Fast X: A Joyful Ride into Absurdity and Spectacle

Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes.



 Fast X movie review (2023)

The Fast and Furious franchise has become a labyrinth of fast cars, explosive stunts, and an ever-expanding roster of characters. With each new installment, the series seems to push the boundaries of its own congestion, defying the laws of physics and storytelling coherence. Nevertheless, the box office success and the enduring appeal of the franchise make it understandable why Vin Diesel and the team would want to keep going, even if they claim it’s the end (I have a bridge to sell if you believe that).

Fast X, the latest addition to the franchise, delivers exactly what its fans have come to expect: more of everything. More characters, more stunts, more explosions, more chases, and more locations. However, it wisely avoids the temptation to venture into outer space, leaving that territory to James Bond and Tom Cruise. It even pays homage to its roots with an extraneous mid-film street race, reminiscent of the series’ humble beginnings.

The convoluted nature of the Fast and Furious universe may leave non-diehard fans scratching their heads. The filmmakers don’t make it easy to keep track of the characters, who switch allegiances, come back from the dead, or simply disappear depending on contractual agreements and the writers’ whims. Despite the shameless nature of these maneuvers, one can’t fault the creators for their efforts to honor the late Paul Walker, whose character returns through footage from a previous film.

Fast X weaves a direct connection to its predecessor, Fast Five, by introducing Dante (played by Jason Momoa) as the main antagonist, who happens to be the vengeful son of the Brazilian drug kingpin killed by Dom Toretto and his crew. Momoa’s performance breathes new life into the franchise, stealing the show with his unhinged portrayal of Dante. His sadistic taunting and maniacal delight elevate the film to new heights, even if his character’s motives seem to border on the absurd.

The cast of Fast X includes a mix of familiar faces and newcomers. Brie Larson joins as a rogue agent, while Alan Richtson takes on the role of the new head of the Agency. Daniela Melchior adds her talent as a Brazilian street racer with ties to Dom, and the legendary Rita Moreno makes a delightful appearance as Dom and Mia’s beloved abuelita. While Moreno’s character may lack a strong narrative purpose, her inclusion is a testament to her undeniable talent and a treat for audiences.

The core crew, including Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, and others, returns once again. However, this time they find themselves divided across the globe, offering a visual feast of locations like Rome, Lisbon, and London. These cities, as expected, suffer considerable damage during the film’s extravagant chase sequences and explosive moments. One might think twice about visiting the Spanish Steps after witnessing the destruction caused by both Fast X and the upcoming Mission: Impossible installment.

The joy of Fast X lies in anticipating the appearances of unexpected stars, from Larson relishing her dual roles in the Fast and Marvel universes to Helen Mirren’s undeniable chemistry with Diesel and Charlize Theron’s badassery as Cipher, albeit on the same side as Dom this time. John Cena stands out, showcasing his charm and comedic skills while protecting Dom’s son from Dante’s menacing presence. Their daring escape from a plane filled with adversaries in a smaller cargo hold plane is just one example of the film’s thrilling set pieces.

Fast X embraces its own absurdity and self-awareness, becoming a joyful parody of itself. It acknowledges the question on everyone’s mind: How has this franchise managed to.

persist for so long? It’s a question that hangs in the air, but Fast X isn’t concerned with providing a profound answer. Instead, it revels in its own audacity and offers an unabashed celebration of over-the-top action and adrenaline-fueled entertainment.

The film doesn’t shy away from poking fun at itself and its own longevity. Characters within the story question the seemingly endless saga, creating moments of self-awareness that generate laughs and a sense of camaraderie between the audience and the filmmakers. It’s a wink and a nod, acknowledging that the Fast and Furious franchise has become a behemoth of excess, yet embracing that excess wholeheartedly.

One of the film’s highlights is the dynamic between Vin Diesel‘s Dom and Jason Momoa‘s Dante. Momoa’s magnetic presence and unhinged performance injects a jolt of energy into the proceedings. Dante is a villain with a personal vendetta, but his gleeful sadism and wild antics make him oddly endearing. Momoa’s commitment to the role, combined with his own stunt work, adds an extra layer of authenticity to the action sequences, further immersing the audience in the spectacle.

While the newcomers make a memorable impact, it’s the returning cast that anchors the film. Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, and the rest of the ensemble slip effortlessly back into their familiar roles. Their chemistry and camaraderie provide a sense of continuity amidst the chaos. It’s their unwavering loyalty to family, a recurring theme throughout the series, that grounds the film and gives it heart.

Fast X also takes advantage of its global setting, showcasing breathtaking locations around the world. From the vibrant streets of Rome to the picturesque landscapes of Lisbon and the bustling metropolis of London, each city becomes a character in itself. The jaw-dropping action sequences, leaving destruction in their wake, serve as a thrilling love letter to these iconic locations.

It’s worth noting that the film doesn’t shy away from its flaws. The occasional elongated and unnecessary scenes, along with certain cameos that interrupt the flow, can be distractions. However, they are minor blemishes in a film that fully embraces its own identity and knows exactly what its audience craves.

Fast X, under the direction of Louis Leterrier, who stepped in on short notice, delivers a high-octane experience that reminds us why we fell in love with this franchise in the first place. It’s a wild ride, packed with adrenaline-pumping action, charismatic performances, and a sense of unapologetic fun. While it may not break any new ground, it doesn’t aim to. Instead, it continues to push the boundaries of its own absurdity, inviting audiences to buckle up and enjoy the exhilarating journey.

As the credits roll, one thing becomes clear: the Fast and Furious franchise has become an unstoppable force, defying logic and cinematic norms. And while the end may be in sight, with rumors of a potential trilogy conclusion, it’s safe to say that the legacy of Fast X and the entire series will continue to live on, leaving an indelible mark on the world of blockbuster cinema.

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Country: USA

Director: Louis Leterrier

Writter: Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin, Zach Dean

Actors: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham

Duration: 2h 21m