‘Fast X’ Review

To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Fast X is an action film directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) from a screenplay by Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) and Justin Lin (Fast Five). Featuring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Momoa, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Brie Larson, Alan Ritchson, Daniela Melchior, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, and Rita Moreno; it is the sequel to F9: The Fast Saga (2021) and the 11th installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. The story follows Dominic Toretto and his crew as they go against Dante Reyes who seeks revenge for his father’s death.

In 2011, Hernán Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) speaks with his son Dante (Jason Momoa) about the trouble Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew have caused for him. While Hernán is having a meeting Dom and Brian arrive to steal his vault. From here the events play out the same as Fast Five although this time we are shown the chase from Dante’s point of view. After arriving on the bridge Dante’s car is smashed by the large safe and he is thrown from his vehicle into the water below unable to save his father.

In present-day, Dom is teaching his son Brian (Abelo Perry) how to drive in an empty parking lot. After Brian becomes discouraged about his skills Dom tells him to keep practicing as no one starts at the finish line. Back at Dom’s house, his family enjoys one of their regular cookouts. Afterward, Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) question Roman (Tyrese Gibson) about the logistics of their upcoming mission as he is the leader and Roman becomes offended by his team’s lack of respect. Later that evening Cypher (Charlize Theron) appears at the house gravely injured and warns Dom that Dante is coming for him and his entire family.

I have been a fan of The Fast and the Furious movies since I was a kid. Like the rest of the world, I noticed when things started to change from street racing to spy missions, but somehow they made it work. Things were going fine for a while. Adding Dwayne Johnson to the franchise took it to new heights. Then tragically Paul Walker passed away leaving the team with a big hole. His character was written off and they decided not to kill him which would have been great if it ended with Furious 7 but they kept going. Then we got to F9 where Dom was given a long-lost and very Caucasian brother and that’s where people felt fed up. But like a good fan, I stayed on the boat waiting it out to see how this story would ultimately end.

Fast X is somewhat of a return to form for the series. Fast Five is considered the best film they’ve released and I’d be hard-pressed to disagree so it feels like finding a way to connect to that story was the golden ticket. Jason Momoa is great as Dante Reyes. He feels like the first standout villain we have had in the Fast Saga and can be easily described as Dom’s Joker. Reyes is very menacing yet silly at the same time. His flamboyancy spills over into his wardrobe and vehicle selection. The way he plays with his enemies feels straight out of a comic book. A true agent of chaos he will take out anyone that is in his way including other villains. For the first time, I feel like the franchise has a bad guy that won’t be swayed by the power of family and Coronas.

As this series continues the wild stunts and death-defying antics that take place continue to get more and more unbelievable. Dom using his car to crush other cars and crash helicopters is a big stretch and I’m not even going to mention driving down the side of an exploding dam. (Oh wait I just did.) Fast & Furious has already been to space and introduced super-secret spy organizations so why not just state that the cars are made from high-tech metal or something to justify why they are so powerful? Little explainers like this can go a long way in helping the film feel not too implausible.

Even with all the things in this movie that don’t make sense or defy the laws of physics the biggest issue is the absence of Brian O’Connor. Yes, Paul walkers untimely death is the reason he is not present in the movie, but by not killing off his character his lack of help to the team no longer makes sense. Brian left because he has children to look after, but Mia still appears in every other movie. And now that Dom has a kid (who is named after his very much alive uncle no less) it makes less sense why he hasn’t retired. With deepfake getting as popular as it is I feel that is the best way to bring Brian back. Don’t focus too much on his face and keep his scenes minimal but enough to be impactful. They can use Respeecher for his voice and hire his brothers as stand-ins as they look very similar to him. That alone would easily carry the final film to a $1 billion box office.

With a better villain and a better story, this entry puts the Fast & Furious franchise back on track. I give Fast X a Decent 7.6/10. I’m interested to see what goes down in Hobbs & Reyes and how they will ultimately bring this franchise to a close.

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