“A warrior fights for what they believe in. A warrior fights for his family.” - Klaus Mikaelson
I’ll always find it difficult to review movies that aren’t made for me. Now the Fast movies might be intended for my age demographic but for me personally it should have ended after the fifth installment. I guess if anything, if I have any motivation at all to see these movies, it’s simply to see how far off the deep end they’ve gone each time. I would argue this is the first time since maybe Fast Five that the latest Fast movie didn’t actively try to out ridiculous the previous entry. Now this could either be a calculated move saving for something later or they simply realized going to outer space was the peak of “Are you shitting me?!” mountain before the only thing you can turn to is literal time travel. I’m still betting on that to happen eventually though if I’m honest. Why wouldn’t that happen at this point?
Now make no mistake when I say that Fast X may not reach outer space levels of silliness, it still features sequences such as a car flying off of a dam and driving down the face of it. Is a Pontiac floating in low orbit above the planet earth? No, but I promise for every second Tyrese isn’t wearing a fishbowl astronaut helmet there’s a death defying, physics impossibility plaguing the screen and our minds. I’m saying all of this because I can’t stand this franchise. F9 made me hate movies for two hours. Not just that movie but all movies. For two plus hours it made me question what I wanted to do with my life. Luckily it ended and I don’t have to watch it again. But of course, this being the never-ending franchise, for every time I don’t have to repeat watch F9 there’s another new Fast movie that I have to endure. (I know, I know, boohoo me.) Why am I telling you this? Because taking into consideration everything that has come before it in this confused franchise, Fast X isn't unbearable. I can’t believe I wrote that but there it is.
While it’s still filled to the brim and spilling over with impossibilities of every kind pretty much known to man, and it still has the corniest, Hallmark wannabe levels of cheesy lines, Fast X manages to do something they outright refused with F9. It possesses moments that feel worldly, authentic in the land of reality. Make no mistake, pretty much none of this could physically happen but in comparison to what has transpired in these movies, Fast X has scenes that don’t feel quite as nonsensical. While scarce in the overall movie, it has hand to hand fight scenes that are genuinely gritty and visceral. They feel impactful and at times devastating. Two scenes in particular feature Charlize Theron’s character being an absolute badass. But more dynamic than that she never feels superhuman like these movies tend to do. Her character is clearly skilled and capable but she takes her licks. She isn’t necessarily the most powerful one in the room but simply the most determined. She is hit and kicked and stabbed repeatedly. It was genuinely impressive. And then her fight with Michelle Rodriguez is on another level. I could sit here all day and destroy these movies but to show admiration for one is new territory.
It’s not until they get into a vehicle where they finally lose the proverbial plot. If the idea is to make sense, look elsewhere when the NOS is flowing. When your movies are based around the simple concept of characters driving fast cars and that’s where everything falls apart I think maybe it’s time to reexamine the whole enterprise. But this is a billion dollar franchise so what the hell do I know?
Fast X is more of the same. This time around Dom’s son is growing up and learning the ropes of the family business. In the midst of peace, chaos comes knocking in the form of Dom’s nemesis, Cipher. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. She conveys to Dom that someone far worse is out there and they’re going to kill everyone he loves. He soon learns about Dante Reyes, son of dead drug kingpin Hernan Reyes and his horrifying vendetta against Dom who is responsible for the death of Dante’s father. Let the suffering begin!
The little corners of this movie that actually work pale in comparison to the single greatest aspect of Fast X and that is the man himself, Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes. He is absolutely maniacal in this movie and is flamboyantly excited about it every step of the way. He destroys and kills and dances while he commits these atrocities. He is the villain but undoubtedly the funnest part of the movie. He is the best villain of the entire franchise and every moment he’s on screen it’s a complete thrill to watch as he loses himself to such frivolity. Jason Momoa has taken a tired, overtly silly franchise and somehow brought some life back into it. I don’t think any one thing could bring these movies back from the land of absurdity but if ever there was a spark he is that very thing needed to make these movies something better, even if only in small portions.
Did I hate Fast X like I do F9? No. Does that mean this is a good movie? Not really. It’s bearable at times and that’s the best I can say about it. There is so much to mock about this thing but unlike the most recent entries Fast X has its redeeming qualities. It’s still implausible as hell, cheesier than ever, and Vin Diesel has never flexed harder but for all of its faults and messiness, Fast X is the best entry since Fast Five. Make of that what you will.
Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of violence and action, language and some suggestive material
Runtime: 141 minutes
After Credits Scene: Yes.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Starring: Vin Diesel, Jason Momoa Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron
Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Out of 10
Story: 6/ Acting: 6/ Directing: 7/ Visuals: 7.5
Buy to Own: For fans of the franchise. Otherwise I’d leave it where it is. Appreciate Momoa and move on.
Check out the trailer below: