Andrea’s Angle | “Fast X” – Big Explosions, So-So Story
I’ve enjoyed most of the “Fast and Furious” films. Mostly I go for the action, but I also love the theme of found family and the fact that the women in the films get to be as big and bad as the men. So I was absolutely excited to see Fast X in the theater and check if it was any good. The movie has all the classic big explosions you’ve come to expect in the “Fast films,” there are a few twists and turns in the story, but best of all is Jason Momoa’s performance as the villain, Dante Reyes. However, the story is fairly predictable, there is a lot going on in the plot, and the ending is less than satisfactory.
This tenth film in “The Fast & Furious saga,” Fast X, is an action thriller directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Justin Lin, Zach Dean, and Dan Mazeau. In the movie, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family have faced many missions, and against impossible odds, they’ve outsmarted every foe in their path. Now, a terrifying threat emerges from the shadows of the past fueled by blood revenge and who is determined to shatter this family and destroy everyone and everything Dom has ever loved. In 2011’s Fast Five, Dom and his crew took out Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes. What they didn’t know is that his son, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), survived and has spent 12 years masterminding a plan to make Dom pay the ultimate price. Dom will need his family more than ever as Dom discovers that his eight-year-old son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) is the ultimate target of Dante’s plot, but the family is scattered from Rome to Las Angeles to London, so Dom will need to forge new allies, but old enemies will surface as well. Fast X stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Jason Statham, John Cena, and Scott Eastwood, with Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron. The film also features a new cast, including Brie Larson as Tess, a rogue representative from the Agency, Alan Richtson as Aimes, the new head of the Agency who doesn’t hold the same fondness for Dom’s crew as his predecessor, Mr. Nobody, Daniela Melchior as a Brazilian street racer with a powerful tie to Dom’s past, and Rita Moreno as Dom and Mia’s Abuelita Toretto.
As is typical of the “Fast & Furious saga,” one of the best elements is the action. This movie is no exception. There are plenty of fantastic driving stunts, including on motorcycles and explosions. While there are some of the bombs that go over the top, they still add fun and keep the film exciting. It’s not often you see a flaming bomb roll through the streets of Rome, and it could only happen in a Fast & Furious film. Even though some of the stunts don’t make sense, they will still thrill hardcore fans of the saga.
Most of the plot is predictable. Dom figures out a way to forge allies to help him accomplish his goals. Some of that does happen in this film as well. The surprising part is that the film does take a couple of twists and turns. While there is not much that is surprising, the ending will surprise most fans of the films, especially in the end credits.
What helps this film shine are the performances. Jason Momoa, as Dante Reyes, is clearly having fun with his role. There will be some who say he goes over the top, but that was part of the fun of the movie for me, seeing Jason Momoa play Dante as though he is not quite sane. He is fueled by revenge, and we don’t get a ton of character development, but Jason Momoa is fun as the evil mastermind. Vin Diesel performs as fans have come to expect. He embraces the role of family man and protective father; his scenes with Leo Abelo Perry playing Brian feel authentic and believable, as does his marriage to Michelle Rodriguez as Letty. The dynamic between Tyrese Gibson playing Roman, Ludacris as Tej Parker, Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey, and Sung Kang as Han Lue is fantastic. They feel like a family as they perform together in this film. Brie Larson is fantastic as Tess, even though I’d have liked more time to get to know her character, and John Cena as Jacob is actually fun and goofy in his scenes with Leo Abelo Perry. Alan Ritchson is great as Aimes, the new head of the agency. The entire cast is fun to watch in this movie.
What does not work as well is the sheer amount of plot in this film. There is so much going on it honestly is hard to keep up with and connect with all the characters. While I love the family theme through this film and the theme of legacy, it is truly hard to follow all the individuals in this movie. I felt like if the movie had been more focused, it would have had a ton of impact and wouldn’t have been quite so long. While Jason Momoa’s performance does help tie all the pieces together, it is a lot to absorb and follow.
As I mentioned, the story is also predictable. While there are a couple of points where there is a twist in the story, most of what happens I can guess at the outcome, and it does feel like Dom and his crew should be able to figure out some of the pieces to Dante’s master plot. I also felt like the ending was less than satisfying and wished it had a more concrete resolution. That said, if you have watched the rest of the “Fast & Furious saga,” you are a fan, and this brings all the big and bold action fans like in these movies. It also is all about family and the legacy of a father, which are interesting themes to explore.
If you are a fan of the “Fast & Furious saga,” you will likely love this movie as much as the rest. Just don’t expect big surprises; expect lots of over-the-top action and revel in Jason Momoa’s performance as Dante. He clearly is having a blast playing the character, and it shows in every scene he is in. The rest of the cast is also excellent. And even though the resolution is not as solid as I would like, it is a bit of a surprise which is nice. If you love family and action, you will like this movie.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 flaming bombs
Official Website: Fast X | Movie Site & Trailer | May 19, 2023
FAST X, the tenth film in the “Fast & Furious Saga,” launches the final chapters of one of cinema’s most storied and popular global franchises, now in its third decade and still going strong with the same core cast and characters as when it began.
Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family have outsmarted, out-nerved and outdriven every foe in their path. Now, they confront the most lethal opponent they’ve ever faced: A terrifying threat emerging from the shadows of the past who’s fueled by blood revenge, and who is determined to shatter this family and destroy everything—and everyone—that Dom loves, forever.
In 2011’s FAST FIVE, Dom and his crew took out nefarious Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes and decapitated his empire on a bridge in Rio De Janeiro. What they didn’t know was that Reyes’ son, Dante (Aquaman’s Jason Momoa), witnessed it all and has spent the last 12 years masterminding a plan to make Dom pay the ultimate price.
Dante’s plot will scatter Dom’s family from Los Angeles to the catacombs of Rome, from Brazil to London and from Portugal to Antarctica. New allies will be forged and old enemies will resurface. But everything changes when Dom discovers that his own 8-year-old son (Leo Abelo Perry, BLACK-ISH) is the ultimate target of Dante’s vengeance.
Directed by Louis Leterrier (CLASH OF THE TITANS, THE INCREDIBLE HULK) and written by Justin Lin (F9) & Dan Mazeau (WRATH OF THE TITANS), FAST X stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Jason Statham, John Cena and Scott Eastwood, with Oscar® winner Helen Mirren and Oscar® winner Charlize Theron.
FAST X opens exclusively in theaters on May 19, 2023.
ONE-LINER: The end of the road begins.