- Release Date: – 18/05/2023
- Cast: – Vin Diesel, Jason Momoa, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham
- Director: – Louis Leterrier
“Fast X” was supposed to be the last film in the “Fast and Furious” franchise but now the final installment is all set to be stretched to two more films making it a trilogy in itself. While this decision has had mixed reactions from audiences and critics, I walked into this film with almost zero expectations. “F9 The Fast Saga” was for me the weakest “Fast and Furious” film after the franchise was bolstered by “Fast Five” and set out in a completely new direction. I was just hoping for some interesting action sequences and some mindless fun elements. I am not much of a Jason Momoa fan but was, in this case, hoping that his antagonist here would be able to give Dominique Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family a run for their money.
The story: –
The story of “Fast X” spawns from the events of “Fast Five” where Dominique Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his friends killed Hernan Reyes, the man who controlled Brazil, after dragging the vault holding his fortune halfway across Rio De Janeiro. What we didn’t see in that film was the presence of Reyes’ son, Dante (Jason Momoa) who was mortally wounded after Dom hurled the vault on his car. Dante survives and is consumed by a murderous rage to avenge his father’s death. He comes after Dom and his family and starts attacking his family members one after another culminating in a final where it seems that Dom and his family are faced with certain annihilation.
Jason Momoa is the best thing about the film: –
The best thing about this film is easily Jason Momoa as Dante. As I mentioned before, I am not much of a Momoa fan but here he is fantastic. The script allows him to play a slightly toned-down version of the seminal antagonist for any film; “the Joker” but in a “Fast and Furious” setting. His mannerisms and his imposing physical presence are so detached from each other that it results in one of the most conflicted yet enjoyable renditions of a villain. He is shown painting the fingernails of people that he has just killed while carrying out a chit-chat with them. In many scenes, he behaves in a manner that reminded me of Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean” especially because of how he moves his body. His dialogues are written with quirk and proficiency and when they come out of a behemoth of a man like Momoa, they feel oddly funny and menacing at the same time. He isn’t used too much for physical action but whatever little he does, he does with complete authority. It will be interesting to see how the character of Dante is developed in the next two installments of the franchise.
The hyperbolic action of the film is well done: –
Even though it is needless to mention but the action of this film is absolutely stunning and a marked improvement over the nonsensical farse that was the action of “F9 The Fast Saga”. There are some stunning hand-to-hand combat sequences in the film that I was not expecting from a film of this nature. Two of these fights have Charlize Theron and Michelle Rodriguez battling it out with each other or other adversaries. The amount of physicality that is infused in these action sequences elevates considerably. There are two more physical altercations involving John Cena and Jason Statham that were very well done and were able to communicate the physicality involved in such brutal mayhem.
The vehicular mayhem is just out of this world. The opening action sequence involving a bomb rolling through Rome and into Vatican City was the perfect way to start off the insanity in style. As the film progresses, it gets progressively outrageous but all of it is done with a lot of effort to make the insanity feel real. At this point in time, the characters in a “Fast and Furious” film are nothing less than superheroes and we have to accept them for what they are. If you are looking for physics and logic in the action sequences, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you are watching the film with a bunch of friends on a weekend and just want to have an uproariously fun time, then you are in for a treat. I enjoyed most of the action even though the buildup to some of them could have been better.
Coherent fast-paced narrative that is relentless: –
The story of the film felt coherent and structured after the “go as you like approach” of “F9 The Fast Saga”. The fact that it used the events of “Fast Five” as its point of inception enhanced the appeal of the story for me. If that was not all, the story moves at a breakneck speed with an especially breezy second half. When the end credits started rolling, I was surprised that the film had culminated as it felt like it had merely begun. This might be an issue for many who like finality in their movie-going experiences as this film is the first of three parts and it feels like that in the end.
Entertaining but not much development in the plot: –
While it is endlessly entertaining, the plot doesn’t develop much. There are a few side quests that don’t assume a lot of meaning in this installment of the franchise but I am sure that they will assume more importance in the last two installments. One of these involving Michelle Rodriguez and Charlize Theron especially felt important but was sidelined as the film got into top gear. The portion involving John Cena and his efforts to save Dom’s child was also well done but I couldn’t understand why they had to make a mockery of the character of Jakob played by John Cena. He was a serious and menacing antagonist in “F9 The Fast Saga” but here he is reduced to an almost comic relief and I fail to understand why. Not only does that undermine the character but also gravely impacts the likeability of the character. It also results in bringing down the tension and thrill in the sequences involving the character that should have been otherwise nerve-wracking.
Reanimation of dead characters: –
The insanity and the implausibility of the story and the proceedings along with the usage of cars and other modes of transportation as superpowers continue to be as wanton and random as was the case with most of the “Fast and Furious” films. If you have a problem with that, it is best that you stay away from this film. In addition, the “Fast and Furious” are fast becoming more adept at bringing back dead characters than “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”. There is another dead character making a reappearance in this film and I don’t know how they are going to justify her return in the next few installments. Speaking of returns, Dwayne Johnson is back. He must have buried the hatchet with Diesel and this will be a good thing for the franchise.
The comedy doesn’t work: –
The comedy between the characters especially that of Ludacris and Tyrese Gibbons doesn’t work as well as it used to before. It could be because of the poor writing of their respective dialogues or maybe we are just getting tired of their repetitive and annoying rendition of their characters. Louis Leterrier tries to add depth and seriousness to the family dynamics that seem to be at the core of the “Fast and Furious” films since the “Fast Five” but that also doesn’t work too well. Every dialogue involving family, friendship, love and camaraderie hams and feels out of place and out of depth. This not only liquidates the seriousness and weight of the conflict, turmoil and risk that Dom and his family are in but also doesn’t let you feel the impact and tragedy of the death of atleast one major character in the film. I don’t know if that character will be allowed to stay dead but if it is then it was one of the major deaths in the franchise.
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Final words: –
Fast X is exactly what we expect it to be. It is a better film than “F9 The Fast Saga” and that is not saying a lot. What works in its favour is its out-of-the-world action that is a mishmash of CGI and in-camera action, a stupendous Jason Momoa who seems to be having a great time with his character and a fast-paced narrative. It was highly unlikely but I have to admit that I am interested to see how this franchise ends and which way the narrative moves in the next two films.
Rating: – 2.5/5 (2.5 out of 5 Stars)
The views expressed in this article are that of the reviewer and do not reflect EastMojo’s position
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