Discover more from MacGuffin or Meaning: Entertainment Newsletter
Fast X Review
Theatrical Movie Review
Following the height of the pandemic, there weren’t a lot of movies being released. But movie theaters were opening back up and as someone who loves going to movies, I went to see just about everything that was released, regardless of my interest in it. One movie that came out in the summer of 2021 was “F9: The Fast Saga.” Despite not seeing any other movies in the Fast and Furious franchise, we went to see this one and had a ridiculously good time. Full disclosure: I have continued to not watch any of the past installments of the franchise, but I had such a good time with “F9” that I had to go see Louis Leterrier’s “Fast X.”
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are living a relatively calm life with their son Little B (Leo Abelo Perry). BBQs with their family and the friends they call family. Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Han (Sung Kang) are in Rome on a fairly routine heist job, when suddenly everything is turned upside down. Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa) is out to seek revenge for the death of his father Hernan (Joaquim de Almeida). But death isn’t enough - Dante needs to make Dom suffer. He seeks to accomplish this through a series of exceedingly conveniently timed car races and explosions.
I loved the spectacle of this movie. It is utterly outrageous from the jump, and it doesn’t quit for almost two and a half hours.
The script for this movie is incredibly cliche. Every moment that tries to have any kind of emotional weight is undercut by some platitude you could see embroidered on a pillow. Roman’s one-liner begets Tej’s one-liner. It is all filler and no substance. They bring Helen Mirren on with an Audrey Hepburd updo to make one “Roman Holiday” joke, and then whisk her away. Additionally, because this movie ends on a significant cliffhanger, it feels even emptier than your average brainless action film.
Because I have seen almost none of the previous movies, I don’t have much to compare it to, but the CGI in this one felt overused and almost intrusive at times. I love the big action set pieces, and the pacing is really solid, but there were more than a few times I wish it had been a little smaller to allow the stunts to shine.
The performances are pretty standard action fare. The return of John Cena was great, and his scenes with Perry are a lot of fun, but the standout for me was definitely Momoa. He seemed to know exactly what kind of movie he was in and he embraced it fully. His villainous plans verge on the farcical, his wardrobe is over the top, and his mannerisms are utterly inane. I enjoyed every single second he was on screen.
This movie is absolutely absurd. But the cars are hot, the Coronas are cold, the explosions are loud, and Jason Momoa’s nails are on point. For the kick-off to the summer blockbuster season, that’s probably enough.
This review originally appeared in The Dominion Post on 5/21/23.