Fast X (2023) Review

New Beginnings, New Endings


Fast X (2023)

Brutalist Review Style (Version 2)

High-tensile wire harpoons, Spider-Man-swinging fast cars, zombie cars, a giant wrecking-ball bank vault, Soviet submarines… this franchise has it all and family. The tenth film in the Fast & Furious saga not only added more substance to this ridiculous list of things that have been said in various films but also upped the nonsense tenfold. With Louis Leterrier (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) directing and Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau writing, prepare for the craziest final chapters to wrap up this high-octane, NOS-infused franchise.

Fast X truly marked the beginning of the end for one of cinema’s greatest global phenomena. The story for this movie immediately set up how the actions of Vin Diesel’s (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) Dominic Toretto and his racing family in 2011’s Fast Five affected more people than they thought. When they took down the nefarious Brazilian drug lord Hernan Reyes, they did not anticipate that he had a son named Dante – who witnessed what happened that fateful day and has been plotting his revenge ever since.

(from left) Dom (Vin Diesel) and Isabel (Daniela Melchior) in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

This was not your typical revenge story, as Jason Momoa’s (Aquaman) Dante Reyes was at the forefront of badass, charismatic villains. So far, there have been some great villain performances from the likes of John Cena as Jakob, Charlize Theron as Cipher, and the Shaw brothers – Luke Evans as Owen Shaw and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw.

This one will be a little weird for both returning fans and newcomers. Dante may be the most unhinged villain the family has ever faced in such a dynamic way – and I am not lying when I say it took the whole family to take on Dante in this one. I would say he carried much of the movie’s focus as we learn more about his past, with some pretty good shots incorporating footage from Fast Five and some new shots adjacent to that movie.

“Regardless, I’ve been on this journey from the beginning, and I can’t wait to see how this final act plays out.”

The new characters can only thrive if they fit well into the new story. While it took Marvel Studios ten years to build a huge roster of heroes for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, it took Fast X over twenty years to create this long, exhaustive list of characters. The big difference between these two franchises is that one has the Avengers, and the other has an unstoppable force called “family.”

Brie Larson as Tess in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

And joining the family of cast members for this movie was Brie Larson’s character as Mr. Nobody’s daughter, Tess. She was introduced along with Alan Ritchson (Reacher) as Aimes, the new head of the government agency that keeps trying to capture the Fast & Furious crew – after Mr. Nobody disappeared and no one else in the government helped the team. Without giving too much away, Daniela Melchior’s Isabel (The Suicide Squad) was a street racer Dom met in that movie, who was also a byproduct of the family’s past.

Rita Moreno’s Abuelita Toretto added a nice touch to this movie. What kind of car does she drive? You will have to watch to find out. Her appearance was short but sweet as she tied the whole Toretto family lineage together. In true respectful fashion, they always find a way to incorporate the late Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Connor in some way to honour him. In the common lore of the Fast & Furious saga, no one ever really dies in the family – as we somehow got Han back in the last movie, F9.

“Fast X truly marked the beginning of the end for one of cinema’s greatest global phenomena.”

The Fast & Furious saga is like an anime because Fast X set up something more for this final arc of the cinematic series. Watching this movie was like watching an episode of One Piece, where the show took like ten episodes to interrupt the main story to explain the backstory of one of the characters or a villain.

This movie clearly built up a lot of the backstory for Dante, and how it presented his character throughout the movie was constantly exciting and kept me guessing who this pixie of a man was. And like any great anime, the protagonist(s) never really die from massive blood loss or being buried in concrete.

Jason Momoa as Dante in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

Like its predecessors, Fast X was a feast for the eyes of car enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies as the family shattered more realities with their usual death-defying stunts. The action and storyline continue to drive me crazy and insane, but they are always entertaining at their core. If you remember the scene from Fast & Furious 6 where Dom caught Letty in mid-air, expect something like that in this movie, but with an even crazier execution!

Dom’s dialogue and quotable moments still make him seem like The Street Racing Jesus – very cringe-worthy at times. But it was great to see Dante contrast Dom as The Street Racing Roman Emperor (no, not Tyrese Gibson’s Roman character) or The Street Racing Fairy Godmother who tried to make Dom a martyr.

“The big difference between these two franchises is that one has the Avengers, and the other has an unstoppable force called ‘family.'”

At this point in the Fast & Furious saga, the number of characters added seemed to be a double-edged sword for the series. Switching from one pairing of characters to the next felt exhausting as the family was scattered across the globe throughout the movie. But, like Avengers: Endgame, the next Fast movie was supposed to be the final team-up to take on the big bad like Thanos on the Marvel side.

Michelle Rodriguez as Letty in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

With the announcement that this will be a trilogy to tie up the final chapters of the saga, I am very excited to see how the next two films will have that Endgame vibe – or do something else to make me facepalm and laugh and cry in my palm. Whether you’re on this extraordinary journey by choice, trapped by the masses (or family), or new to the franchise, what you see will make you laugh and awe a lot.

I genuinely felt that some of the things on the screen and what the characters said were some of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen and heard – that is what happens when one of the cast members is literally named Ludacris.

Regardless, I’ve been on this journey from the beginning, and I can’t wait to see how this final act plays out. Be prepared for a dazzling Momoa performance; expect to see plenty of “family” references throughout Fast X. Also, don’t forget to stay back for that one juicy mid-credits extra scene at the end.

Final Thoughts

Ridge Harripersad
Ridge Harripersad

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