I have never seen a Fast and the Furious movie so, naturally, I decided the tenth movie was the place to start. I have no previous movies to compare Fast X to, so I have no idea if some of the things they were doing were completely in style with the rest of the franchise or if they were wildly out of the box. Nevertheless, the Fast Saga has always been a pop culture blindspot of mine and now I finally feel like I understand.
My thoughts on Fast X are kind of a mirror of the film itself. They are loud, burgeoning on nonsensical, and all over the place.
During the movie, thoughts crossed my mind like: “Could a car really do that? Why are the subtitles different sizes? That guy looks like Captain America. I know they’re all family, but who is actually related? That’s a cool car. Never mind, that car is totalled. Ok, Brie Larson is serving. Is this a superhero movie? The girls are fighting and I don’t know who I want to win. Did AI write this dialogue? I paid $8 for parking. Is this a sci-fi movie? Wow, ok, they’re going to end it like that”.
But I also thought, perhaps Fast X is the epitome of the Fast franchise. Everything here is intentionally as extravagant and cheesy as they can make it because that’s what Fast and Furious movies do. They invented this genre and they own it.
They are blockbuster action movies with fast cars and hot movie stars that ask you to check your realistic expectations at the door. And you know what? We need those movies.
Fast X doesn’t break this mould. You’re getting exactly what you sign up for when decided to watch a Fast movie. It is big, it is ridiculous and it is fun.
It’s hard to comment on the plot of Fast X because I can’t really say there was much of one. Jason Momoa’s villain, Dante, has a grudge against Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto for killing his dad in one of the past nine movies, so now he’s going to make him suffer. Simple as that.
There was really no predicting where the movie would go from there. There are adrenaline-pumping car chases that intentionally defy logic. There are expansive sweeping shots of epic locations. There are uptempo club beats. There’s a whole lot of family (it might even be every second word in the movie).
There are also a lot of characters and storylines in Fast X, and some are definitely more entertaining than others.
Dom’s globetrotting pursuit of Dante or Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) reunion with Cipher (Charlize Theron) is both infinitely more interesting than a side plot featuring Han (Sung Kang), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). There are pairings that pop, and others that fall short, but that’s bound to happen in a movie with this many stars.
I have to commend the actors for their commitment, particularly the ones who are having fun. Jason Momoa is the standout and is clearly having the time of his life as an eccentric, Joker-like villain who thrives on chaos. He’s a perfect counterpart to Vin Deisel’s stoic hero, who often feels like he’s reading from the bible.
Fans will no doubt have more connection to the cameos and cliffhangers that Fast X provides than I did, but judging by the commotion in my theatre, I gather they were important and/or surprising.
That being said, something I really did appreciate about Fast X was the fact that, even though I hadn’t seen any of the past movies, I was able to easily watch this one and still have a good time. It was mindless action on the world’s biggest scale and it rarely needed context.
At some point in my viewing of Fast X, I came to this conclusion: none of this makes sense. Everything is for dramatic effect.
After making peace with this, I found myself having fun. I feel like I have a handle on the Fast and Furious franchise now. I can understand why this saga is as big as it is.
Has Fast X inspired me to go back and watch the past nine movies now? Probably not. But will I watch the next one? Absolutely.
Fast X Review: The verdict
Pros: Big blockbuster action sequences, some great performances, surprising cameos.
Cons: Cheesy dialogue, nonsensical plot, some storylines fail to make an impact.
Watch it if you liked: Previous Fast and Furious movies, The Meg, Uncharted.
Fast X opens in Australian theatres on May 18.
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