2023. PG-13. 141 mins. Directed by Louis Leterrier
The Fast Saga continues with Fast X! Here we are at the tenth entry, eleventh if you count the spinoff, in the never-ending series about cars and driving them fast. If you're coming into a Fast & Furious movie you pretty much know what you're getting into. Dom and the family get involved in some kind of convoluted plot revolving around one enemy or a specific device and the cars go fast. Seems basic but that is how most of these movies tend to go. This time around they go toe to toe with the son of Hernan Reyes, the villain from Fast Five, Dante (Jason Momoa) as he is out to get revenge on Dom and the crew for the death of his father.
This series has seen its ups and downs but there's one thing that always seems to stay consistent, insanely over the top action sequences that defy any bits of reality. There is no shortage of that here as we get a car pulling down two helicopters at the same time as well as a car driving down an exploding dam. Louis Leterrier takes over as director here and he's no rookie when it comes to directing action movies. While it all is ridiculous there's never a dull moment throughout the movie and Leterrier makes the most of his time in the director's chair. It's easy to dismiss these movies as just dumb and ridiculous but ever since they started embracing that mentality in the movies themselves is when this series has really started to find its groove. Sure, there's entries that don't work as well as others but if you know what you're getting into you know at the very least that you're going to be entertained to some degree.
There is a lot to like here but it starts and ends with Jason Momoa. His performance as Dante is one of the most insane performances, I've ever seen but it works incredibly well. He is menacing and diabolic but at the same time he's flamboyant deliciously cheesy. How Momoa is able to pull off this performance is beyond me, but it is definitely the biggest highlight. The rest of the cast here is essentially what they normally do in their roles. These characters are what they are at this point and everyone is still playing them well. Vin Diesel does get some emotional moments to shine his dramatic skills off a bit more and that is a nice side of the character to see. Joining the cast for this go-around, outside of Momoa, are Brie Larson and Alan Ritchson, both of whom are welcome additions.
While this is a highly entertaining movie and a step up from the previous two entries it is not without its flaws. The runtime does go on a bit too long. Pacing isn't much of an issue but there are so many characters that the movie does struggle juggling them all around. Most of the action set pieces are done practically but there is quite a bit of CGI used here as well and there are moments where it doesn't look too good. After the announcement that this movie will be the first part of a trilogy to end the franchise, it does feel like the overall arc of the story is going to get stretched too thin. There is an easy point to end this movie on but because it will be a trilogy the movie ends on a rather large cliffhanger that may anger some audiences. This feels like an Infinity War type set up for the next two movies and only time will tell how it plays out.
Fast X does everything you want to see out of a Fast & Furious movie. The action sequences are top notch, the dynamic between the characters works well and we get a noteworthy performance from the likes of Jason Momoa. Despite its flaws there is plenty here to enjoy and get audiences excited for what's to come for the end of the franchise.
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