It’s all for family in the tenth entry of the franchise.
It’s hard to believe that the Fast and the Furious franchise is still going in the year 2023. We’re a long way from seemingly innocent street racing and Paul Walker saying “cuh” in an actual sentence. It was about five (or six?) movies ago when the writers and producers started to detach themselves from reality and Fast X continues to take this franchise to a new level when it comes to defying the laws of physics. As one might expect, there are some insane moments throughout its 141-minute runtime. But the best part is that, overall, it’s a lot of fun (if you turn your brain off, that is).
Fast X picks up a few years after the last installment in the franchise, F9, with Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) son now a bit older and the whole family living peacefully in Los Angeles. The crew meet up for a classic barbecue with Roman (Tyrese Gibson) discussing an upcoming mission that he’s leading. It isn’t long after that before the main theme of Fast X is revealed and it’s similar to what we’ve seen over the past several movies in the franchise with past finding a way to catch up with everyone. This is where we get an introduction to the antagonist of Fast X, Dante, who is the son of Hernan Reyes from Fast Five. Dante is portrayed by superstar Jason Momoa, who steals the show in this one. At first, he’s really funny and evil, but then it gets old pretty fast. But somewhere in the second act, he reels the viewer back in with his cheesy one-liners and he’s hilarious to watch the rest of the time.
Remember how in Avengers: Infinity War it became pretty clear that it was really Thanos’ movie, not the Avengers’ movie? That is how Fast X is with it really being Dante’s movie instead of Dominic’s. Credit has to be given to Fast X in terms of not being as predictable as one would expect, as they change up the formula that will catch some people by surprise once the credits roll. After 10 movies, they really did need to try something new and it’s effective here. The movie is still absolutely bonkers and detached from reality. But Fast X trying something new with the formula and it’s a nice surprise. It also helps that the writers are very self aware of how silly these movies are and how the memes of Dominic and his family take over the internet every time a movie from the franchise is released.
Despite being really funny and mindlessly entertaining, there are still multiple issues with Fast X. First off, you can tell that this saga is coming to a close. The formula, despite being shaken up, is similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe formula in a sense that it feels really played out. There are also several times where the movie slows down and attempts to have sentimental moments and character depth, and it’s honestly such a waste of time. No one cares about any of that in movies like this. Show me physics-defying scenes with cars and close-ups of Dominic saying “family.” That’s all anyone wants to see with a Fast & Furious movie and cutting out all these slow, forgettable moments would’ve trimmed at least 20 minutes off this movie.
Overall, Fast X is insane, but mindlessly entertaining. It’s cool to see a character like Dante that is constantly five steps ahead of Dominic the entire time, even if it is so unrealistic and over the top. People are going to love Jason Momoa in this one and if you turn your brain off, you’ll have a solid time.
(out of five stars)