‘Fast X’ opening in theaters on May 19, is the latest entry in a sprawling and wildly successful franchise that began in much more humble ways as the undercover lawyer’s take on the ‘Point Break’ genre in 2001 and has since expanded into a bombastic action franchise. revolves around the endlessly recurring theme of family.
After a muted and disappointing entry with ‘F9: The Fast Saga’ in 2021 (which is still doing good business), it’s a relief to report that fans of the franchise, led by star/producer Vin Diesel, are back to the goofy, action-heavy , the free form of common sense that we have come to know and appreciate.
“The end of the road begins.”
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Over the course of many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto and his family have outsmarted, outmaneuvered, and outmaneuvered every foe in their path. Now, they face… Read the Plot
What is the story of ‘Fast X?
Dominic Toretto (Diesel) is back in the family home in Los Angeles with his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry). It’s a relatively quiet time for Dom and the gang, punctuated with family barbecues, driving lessons for Brian and visits from Abuela (Rita Moreno).
But Dom’s peace is shattered when old foe Cipher (Charlize Theron) shows up gravely injured on his doorstep one night, spinning the story of a new threat named Dante (Jason Momoa). He, it turns out, is the son of Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), a drug lord who was robbed and killed by Dom and his team 10 years ago in Rio (as chronicled in the events of 2011’s ‘Fast Five’).
Soon, the flamboyant and demented Dante lays traps for our heroes, including luring Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Han (Sung Kang) on a fake mission to Rome where they and others , including members of the spy agency Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) must stop a giant bomb from rolling off to destroy parts of Rome and the Vatican.
But when they are all framed for the attack, the “family” is scattered around the world as Dante schemes and weakens them, stealing all their money and threatening their own family members.
Soon Dom is locked in a frantic battle with Dante, forced to rely on everyone he loves, even when they are in grave danger. Can he succeed against this powerful villain?
Who else was in ‘Fast X’?
The cast for the film includes Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw, Helen Mirren as Queenie Shaw, Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto, John Cena as Jakob Toretto, plus new recruits Brie Larson as Tess, Alan Ritchson as Aimes and Daniela Melchior as Isabel.
Related Article: Vin Diesel Hints at 12th ‘Fast & Furious’ Film Idea, For Final Trilogy
What worked about ‘Fast X’
Frankly, there are two main advantages of the new ‘Fast’ movie, and the biggest one is Jason Momoa. Clearly understanding that he A) needs to deliver some fun and B) have fun in the big bad role, he is the most entertaining villain, and possibly the most entertaining character, the franchise has had in a long time.
Luxuriously dressed, free from macho urges and ever ready for satire, she’s a breath of fresh air that also feels like a real challenge to Dom and co. Even his mantra, “Never accept death when you have to suffer,” inherited from his late father (which is glimpsed in a mix-up of the opening trailer from ‘Fast Five’ and the newly made shot) helps justify why Dom and company tend to be this way. escape their adventure unharmed. You may still find yourself screaming “why don’t you just kill [insert name here]??” at various points, but that’s all part of the fun of the franchise.
And let’s be honest: people “died” in this series of films and have returned before (especially Han). It rarely ends maybe somewhere else.
While there was real concern after ‘F9’ felt like a retread of the usual trope, a sign a movie is running out of gas, ‘Fast X’ actually comes across as a second wind, embracing the silliness of set pieces and leaning toward entertainment value. Aside from Momoa, he’s also managed to let Cena embrace his humorous side since switching sides from the vengeful villain in the previous entry.
The initial briefing for the new character allowed the franchise to poke fun at itself, nodding toward physics-defying action and a world-traveling story. It’s a clever way of catching up with anyone who has decided to make this their first ‘Fast’ movie (although it’s hard to imagine anyone liking any of these films without having seen at least one other).
Plus, new director Louis Leterrier (who replaced veteran Justin Lin after the latter took a one-week break in production) is something of a hit, bringing his easy combo with the high-concept acts where he began his career (like ‘The Transporter’) and finding an emotional core. that these films need.
What’s the problem with the movie?
For all its merits there’s also a typically clunky element, this entry still boasts scenes that make it seem as if a straight-to-DVD B movie broke in the middle of a summer blockbuster.
The Oscar-winning actor struggles with dialogue that would trip up any actor, the whole moment sounds like it was scripted by passing suggestions into the ChatGPT AI which it then feeds into its hard drive, so dark and first base are the results. This is especially striking for any scene set within the mysterious “agency” spy division currently run by Ritchson’s Aimes. The man who is the Jack Reacher on TV doesn’t flinch from the clever line he gives. And even Larson couldn’t get Tess to work beyond basic motivation.
And Diesel, despite being at the heart of the film, is still a guy who takes everything so seriously that it’s actually less fun when he’s growling and stomping on the accelerator.
Even as the film acknowledges its goofy nature, you’ll giggle the number of times the word “family” is uttered in its usual way, and the number of familial relationships between the characters just gets more and more ridiculous. Everyone Dom knows is currently connected to other people in the franchise. It’s not hard to imagine him running into someone at the local auto parts store who is a long lost cousin.
Fortunately, ‘Fast X’ is more agile than ‘F9’ and overcomes some of these typical gaps with gusto.
‘Fast X’ received 8.5 out of 10 stars.
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‘Fast X’ was produced by Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel, Justin Lin, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Samantha Vincent. The executive producers are Joseph M. Caracciolo, Jr., David Cain, Chris Morgan, Amanda Lewis and Mark Bomback.