The end of the road begins. Fast X, the tenth film in the Fast and 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), 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. The film also features an extraordinary new cast including Oscar® winner Brie Larson as Tess, a rogue representative from the Agency; Alan Richtson (Reacher) 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 (The Suicide Squad) as a Brazilian street racer with a powerful tie to Dom’s past; and legendary Oscar® winner Rita Moreno as Dom and Mia’s Abuelita Toretto. Fast X is produced by Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel, Justin Lin, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Samantha Vincent. The executive producers are Joseph M. Caracciolo, Jr., David Cain, Chris Morgan, Amanda Lewis and Mark Bomback
If Fast X can accomplish the simple task of being a better product than the last film in the franchise, F9: The Fast Saga, then the studio has a winner on their hands. To say that title was an awful catastrophe is an understatement. By now audiences around the world know what they’re getting into with this slate of films. They’re nothing but a ridiculous mess of fun and chaos. However, that is no excuse to just pump out garbage quality productions either. With these films being so successful at the box office, it would be hard for the studios to turn away from more sequels, and at least half of their releases are actually quality films. With that being said, it’s still such a toss-up on what the end result will be trying to create the next big stunt. Regardless, most people will still run up to the theater no matter what to see it all unfold, and to be honest it’s hard to blame them.
Surprisingly, one of the best aspects of this part 10 sequel are the relationships between the characters. There’s actual substance there on full throttle. Dom (Vin Diesel) is a father now, and he seems like a pretty good one too. Seeing how this franchise started out during his younger years with not a care in the world, to now seeing him as a grown adult responsible for another human was refreshing. It appears that his priorities are straight with the relationship with his son, which makes the audience care about him even more than they already did. Dom’s brother Jakob (John Cena) is shockingly great as well. His character didn’t have the best arc last time around, but this time he’s a dedicated uncle and can still kick ass. Mixing comedy in the middle of action can be hard to execute properly. You’d want to sell the intensity of the scene while still creating laughs, which is not easy to do. However, John Cena was born for this stuff. Seeing these two alone and how much they’ve matured is enough for most to root for them in addition to the rest of the team.
Their involvement is not the best section of the film though in the slightest. That recognition goes to the character Dante (Jason Momoa). He may be one of the best antagonists that this franchise has created. Not only was he a noble threat with an endless amount of resources, the man was freaking hilarious. Again, it’s difficult to come across as menacing and dangerous while you’re cracking jokes, but for some reason, the Fast franchise has now figured out that formula. Praise to them for their creativity. Dante was super charismatic, charming, and flamboyant. There are not too many people out there that laugh hysterically while they’re getting punched in the face, which is scary.
The rest of the team did their jobs decent enough. They didn’t have much screen time though which is missed to a small degree. The team (family) is so large now that it’s hard to give everyone the attention they may deserve. It was as if their personalities were missing and only their bodies were present. When the film did show us their tropes from the past it wasn’t funny. Now like all comedy, it’s subjective, but these scenes specifically weren’t necessary at all. Just forced for some reason leaving you to take deep sighs in your seat waiting for the next scene to populate. In particular, there was a squabble between Roman (Tyrese) and Tej (Ludacris) who were bickering for no reason. It was childish, dull, and cringe-worthy.
More on the positive side the stunts are beyond ridiculous but still exciting. These men and women continue to defy the laws of God, gravity, physics, and everything else. The film is so self-aware of this, that it dedicated nearly an entire scene just to make fun of itself, which was possibly one of the most enjoyable moments of the movie as a whole.
This film does need to be tighter due to it being all over the place and not focused. It was nice to see them going back to the basics by actually having car racing between characters, an aspect that has been absent lately. However, there’s so much going on in other portions of the film that just run on nonstop which seemed scattered. It’s to the point that there may not be a point. Just characters running around the world with fancy equipment. A few times I had to question whether there was an overall plot or end goal, which isn’t a good feeling.
While the stunts and action were fun, there were both pros and cons. Seeing car flips and explosions on a big screen can be entertaining most of the time, but it still has to be grounded in some reality. The car that Dom Teretto was driving was not. It would not be a surprise if in Fast 10 part two it was revealed that the vehicle that he drove in this film was an actual Transformer. I mean it has to be with the amount of damage it took on and is still able to operate. The metal has to be from some other planet because it can’t be from Earth. It’s incredibly shallow and silly, but if your expectations are low it’s easy to please. While the movie is a fun blast there’s still so much that can’t be forgiven which will leave you shaking your head, but when the credits hit, I was still smiling.