It’s probably not a shock to bring up that Fast X is another bonanza of over-the-top action. After ten films from the Fast and Furious franchise, that’s been this brand’s bread and butter. Yet the thrills seemed to have reached plateaus in the eighth and ninth entries.
After all, where else is there to go if you’ve launched a racing car into space? Thankfully, this double-digit entry finds its footing well. Not only does it find a healthy balance between its many characters and crazed action, but it also has the most fun.
A Better Villain in Fast X
Nowhere is this fun more apparent than with the franchise’s latest villain. Jason Momoa plays antagonist Dante Reyes more like an eccentric comic book villain. Unlike the previous Fast and Furious villains, this guy delights in his quest for revenge.
While his motives relate to past Fast movies, his vibe is full-throttle eccentric. With his wild hair and colored nails, he’s practically dancing at the chance to blow the world up. Considering his over-the-top style and ruthless devotion to violence, he’s the perfect foe.
Since the Fast franchise has always been about family, there’s much to lose for the vigilante group leader Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). His son is getting to driving age, romance is intense with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and he’s getting used to his brother Jakob (John Cena). So when Dante comes stomping, Dom gets driving.
The threats are more considering how Dante operates. He’s all about suffering as he plans to blow up cities and smear the somewhat-good names of Dom’s crew. Despite how previous entries have been all about reviving the dead, there’s no guarantee everybody comes alive in Fast X.
All Hands On The Wheel
Fast X instantly becomes a favorite because it utilizes all the characters well. The teams are split up into groups with the best chemistry. Dom does his best when going head-to-head with the villain and reconnecting with family members in need of his protection.
The simpleton Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and the cynically smart Tej (Ludacris) continue their brilliant back and forth, with Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) being the perfect mediator. It was great to see Roman more fully defined as a man who wants to be more than comic relief. He aims to lead a mission and prove himself when the chips are down, making him so precious when he finally lands a deserved victory.
Villains Turned Anti-Heroes
Letty doesn’t get lost in the dust when she’s forced to work alongside the villain Cypher (Charlize Theron) in Fast X. As with any previous villain who has killed off a key member, a love-hate relationship forms. Of course, that relationship is founded on a knockdown drag-out fight that is one of the best duels of the entire film.
Another returning villain is Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who was forced briefly to work alongside Han (Sung Kang). A common enemy brings them together as they all become targeted by both the secretive Agency and the terrorist forces of Dante. In other words, it’s the explosive reunion one would expect for this series.
A New Challenger Approaches
Even with so many characters dusted off from previous films (including a few surprise cameos, which will not be mentioned here), new players are added to this mix. The highlight is Brie Larson, a reluctant Agency agent, in the role of Tess. She quickly switches sides and has a trademark fighting style of wearing shoes designed for stabbing.
Pete Davidson makes a brief but suitable appearance in Fast X as a black-market dealer with a penchant for cannabis. Alan Ritchson plays a more traditional rival as Aimes, the current leader of the Agency. He’s a tough and surprising dude who becomes an unpredictable character who Dom constantly distrusts.
Lots and Lots and Lots of Action
Of course, one could be forgiven if not being wholly familiar with the enormous ensemble for this entry. The Fast movies have always been about the action so uproarious that you can’t help but laugh at the audacity. Fast X keeps that tradition alive and well.
The opening car chase through the streets of Rome is incredible for the crew trying to stop a rolling bomb. There’s something so exciting and hilarious about Dom whipping around corners to stop a flaming ball of fury from obliterating the Vatican. Let’s just say this sequence has generated some ideas for the perfect Fast & Furious pinball game.
While there is nothing quite as bombastic as space street racing in this film, there are loads of cool cars and artillery. Both are displayed as Jakob bonds with Don’s kid over firing explosive rounds from an experimental car. The carnage unfolding is as enticing as the charming uncle-nephew dynamic inside the car.
Conclusion: Fast X
Fast X may be one of the best entries in the Fast and Furious saga. Sure, it’s got the biggest cast, the loudest explosions, and some of the most audacious shots to date. But it also finds pitch-perfect chemistry, intense pacing, and an unbelievable cliffhanger, guaranteeing you’ll be back for Fast XI.
Did you see Fast X in the theater? What did you think? Was it better than F9? Let us know in the comments below.
Fast X is currently playing in theaters everywhere.