CAST: Vin Diesel As Dominic “Dom” Toretto ; Jason Momoa As Dante Reyes, Michelle Rodriguez As Letty Ortiz, Tyrese Gibson As Roman Pearce, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges As Tej Parker. Nathalie Emmanuel As Ramsey, Jordana Brewster As Mia Toretto, John Cena As Jakob Toretto, Jason Statham As Deckard Shaw, Sung Kang As Han Lue, Brie Larson As Tess, Charlize Theron As Cipher, Alan Ritchson as Agent Aimes, Daniela Melchior as Isabel, Scott Eastwood as Eric Reisner, Dame Helen Mirren as Magdalene “Queenie” Ellmanson-Shaw, Rita Moreno as Abuelita, Michael Rooker as Buddy, Cardi B as Leysa ,  Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson

DIRECTOR: Louis Letterrier

(Credit: Universal Studios)

The screenplay, penned by Dan Mazeau and initially helmed by “Fast Five” director Justin Lin (who departed due to creative differences, resulting in a noticeable absence in action choreography), feels like a repetitive cycle.

Rather than standing as a new installment cruising on its merits, it often comes across as a self-aware franchise parody. While the film offers entertainingly silly action sequences, buoyed by Jason Momoa’s enjoyable performance, there is an overwhelming sense of desperate familiarity throughout “Fast X,” making it feel more like warmed-over leftovers than ever before.

It’s worth noting that this film is said to be the beginning of a trilogy that will conclude the series. Hopefully, in the next two installments, the filmmakers can inject at least one innovative idea to breathe new life into the franchise.

The previous installment of the Fast and Furious franchise showcased a remarkable departure from its humble origins of low-budget street racing. In a daring display, two characters defied gravity by launching a car into space, orbiting the Earth. This audacious feat was a testament to how far the series has evolved and embraced a grander scale of action and adventure.

This film takes the concept of being over the top to an extreme that might initially irritate viewers with its perceived stupidity and excessive nature. However, it soon becomes apparent that the film embraces these qualities with an unwavering determination to surpass its previous levels of stupidity and excess.

Surprisingly, this relentless pursuit of absurdity and extravagance eventually elicits smiles and laughter as it pushes the boundaries of foolishness and grandiosity to astonishing new heights. In essence, this is a movie that, even when we despised it at a fundamental level, yet paradoxically found ourselves thoroughly entertained by.

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The film opens in typical fashion for a Fast and Furious installment, with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), going about his daily life in his unassuming Los Angeles residence, surrounded by his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), and the ever-expanding group of friends and loved ones he affectionately refers to as his “family” throughout the film. Joining this familial circle are Dom’s son Little B (Leo Abelo Perry) and his grandmother (Rita Moreno), whose inclusion seems to serve no apparent purpose other than the franchise’s tendency to feature esteemed actresses, such as Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, and Charlize Theron, in roles that may be less pivotal to the storyline.

Dante’s twisted agenda involves branding Dom’s crew as terrorists, prompting them to be relentlessly pursued by the government agency they once collaborated with, known as “The Agency.” To achieve this, Dante orchestrates a jaw-dropping sequence involving a massive metal bomb rolling through the bustling streets of Rome. However, this scene is just the tip of the iceberg regarding audacity.

As the story progresses, the crew splinters into smaller groups and embarks on global journeys, miraculously avoiding traffic congestion or flight delays. Instead, they find themselves immersed in a whirlwind of explosions, unexpected celebrity appearances, and numerous warehouses stocked with enhanced vehicles, advanced weaponry, and cutting-edge supercomputers. Along the way, they engage in countless exhilarating fights, fueling the adrenaline-fueled mayhem that defines their high-octane adventures.

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Fast X showcases an unabashed embrace of violence, making it one of the most exhilaratingly brutal films we’ve encountered. Whether it’s two characters patiently awaiting the completion of a data download or attempting to escape a prison before the guards arrive, the response is always the same: a thrilling fight ensues. Even when a character innocently seeks assistance from another, the outcome is predictable. Director Leterrier possesses an unyielding vision where every window becomes a vessel for hurling someone through, and walls and floors serve as canvases for impactful collisions. His creative fixation on physicality and destruction permeates the film, leaving no surface untouched by the intense action sequences.

The fights that occur throughout the film often result in the demise of the villains, even if they may not necessarily be true villains. The troops from The Agency are merely carrying out their duty to apprehend individuals they perceive as terrorists, yet Dom and his crew relentlessly dispatch them without hesitation. Although the moral complexities of these actions could raise concerns, it’s advisable not to delve too deeply into them. Conversely, the protagonists endure nothing more than superficial scratches, highlighting a fundamental flaw in the film.

Dom and his team are seemingly invincible, supremely skilled, and defy the laws of physics. Consequently, viewers are deprived of the satisfaction of clever problem-solving when facing challenging situations. Instead, the characters rely on their superhuman abilities to effortlessly navigate through any predicament. They can plunge their cars off bridges or leap from planes, descending for significant distances, yet emerge unscathed along with their vehicles. While this spectacle may amuse, it simultaneously diminishes the presence of tension.

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Similarly, the stunts fail to deliver the anticipated thrill. Despite the presumption of intricate driving maneuvers, the extensive use of CGI, frenetic editing, and dynamic camerawork obscure the authenticity of the action. Whereas Bond movies showcase real people performing stunts, and the Mission: Impossible films demonstrate Tom Cruise’s commitment to executing them himself, Fast X leaves viewers uncertain whether the stunts are genuine. The absence of a tangible reality undermines the significance of the action, resulting in a diminished sense of investment.

Director Leterrier deserves credit for orchestrating a vast, multi-faceted Travelocity-based blockbuster that can leave one’s head jetlagged. However, despite Dom’s earnest speeches about the importance of family, it is challenging to develop a genuine emotional connection to any of the characters or their predicaments.

In theaters May 19.





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