Harkening back to the days of old when the Fast franchise first started Tyrese was still a supermodel,Ludacris was still a rapper and Jason Momoa was running around shirtless on the beaches of Baywatch – Here, Fast X begins 10 years in the past making it the end of Fast Five which was the one that found Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), and his impromptu family pulling off a heist against Brazilian drug lord Hernan Reyes (Joaquin de Almeida). Turns out Reyes had a son, Dante (Jason Momoa), who has spent the last decade growing up planning an extravagant scheme to avenge his father’s death. It also features a touching memory of how it all started including of course, the stunning Paul Walker and it truly was glory days being all about the cars. Now the “family” now possibly has more branches than Game of Thrones.
Similar to its predecessors in the lengthy franchise history, and its spin-offs, the benign plot is beside the point in contrast to the stunt-tastic CGI spectacles. This one is full of the usual cars action, but that’s what it’s all about – as let’s be real, no one is going to a Fast and Furious movie for the acting or the dialogue,and here is no different. There are points where the audience is laughing, but it’s more at the movie absolute ridiculous delivery of dialogue (yes, I’m looking directly at Vin Diesel here), than with it. The plot, quickly explained without spoilers, involves Dante going after the family. He lures Dom, his wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and their pals Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Han (Sung Kang), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) to Rome, where a bomb goes off right outside the Vatican. The explosion gets pinned on them, forcing them to split up in different directions and go into hiding. Meanwhile, Dante has set his eyes on revenge with Dom and Letty’s son, Little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry), who goes on the run with Uncle Jakob (John Cena). Yep, you got it, it’s all over the place.
Back also is Mr. Nobody’s daughter Tess (Brie Larson), trying to spring Letty from a blacksite prison, where she’s being held alongside none other than ruthless cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who isn’t the villian in this one. Little Nobody (Scott Eastman) is here as well; Diogo (Luis Da Silva Jr.) also as quick cameos from Queenie (Helen Mirren), Mia (Jordana Brewster), Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), and of course, Shaw (Jason Stathom). It’s like they threw everyone and then the kitchen sink in for good measure. But wait, we aren’t done – Abuelita (Rita Moreno), is also here for a quick family scene (you thought I was joking about more family sides than GOT), Bowie (Pete Davidson – yes, Pete Davidson is in it), and adding in some new supporting role faces with one of the better characters here, Aimes (Alan Ritchson), and Isabel (Daniela Melchior), a Brazilian street racer.
The film takes you from Los Angeles, to London, to Brazil to Rome and location-wise, it’s all done fairly well. The biggest addition by far is Jason Momoa, as he takes what would usually be just another running on fumes ending – channels his inner Jack Nicholson, and blasts this villain role right out of the full ham sandwich, flamboyant sociopathic park. He brings this whole film up a plus level grade all on his own and makes it worth the watch. The film pretty much ends telling you what to expect next and even though they claimed this is the last of the Fast & Furious many, many incarnations – it will most likely go on for many years to come in various forms. Lastly, a little bit of a surprise plot twist at the end – a surprise guest star as well, to wrap it all up, though not as neatly as one would think.
As usual..stay for the credits.
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“FAST X” FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES IS OUT IN THEATERS FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2023
Review Screening: Monday, May 15, 2023 ~ Courtesy of Universal Pictures