After 22 years, the Fast and Furious saga is one that sparks conversation and debate amongst fans and non-fans alike. And despite all the odds and all the criticism, the family returns in their latest film, Fast X. The film brings in a new threat, Dante Reyes, whose family fortune was obliterated during the final events of Fast Five which was released back in 2011. With his family’s safety hanging in the balance, Dominic Toretto must travel the world once again to fight Dante and bring him down. But at what cost?
Having seen each and every Fast and Furious film in the franchise, there is definitely a formula that is utilized throughout each story that has grown stale. The Toretto family has a mission, some of them might find themselves in danger, insane car-related feats are accomplished, characters are killed off, and the list goes on. If you’re wondering if this still applies to Fast X, you’re absolutely right. And yet, to some degree, it still feels a bit more refreshing than the last few films we’ve gotten from the franchise.
From the get-go, Fast X pulls its inspiration for storytelling from other franchises. Even its finale resembles the same energy and tone as Marvel’s Infinity War from one of the most popular franchises of the modern era. It is a roundup of friends and enemies from the past, uniting together against perhaps the smartest and most unpredictable villain the Fast and Furious family has ever seen.
As the story progresses, we’re given false hope into believing everything will be okay before throwing a new obstacle in front of these characters. By the end, audiences are left with next to no hope for our favorite characters, despite having suspended our belief throughout the years. We don’t know who is alive, who will make it, who will come back for the next two parts, or how the series will resolve to take down Jason Momoa. It’s this mysterious intrigue that really keeps the audience interested and on their edge of their seat, waiting for the next installment.
Unhinged is not a new term to describe Fast X but it is fairly accurate, and it’s exactly that but more so than usual. Jason Momoa as Dante takes the center stage, and steals the show with his wacky and out of the box performance that reminds us a bit of Batman’s Joker. It’s the casual insult to toxic masculinity that gets the crowd roaring and makes Dante’s character even more engaging and entertaining to watch. Are we rooting for the villain? No. But do we appreciate his dedication to the bit? Absolutely.
As far as other individual characters go, one could guess that there’s little to no change in the development of Dom and Letty whose dynamic and attitude remain the same. What I cannot get enough of is John Cena’s Jakob taking the role of “FUNcle” through his interactions with young Brian, Dom’s son. The fun banter amongst characters like Han, Roman, Tej, and Ramsey is always welcome and encouraged. But it was an unexpected and refreshing change of pace to see growth in these characters, particularly between Roman taking accountability for his mistakes and Tej providing brotherly reassurance. And to be brutally honest, there was just not nearly enough of Brie Larson’s Tess, but here’s to hoping for more of her going forward.
If there’s anything that this series needed on top of its action-packed and fast-paced scenes, it would be a combination of the adrenaline-soaked energy that Fast and Furious once had alongside generous amounts of character development. Fast X gives us throwbacks to other films, provides us humorous banter, and puts various locations on display that have potential for scenic sights. But at times, the film speeds through to the finish line with a copy-and-paste version of our main characters that seem unchanged by the long years of missions and near-fatal car flips. At this point, we can constantly ask if we can expect anything to change in the next two films. But all we can do is just wait and see.
Fast X receives 3 out of 5 Samosas.
Fast X is now playing in theaters.
Runtime: 2h 21m