Friday, May 19, 2023

Fast X

The well looked like it had run dry, but with Momoa in the villain seat, he fills it back up all on his own. Made for fans of the series who can't help but come back for more.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and some suggestive material.

Fast X

Every time there’s a new entry in the Fast Saga, I go back and rewatch the brilliant “Today Now!” interview with “Chris Morgan,” the writer of entries 4-8 and Hobbs & Shaw. At one point, he mentions that there will be 600 of these, and considering they just keep getting astonishingly more outrageous, Fast X sets out to try and prove him right. Morgan may not have written this installment, but it definitely has his finger painting all over it.

Cars go fast, cars explode, cars go zoom, Dom (Vin Diesel) has big muscles and says, “I thought I was done with this.” Okay, I don’t think he said that exactly, but there is lots of talk about family, so we got that going for us, which is nice. Yes, these things remain as critic proof as ever, but at least they know how to keep us entertained. Spoiler alert: Fast X is the most fun you can have losing brain cells right now.

Previously on The Fast Saga: Dom and Brian (Paul Walker) have just stolen a money vault from Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Dom winds up sending Reyes swimming with the fishes, and leaves his son, Dante (Jason Momoa), sinking to the bottom of the bay. In the present, Dante returns to seek revenge.

Now, it’ll be a fight to the finish as Dante comes calling, raining hell upon the crew. Most notably, Dom’s son, Little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry), who’s put under the watch of his uncle Jakob (John Cena). But all bets are off with Dante, who winds up being the franchise’s best villain yet, and just may throw everyone into their swan songs.

There were a lot of jokes after F9 about where the series would go after heading to space. The silliest was a crossover movie with Jurassic World. Thankfully, this did not happen, and hopefully never does. What director Louis Leterrier, along with writers Dan Mazeau and Justin Lin, have decided to do is keep things a little more stripped down, while reveling in the ridiculousness we expect. Momoa is hands down the best villain so far and steals the entire franchise harder than even Dwayne Johnson did in Fast Five.
Once a franchise has reached a tenth installment, it’s nothing short of a miracle to have not just the original cast still intact, but to continue finding ways to string along characters who have been introduced along the way. I’m sure they could all play these characters in their sleep.

There’s a new energy to Fast X — it even ends on a cliffhanger — which is a good thing considering the announcement that there could be at least two more. Because as ridiculous as these films are, it makes too much sense for the grand finale to be its own trilogy. And when you’ve been a fan of a franchise for 22 years, you can’t help but buckle up and enjoy the ride.

4 out of 5

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