Fast X Review – Fun for Fans, Frustrating for Others

The Fast and Furious saga has come a long way over the years. Audiences have journeyed with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family from the days of stealing VHS players, to stealing vaults of cash, to driving in space. Some embrace the bombastic nature these films have taken in recent years, while others claim the lack of realism takes away from their quality. And that trend is likely to continue with the latest entry in the Fast Saga, where the end of the road begins, Fast X.

Written by Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin and Gary Scott Thompson, and directed by franchise newcomer Louis Leterrier, Fast X sees Dom and his family targeted by their biggest threat yet; the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes, Dante (Jason Momoa). Opening with a flashback of the vault heist from Fast Five, audiences are quickly caught up with how Dante falls into this world and why he is seeking vengeance against the family. Shortly after this, Dom, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and the rest of the gang are reintroduced around yet another barbeque, planning their next big mission and expressing their love for one another and the importance of family. From here, chaos ensues.

As the Fast films have evolved, the louder and bombastic they have become. And Fast X is par for the course with this trend. Although there is a lack of cars in space, an argument could be made for this one being the most outlandish of them all, thus far. Whether it’s chasing a nuclear bomb as it rolls for the Vatican or driving a car that fires cannons at those in its path, little of Fast X makes any sense… and it’s all the better for it.

While Vin Diesel is still playing Dom with a full, straight edged sincerity, the rest of the film leans completely into the ridiculousness of its set pieces. Although the likes of Roman (Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Han (Sung Kang) and a range of other secondary characters are rather sidelined throughout most of the films run time, it is made up through Jason Momoa chewing up every single moment of screen time as the totally sadistic Dante.

Heightening every sequence he stars in, Momoa knows exactly what kind of film he is in and brings the required energy to purely entertain through every line delivery and mannerism. With flamboyant outfits, armies of foot soldiers and an intense bloodlust for Dom and his family, Dante is the most exciting villain the franchise has seen for quite some time. Whether through street races, gun fights or outright warfare, he is constantly reeking havoc as he torments Dom as he toys around with everything he loves.

Through all this chaos, there are a number of side-plots with secondary characters that set up many loose ends that either go nowhere or are there for a clear sequel setup. With the likes of Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) barely having any screen time, the film is often seen biting off more than it can chew. Other side-plots, such as Jakob (John Cena) and Little Brian’s (Leo Abelo Perry) are shown a lot more attention and are given their own moments to shine in the sea of chaos.

There is a number of newcomers to the franchise as well, in the likes of Mr. Nobody’s daughter, Tess (Brie Larson), the new head of The Agency Aimes (Alan Ritchson) and street racer Isabel (Daniela Melchior). While some of these new characters are given more time and care than others, it is clear that there is still much more to be set up for the future of the franchise.

With these additions, however, comes a rather over cooked plot that oftentimes makes no real sense of the situations the characters find themselves in, other than it probably sounded cool on paper. And although this will be detrimental to some audiences, Leterrier’s direction still lends a hand to the outlandish set pieces in a stylish enough way to keep those engaged audiences excited for the ride.

It’s loud, bombastic and nonsensical, but without those characteristics Fast X wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is. Seeing Diesel’s Dom and his family face their most sadistic villain yet, in Momoa’s eccentric Dante; the film is a non-stop, globetrotting journey of high octane action. While many of the secondary characters get sidelined in the overstuffed plot, the main story is as ridiculous as it gets & the film is all the better for it. While fans of the franchise are sure to enjoy Fast X, it’s not likely to bring back those who’ve already disconnected with its drastic departure from reality.

Director: Louis Leterrier

Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster

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

Blake Ison

My name is Blake Ison and I am a film fan based in Brisbane. I have no professional knowledge of the industry, but love discussing all things to do with the medium. I’m a nerd through and through, so I have a major soft spot for all things genre. Hope you enjoy my ramblings!

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