but I can’t defend it. Let’s say it’s not good, but it is fun.


7 Responses to “Fast X”

  1. We don’t go in these film expecting exceptional dialogue or plot. I do miss the days when it was just about the cars though. I survived this one. ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel's Reviews Says:

    Monoa kind of blew me away


    • That spa day he had with his victims lying there as dead corpses, eyes taped open, was the most disturbing scene in the entire franchise. You could say it blew me away.. but not in a good way. 😩

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel's Reviews Says:

        It was the most disturbing scene. No question but even that had a mania to it I kind of dug. He totally worked for me 🤷🏼‍♀️


  3. Your last line about this not being good but entertained was so good I used a slight variant in mine. I’m not itching to see this again but if forced to choose between this, F9, and F8 I’d probably go with this even though it’s really in essense a bad movie lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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