May 17, 2023
Dan Mazeau, Justin LinGary, Scott Thompson
Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Momoa, John Cena, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron
Having directed a couple of Transporter films (and Grimsby to be fair), Louis Leterrier makes for a solid choice for this 10th installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. It’s rare to have an action series remain this commercially successful after so many movies, and Fast X knows exactly which gear it is in by now, so the filmmaker had his work cut out to keep this on the straight and narrow.
We pick up with Dom (Vin Diesel) and the family having their legendary barbecue and beers at the beginning of the film after having witnessed a montage of scenes from previous films that essentially splice Jason Momoa’s character into important parts of the F&F story. Momoa plays Dante whose father owned the bank that our “heroes” robbed in a previous film, laying claim to one of the ballsiest action sequences in cinematic history; two cars dragging a huge safe through city. It becomes clear that Dante has been a silent enemy of Dom and his family for many years and has concocted a series of violent and theatrical ways to inflict a similar amount of “suffering” that he has had to endure because of Toretto.
Meanwhile, our gang have a new mission coming up, which will see the charmingly foolish Roman (Tyrese Gibson) take centre stage as leader of the pack for the first time. They are heading to Rome and their quick, slick operation soon turns nasty when Dante turns up starts his symphony of suffering.
Coordinating a film on this scale seems like a mammoth task. For a film that is definitely part of a double act (or perhaps even triple act if the rumours are true), there is no holding back in the delivery of enthralling action sequences, mind-blowing stunts, and enough sequences where Vin Diesel drives his car into things that should just crush him to make Russian dashcam enthusiast blush. Fast X is a film that gets the engines roaring and moreso, a culmination of incredible action filmmaking whereby the recipe is exactly how they want it. Because, yes, the plot of farcical, yes, Dom’s lines feel like AI escaped from a Playstation 1 and wrote them using a plastic sword dipped in jam, and yes, every single character should have died from the previously sustained injuries by now - but we bloody love it!
Momoa is having way too much fun as the manical baddie. He seems to be channelling his inner Joker, as well as giving the audience a series of sensational outfits for their eyes to drink in. John Cena provides the film’s funniest moments, though, on a road trip (of sorts) with Dom’s son which feels like the spin-off we definitely needed after Hobbs and Shaw.
The soundtrack thumps its way into your brain so much that you don’t care it’s mostly garbage. The unbelievable amount of characters reappearing feels like the film is eating itself in front of us but it’s a meal we chow down on greedily too. Our eyes may roll at each supercharged stunt but they quickly refocus for the next. And the fact the film has reached the level of self-referencing itself with pithy jabs about the ridiculousness of it all means we are all in on the same joke.
Aside from criminally underusing Helen Mirren and Jason Statham, Fast X carries on the series with a vice-like grip on the audience’s lust for cinematic excess. If you have been on board for the previous nine, you are not going to want to jump out of the high-speed moving vehicle now…although, if you did, you would likely be able to barrel roll into oncoming traffic, grab a Corona, clink it open, and still pick up the kids from school.