- Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyreses Gibson, Ludacris
- Lous Leterrier
- Not Yet Rated
- Action, Crime, Mystery
- Release date
- May 19, 2023
If you’ve got 1,384 minutes to spare, you can enjoy every Nitrous-burning wheel-spinning action-packed minute of the Fast & Furious saga. If you’ve already seen them all, be prepared for every moment between action sequences in Fast X to feel like 1,384 minutes.
What can be said about Fast X that hasn’t been said about one or every entry in a saga that spans 22 years? Probably nothing. It’s fun and it knows how dumb it is, and if you’re going to enjoy it, you’ve got to leave your brain at the door. However, while the car chases haven’t slowed down over the decades, FF’s now middle-aged actors have. None of the fight scenes are as crisp as their predecessors and the filmmakers have to rely on jump cuts and frenetic cinematography to cover for the aging actors.
Unarguably, the main reason that anyone goes to see a Fast & Furious movie, is for the cool cars, slick races, and outrageous stunts, both practical and digital. In this, Fast X delivers. However, after all of these movies and all of the ridiculous and impossible things that we’ve seen Dom’s family/crew do over the last two decades, the action pieces in Fast X feel largely old-hat and derivative… of themselves. It’s almost like the filmmakers took every component from every other film in the series and put them in a slot machine: giant fast-moving armored truck | Ramsey | remote control override, Ludacris | celebrity cameo | throw-away joke – rinse and repeat.
With that being said, if you hope to enjoy it, it’s important to occasionally remind yourself that the Fast & Furious Saga isn’t for those who are looking for realistic physics, thoughtful and intricate plots, or normal human behavior. It is for someone who is looking for the live-action movie version of playing with matchbox cars as a child. At that time in your life, with sheer will and creative shifting, a rear-wheel drive muscle car could force to ground two powerful helicopters that are tethered to it and have lifted its rear wheels off of the road. So too is it with Fast X.
In the same vein, if you were to put any thought into the actions of the “good guys,” you’d realize that their “missions” are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. The safe scene from the fifth FF, which is revisited in Fast X’s prologue, would have to have killed at least 30 people. It makes Bruce’s first time in the Batmobile in Batman Begins look like a leisurely Sunday drive to visit Aunt Dorthy.
In Fast X, the performances range from 100 lbs spindly-armed women doing their best tough-guy face to Jason Momoa’s manic impersonation of a caricature of a woman being visited by the Red Dragon. It’s regrettable that the dialogue isn’t any help. Instead, it reads like someone asked chatGPT to write a script with the most generic action movie dialogue possible, leaving extra moments for mugging and grimacing.
Furthermore, the “brotherly” sniping between Ludacris’s Tej and Tyrese Gibson’s Roman has more than worn out its welcome. In Fast X, it’s more like a tooth being pulled without novocaine. You understand that it has to happen, but you can’t wait until it’s out and done with. In this flick, the two have to fight, so that they can make up right before the twist.
No, instead of the high-octane action enhancing the story, Fast X’s story manages to slam on the breaks and ram viewers’ heads through the narrative’s windshield. Every moment, with the exception of a couple of cute scenes between Dom’s son and brother, played by John Cena, that the characters interact with one another while doing anything other than driving a car drags on for an eternity. One of the main reasons for this is that everything that the characters do is bull$h!t.
Everyone’s iPhone is also a super-hacker MacGuffin that allows them to do or know whatever they need to get to the next set piece, and no one has to work to find anything out. It’s excruciatingly boring. There are absolutely no consequences incurred by anything within the non-action set pieces because each consequence is fixed by a bit of tech that looks like it was ripped out of a Meta Quest game.
In what might be the perfect metaphor for the entire franchise, but most especially Fast X, there’s a scene in which an electronic lock is activated, trapping one of the main cast in a room with a dangerous and hostile man. Fortunately, the super-advanced lock is conveniently and inexplicably accessible via Bluetooth, and the heroes are able to unlock it via bull$h!t. However, after they knowingly unlocked it, they still kick the door in and bust the lock.
It doesn’t help that every other non-action scene has a size 13 boot shoving in another character from the saga’s past entries. At 2.5 hours, that’s a lot of shoving, and all it manages to do is bloat the film, drag the momentum to a halt, and give even less time to the core cast members.
When the checkered flag has been waved and the smell of high test fuel has cleared, fans of the Fast & Furious Saga most likely will enjoy this two+ hour romp. Just make sure to leave your IQ in your other pants. We’d strongly suggest going to a theater that serves alcohol both to improve the movie and because the subsequent potty break will give you an excuse to leave the theater for a few minutes. Don’t worry, you won’t miss anything. I promise that the scene that you leave will still be going on when you get back.
There’s not a lot here, and it’s necessary to remember that this is a movie in which a car ski-jumps off of a giant dam. So, not a lot that’s realistic or consistent with the laws of the universe.
- The lead women all tend to act like cartoon men, with a lot of mugging grimaces while they strain to sound gravelly and menacing.
- Spindly-armed Charlize Theron and 5’5″ Michelle Rodriguez can dominate hand-to-hand combat against fully armored men twice their size.
- At least Rodriguez looks scrappy.
- The idea that friends and family are the same thing is, of course, central to the entire saga.
James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.