The end of the road begins.
Fast X is a 2023 action film directed by Louis Leterrier, written by Dan Mazeau and Justin Lin, produced by Universal Pictures, Original Film, One Race Films, Roth / Kirschenbaum Films, and Perfect Storm Entertainment, and distributed by Universal Pictures. It stars Vin Diesel and Jason Momoa. This is the tenth film in the Fast & Furious franchise. It was preceded by F9: The Fast Saga and will be followed by Fast & Furious 11.
"Never accept death when suffering is owed." - Dante Reyes
After years of successful heists and overcoming adversity, Dom Toretto and his family are faced with their most dangerous foe yet in the form of Dante Reyes. Motivated by revenge and pure insanity, Dante will stop at nothing to tear down everything Dom holds dear.
I've never really walked into a movie actually dreading watching it until Fast X. I was really not excited for this film at all. I despised F9. The trailers for this one didn't work. I was not looking forward to this.
And it wasn't that bad.
Fast X isn't grounded in any sense of the word, but it definitely tones down the ridiculousness of F9 and feels much less like a live-action cartoon. There are still insane explosions. There are still moments that completely defy the laws of physics. But it feels more like entertainment and less like a franchise jumping the shark. Because it pulls back on the stupid, ridiculous stunts of F9, it's automatically just a more fun movie.
The main thing that makes this movie fun is Jason Momoa as our main antagonist. Whether he's in Aquaman, Dune, or this, Momoa always brings tons of charisma and fun to a role. He just goes all out here. He can be terrifying. He can be hilarious. Some early reactions compared him to the Joker in The Dark Knight, and, while Momoa is nowhere even close to Ledger's Clown Prince of Crime, the comparison makes sense. The character is a complete sociopath, and Momoa just takes that and runs with it. He has plenty of moments of dark comedy while also being this incredibly disturbing villain that you can't take your eyes off of. He clearly had a blast with this role, and he makes the movie so much fun.
The movie also feels like it has stakes. F9 is so ridiculous that you can't feel any of the tension. Fast X quickly establishes why Jason Momoa is a dangerous threat. Throughout the film, you feel like the characters are in danger. Every time Momoa shows up on screen, it feels like something terrible is going to happen. It's funny that I'm comparing this movie to the two best superhero films of all time, because it isn't anywhere close to either of those, but this film feels very much like the Infinity War of Fast & Furious. I'm going to make this very clear, however: the Joker is the second-greatest movie villain of all time. The Dark Knight is my favorite movie of all time. Infinity War is my favorite MCU movie and one of my favorite films in general. Fast X isn't in the same ballpark. It isn't in the same league. I just want to re-iterate that.
The action here is also fun. It still has ridiculous elements. There's a cannon car. There's nitro boosts and overly-sized bombs. There's always that stuff, but the action is shot better and is just more entertaining than F9. Nothing goes to space. There are, of course, things that don't make sense, but if you just turn off your brain, you will have a good time with a lot of these action sequences.
I also really liked the ending of this film. There is a mid-credits scene, which was very fun, but the actual ending left me somewhat excited for the next installment. It won't be on my most anticipated list or anything, but I definitely won't be dreading it like I was this film. I don't want to spoil anything, but it was a solid cliffhanger that will have you waiting for the next film.
Of course, Fast X is not a great movie.
I think the biggest problem with the film actually comes from its biggest strength. Jason Momoa is so great that every time he isn't on screen, I tuned out a bit. I don't find any of the Fast & Furious characters that interesting, so they just kind had me bored. Jason Momoa has plenty of screen time, so the film is very fun, but any time there's a scene that doesn't involve him, the movie becomes a lot less interesting.
Fast X is also way too long. It's the longest of the Fast & Furious movies. Now, it's only a minute longer than Furious 7, but Furious 7 is almost ten minutes longer than all the other films and had a lot more to deal with than Fast X does. While I did enjoy many of the action sequences in this movie, they definitely dragged on for too long. The first big action set piece takes place in Rome, and it goes on for a while, which just pads out the runtime and makes this film feel kind of exhausting.
The Fast & Furious franchise also really needs to stop resurrecting dead characters. It was confirmed earlier in the year that Gal Gadot was reprising her role from the earlier films...even though her character died. I hate it when franchises bring back characters that were dead, because it always makes every death after that feel less important, because they are all just going to come back. It's just annoying. Stop doing it.
I've also realized that some of these characters have just been reduced to nothing. Ramsey, Roman, and Tej have absolutely nothing to do in this movie. They don't really matter to the plot. They try to give Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson some banter so that these characters are watchable, but it isn't funny. They are so bland and so boring. They either should've been given more to do or shouldn't have been in the movie.
Final Thoughts and Score
Fast X is ridiculous. It's almost everything you'd expect from a Fast movie. Jason Momoa, however, makes this one so much more fun than F9, so I enjoyed it.
I will go Savory here. Age range is 11+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)
Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 8/10
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Rated PG-13 for moderate violence and action, disturbing themes and images, language, thematic elements
Released on May 19, 2023
2 hours and 21 minutes
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
John Cena as Jakob Toretto
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
Ludacris as Tej Parker
Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey
Sung Kang as Han Lue
Brie Larson as Tess
Alan Ritchson as Aimes
Daniel Melchior as Isabel
Scott Eastwood as Little Nobody
Helen Mirren as Magdalene Shaw
Charlize Theron as Cipher
Leo Abelo Perry as Brian "Little B" Marcos
Rita Moreno as Abuelita Toretto