Fast X

3 out of 10

The Best Thing in Fast X: Jason Momoa

Fast X is as exciting as watching Winnebagos racing.

Fast X takes something that happened in Fast Five, the movie that was released 12 years ago. Knowing all the lore, characters and stories of the Fast franchise from the last 20 years is nearly impossible. Thankfully there is a refresher to start off Fast X – which seemlessly integrates old footage with new to retcon a new character. The big baddie in Fast Five is Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almedia) and after the climatic scene in Fast Fast, Reyes’ son Dante (Jason Momoa) is left as a sole survivor of the incident caused by Dominic Toretto and his crew. And as a cliche-filled movie script would warrant, Dante is out for revenge against the Toretto family which includes (but not limited to) the father figure Dom (Vin Diesel), his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludcaris” Bridges), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Han (Sung Kang). Oh and Dom and Letty’s son B. There are others that show up later too, but I’ll leave those surprises to be discovered.

Fast X is overly long and bloated. It is a very dense film – both in the sense that there’s a lot in there, but also in reference to how stupid it is. There are no less than four storylines in this half-finished 141-minute movie. There’s the main storyline with Dante and Dom. There’s a side story with B and his uncle. There’s one with Cypher and Letty. And then there’s the band of characters who are there for action and laughs: Roman, Tej, Ramsey and Han. They also spin up threads which bring to screen Helen Mirren, Jason Statham, Alan Ritchson, Brie Larson and the one that stood out: Rita Moreno sporting a weird accent.

The only good thing in this film is Jason Momoa. The man is having so much fun onscreen with his scrunchies and flamboyant outfits – his sociopathic Jack Sparrow steals each and every scene. Momoa seems to think he’s in a different movie and I would rather watch the movie that he thinks he’s in. Kudos to Momoa for elevating this flabby and uninspired film.

John Cena is not playing the same character that he did in the previous movie, he’s playing Peacemaker – and you know what? I’m okay with that. He’s more fun this way, I wrote about how I thought his talents (and charisma) were completely wasted in the previous movie, I am happy to see him shining in this one.

For an action film, this movie is rather boring. The action in the movie was rote and so artificial that it robs the action scenes of any excitement and thrill. Sure, this movie is loud, brash and full of car chases and explosions – but none of that was exciting. There was never any inspired stunt work that was memorable – Fast Five had the safe stealing sequence; the first Fast and Furious movie had the Honda Civics driving under trucks; even Tokyo Drift had a thrilling chase through Tokyo. Fast X? Nothing. The Mission: Impossible franchise which is a few years older than the Fast franchise films, but continues to show how thrilling movies can be proves that real stunts make for good spectacle and spectacle is what makes an action movie exciting. Kudos to Tom Cruise for always pushing the envelope in his movies.

The ending of Fast X leaves us with multiple cliffhangers which were seemingly created by AI for the sole purpose of getting audineces back into theaters for the sequel. The Fast franchise is starting to show its age and has lost its luster many sequels ago. Walking out of the theater, I was glad that the Fast franchise will be ending with the next movie – only to discover that the studio has drawn out the ending to be a three-parter instead of two-parter. Not only will there be a Fast 11, but there will also be a Fast 12. The last good Fast franchise movie was Fast Five. I cannot remember what happened since then – it’s all merely a mash up of action scenes, babes in bikinis, characters dying (and being revived), the word “family” (and now “faith”) and explosions. It is unfortunate that Universal is extending this franchise even further. I do not recommend Fast X.

Watched at the Cinemark Oakridge 20.