“Fast X” is the tenth film in the diarrhea stream that is the “Fast & Furious” franchise. Directed by Louis Leterrier, the flick follows Dom and his beloved family as they’re attacked by the psychotic Dante Reyes (played by Jason Momoa), a ruthless foe holding a grudge from the past.
Jason Momoa single-handedly saves this film. Dante is easily the best villain of the franchise and one of the best antagonists of the past few years. He brings such a charming and affable charisma to the role, as well as a terrifying underlying energy. Dante is a sadist who relishes chaos and harming others, but with a jovial outer shell. I’m as shocked as anyone that such a phenomenal and potentially iconic villain came out of a “Fast & Furious” movie, but here we are.
“Fast X” also benefits from being the first film in the franchise to have actual stakes, not only because of Momoa’s incredible villain but also since it’s the first part in the conclusion to the saga. The writers are able to construct a legitimately suspenseful narrative by challenging the characters beyond their ability to simply drive a car. They lose their resources and reputations and spend most of the movie split apart from each other. Several people on the internet are comparing the film to “Avengers: Infinity War,” and while Infinity War is a hundred times the film “Fast X” is, they do share similarities in scale, plot design, and stakes.
Incredible villain and surprising stakes aside, “Fast X” doesn’t escape most of the flaws of the franchise. There’s still laughable melodrama, cartoonish action, “how are you alive?” moments, goofy family monologues, and Vin Diesel struggling to act. That being said, these are all things people know going in. No one is expecting something grounded or profound from these movies. I’d prefer the film to actually understand physics, but I can roll with most of the punches because it’s following a series of films which are just as, if not far more, over-the-top.
Your enjoyment of “Fast X” largely depends on your tolerance for this kind of film. It’s trashy, obnoxious, and self-indulgent, but the writing is shockingly decent and Jason Momoa’s Dante is a far better villain than this franchise deserves.
Click here to read my review of “F9”