Friday 19 May 2023

Fast X (Movie Review)

Dominic Toretto and his family of street racers return in Fast X, the tenth entry in the mainline Fast and Furious franchise. And after watching them literally fly a car into orbit in the last film, my immediate question heading into this one was what new ridiculous stunts could the filmmakers possibly have planned to top that. The keyword here is ridiculous of course, because these films clearly left the realm of plausibility behind several entries ago. But does their pursuit to up the ante with this latest installment come at the price of a sensible script with tangible stakes, or was it redeemed by the power of family?

As is now a tradition in these Fast and Furious movies, Fast X begins by retconning a new villain into the current timeline. So cue a flamboyant Jason Momoa as Dante, son of slain drug lord Herman Reyes from Fast Five, who like those that came before him now seeks revenge against Dom and the rest of the family. But unlike prior adversaries, Dante would quickly prove to be unhinged enough to do whatever it takes to get that revenge, even if it means eliminating all and any that stand in his way.

A film like Fast X almost demands to be appraised by its own rules. Either that or you'll constantly find yourself struggling to grapple with its disregard for basic inconveniences like the laws of physics, or the way our heroes tear through cities full of people without batting an eyelash at the stacks of bodies they leave in their wake. The last film explored the idea that our main characters might even be godlike beings who can perform superhuman feats, and it seems that this one fully embraces that idea, for better or worse.

I guess this is my way of saying if you weren't a fan of the prior entries, then there is nothing in this new one that could possibly work to win you over. You are either along for the ride from the very beginning or you'll feel like you are being dragged along against your will. I find myself somewhere between those two extremes, having enjoyed past entries like Fast Five and Furious 7 while completely hating Fate of the Furious. So I was indeed very surprised by just how much enjoyment I was able to glean out of Fast X.

The plot is just as nonsensical as it has ever been of course, don't get me wrong, and the script almost feels AI-generated at points, with cheesy dialogue and leaps of logic galore. There is a near-constant barrage of meaningless fight scenes that end just as abruptly as they began, making one wonder if they were simply inserted into the movie to keep viewers engaged. The sound mix was also messed up during action scenes, making it hard to hear what characters are saying over the sound effects and music, although I'm not sure if that was from the movie itself or the particular screening I went for.

But it was clear to me that in the midst of all that madness that the all-star cast was simply having a blast hamming it up in those scenes. And it was their enjoyment that I found most infectious, almost making the cheesiness excusable. Notice I'd said almost because there is simply no excuse for some of the atrocities I had to endure during the movie. If you've watched any of the trailers then you probably already know what I am talking about. But believe me when I say that none of those trailers were enough to prepare me for what was to come.

At nearly two hours and thirty minutes, the movie feels overlong. The worst part is that it doesn't even manage to tell a complete story in all that time, as it quickly becomes apparent that this was all set up for another inevitable sequel. And if what Vin Diesel himself had alluded to during the recent premiere of the film is to be believed, then we might be getting not one but two of those sequels. But if you enjoy watching CGI cars and explosions get thrown around the screen with reckless abandon, then maybe that's the exact type of news you want to hear.

Fast X can be summed up in three words: fun but exhausting. It ticks all the requisite boxes that make for some good, mindless action but does so without managing to move the franchise forward in any meaningful way. It makes the most of its worn-out premise by leaning heavily into the star power of its cast members, especially Jason Momoa. The decision to end the film with a literal cliffhanger might not bode well for those that like to have some closure in the films they watch though, but there is a mid-credits scene that will all but ensure that fans will be back for the next round of vehicular madness.


  1. That's all I expect. Not a film to win new fans but just please those of us who enjoy the mayhem. Seeing it tomorrow early and will let you know.

    1. Nice. I hope it lives up to your expectations.

  2. I haven't seen any of these movies so this doesn't sound like it would make me start.