Movie Review: Fast X

The concluding story in the 20-year series (or the first chapter of the concluding trilogy, at least) is ridiculous, but undeniably entertaining.


With its 10th installment, the Fast and Furious franchise — or “Fast Saga,” depending on which branding you prefer — tries for its “Empire Strikes Back” moment. After seeming success, our gearhead heroes face consequences they cannot avoid; “Fast X” is the middle chapter in the story, the tale not of repeated glory but of creeping doubt.

It took Star Wars one movie to get there, and it took the Toretto family 10. Better late than never?

When last we met the endlessly discussed Family, they had absorbed Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) estranged brother (John Cena) into the fold after a series of globetrotting vroom-vrooms. Two years later, everyone is tinkering with engines and enjoying a barbeque — including Dom’s heretofore unmentioned grandmother (Rita Moreno), who turns up for an inspiring speech.

There’s trouble on the horizon, however; turns out one of the countless people killed by this crew had a son. Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the eccentric son of “Fast Five” baddie Herman Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), has spent a decade plotting revenge; he’s here not merely to kill Dom but to first torment his loved ones with a series of improbable set-ups.

When I say improbable: The first big caper involves a giant, boulder-shaped bomb hurtling through the streets of Rome in an attempt to blow up the Vatican. (The bomb is also on fire.)

Despite this and many other assaults on physics and reason, “Fast X” represents a somewhat more earthbound (they went to space last time) story; while the younger Reyes certainly puts vast numbers of civilians at risk, he’s here for revenge, not terrorism. The focus is welcome (even if the various torments of the characters turns the middle act into a bit of a slog).

Despite the litany of movie stars present — Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Brie Larson, Helen Mirren, a dozen others — it’s Momoa who carries the thing. He subverts his own image here, playing the bad guy as half Joker, half Dr. Frank Furter. It’s entertaining, and Momoa is giving it his all; I’m not sure if it’s good, exactly, but it sure is interesting.

That’s the film as a whole, really. It’s bombastic, entertaining and eminently watchable. Is it good?

Does it matter? Dom drives down the side of the Hoover Dam. What more do you want?

My Rating: 7/10

“Fast X” is now playing in theaters.

Categories: Sean Collier’s Popcorn for Dinner