Fast X – Review


“FAST X”

Fast X is the tenth movie in the Fast and Furious franchise and is directed by Louis Leterrier, whose previous titles include Clash of the Titans. Fast X’s announcement gave me a real feeling of ‘Wait, they’re still making these movies?’, though I get some of the appeal behind it, I’ve been checked out of this series for a while now. It felt like the further they got along with the series, the more they ran out of ideas. The only one I’ve liked recently is the Hobbs and Shaw spinoff, mainly because it was propped up by Idris Elba in the villain role and the excellent chemistry between The Rock and Jason Statham.

Fast X is very much acknowledging the series. It’s setting up for what is almost certain to be the conclusion to the franchise later down the line, more specifically, the next movie. I’m not sure whether that was given away in a press release, but Fast X is only Part 1 and is designed to lead into the 11th movie that will come out next year.

The film once again centres around Dom Torreto (Vin Diesel) who is trying to take down a Brazilian crime lord with a connection to Dante (Jason Momoa). It’s the usual globe-trotting action film that we’ve seen before and features many of the previous actors returning to reprise roles. This includes Jordana Brewster, who had been rather absent up until this point in the past few films, and once again she is given virtually nothing to do. I really question why she keeps coming back to these films. Though admittedly, at least in this film she has some involvement in some of the action.

The cast is mostly all here including Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, and there are also some other returning characters. I was surprised to see that Charlize Theron finally came back considering that we never followed on with what happened to her character at the end of Fast 8. The only cast member that is missing is Kurt Russell, though I suspect his character will be coming back in the next movie. Replaced by him, though, is his daughter played by Brie Larson, and the agency now has a new head, Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) who is going after Dom and the gang following a botched mission in Rome.

I was happy to see John Cena coming back since he was probably my favourite part of the last movie and is once again my favourite part of this one. John Cena is very aware of his persona being a stereotypical tough guy that is actually a loveable dork and he absolutely plays into that.

If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious films, this one is a love letter for you because there are a lot of callbacks to the previous films, almost absurdly so. There’s a portion where Scott Eastwood practically lays out the history of the entire series- to which I was thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re watching the 10th movie, I think at this point we’re all in for the long haul..’.

The problem is that doing that history lesson made the series feel rather stale. I couldn’t help but notice that there were no real new ideas put in here. I could look back and think the stuff in one film was very similar to another. It’s almost as if now they’ve gone to space there is absolutely nothing left to do, and the script feels very much on autopilot. As a result, my experience felt very passive.

I also have very mixed feelings about Jason Momoa. I like him as an actor but it seems like the direction he has been given is to ham it up for all he is worth. The costume department also decided to give him the most eccentric outfits possible. They do a good job of making him a badass villain but they have to push him so far that you’re almost thinking there is no way that this time the villain is going to join the good side. If anything, his personality reminded me of wrestler Seth Rollins, since he does a very similar act in the ring- an eccentrically dressed egomaniac. This makes me wonder if Seth had been approached for the role at some point but turned it down. Mind you, if Seth Rollins had done it I would have said he was just playing himself.

I also found it rather bizarre that the film has such a long runtime. This film feels like it’s moving to a climax almost constantly only to pull the rug. It never quite knows when it’s going to end, and since it’s leading into Fast 11 it can’t really do so. I’m beginning to have a problem with these Part 1 & 2 types of films. The only time I feel like it was done right was with Stephen King’s IT, and that was because they did a good job of making you feel like each movie was a complete film in itself. I would also say the last two Avengers movies but that was because Infinity War had such a big cliffhanger that it demanded your attention. I had a feeling of Hunger Games: Mockingjay with this one because I had no idea why this wasn’t just one film.

Of course, I’ll have to wait until Fast 11 actually comes out before I come to a conclusion. As a result, it’s hard to review this movie since I really only got half of the story at this point.

Fast X is a really good movie if you enjoyed the previous ones, but it’s so by the numbers that at this point I’m just checked out. Because I need to give my full thoughts on this film, I have to tune into the conclusion next year. A lot of people like these films, and the audience I was with clearly enjoyed it, so it clearly hit all of the beats that the fans want. Stick around for the mid-credits scene, it’s actually a pretty good one.
 
Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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