Fast X Review – A Little Mindless Family Fun

Hearing Vin Diesel’s low roar of a voice, you almost wonder if that deep-rock drawl alone made Fast & Furious into a 6 billion dollar franchise. But Vin Diesel doesn’t do a lot of talking in the tenth mainline entry in the series, Fast X, or acting either where mostly his frown on his face reacts to the campy antics go off around him.

Two and a half hours isn’t long enough to tell all these twisting, diverting stories. Roman, Ramsey, Han and Tej blow a job in Rome, and have to dodge the authorities; Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) gets taken to a sci-fi jail (with rippling black walls, and claws with laser-fingers); Dom (Vin Diesel) goes to Brazil for some classic quarter-mile racing; While his son and Jakob (John Cena) do a little road trip movie; And puppeteering all of this is the new big bad, Dante (Jason Momoa), son of Hernan Reyes (from Fast Five). And all of that is leaving out three or four major characters.

But thankfully, there’s no need to follow anything resembling a ‘plot’. The film simply moves along, leaving you to think “Oh yeah, I forgot about this” while munching popcorn as a new ‘plot point’ appears. The series has gotten to the point (or long past the point, depending who you ask) of being completely uninterested in plot details and logistics. It’s more-or-less the cinematic, 300-million-dollar equivalent of kids playing with action figures and matchbox cars, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s like wrestling; good fun, but don’t look into it too deeply.

Why is that bomb a big marble? How can he pick up that car with one hand? These questions simply do not matter when it’s all about the explosions and the spectacle, but without the ugliness of international crime, city-wide devastation, or anything like that. The worst you’ll see is a bad guy spit out a tooth; which is almost Looney Tunes-esque that is if you ignore the an odd scene where corpses sit around with taped-open eyelids.

The spectacle manages to include another handful of entertaining and exaggerated set-pieces, and an explosive ending. Lambourginis, Chargers, and a Delorean race through Rome, and Brazil, and over the Hoover Dam, and things blow up. If mindless action is your thing, then this is just what you’d want and expect. But the heavy CGI, quick cuts, and random camera angles mean the bright lights disappear before they can reach your brain. The same goes for a couple of the characters too, who flicker on and off the screen to the point of being non-existent. 

Ultimately, the actors know it’s all in good fun – save for Vin Diesel, who tries hard but doesn’t do a lot. The rest all chew a little scenery. John Cena seems to be having a good time, and there’s cute chemistry with the kid (Leo Abelo Perry). Jason Momoa goes off the deep end as a face-licking, ballet-dancing maniac. All the while, the rest of the cast of characters joke around like a bunch of siblings, or cousins. 

When it’s done, even the truest of all Fast & Furious fans will have a hard time telling you what happened, or even remembering it all, but they’ll know it was an entertaining, noisy dream. And they’ll surely come back for the next one, confirmed by a post-credits scene. 

Director: Louis Leterrier

Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster

Writers: Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin, (Based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson)

Branden Zavaleta

Branden Zavaleta is a Perth-based film critic. He loves movies that charm, surprise or share secrets. Some little known favourites of his are Ishii's The Taste of Tea, Barboni's They Call Me Trinity, and Kieslowski's Camera Buff.

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