They really missed an opportunity to use “FasTEN Your Seatbelts” as a tagline for this one. Ok, I swear, that’s the last time I’m using that joke.
Once again focusing on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his ragtag group of racers, criminals, special agents, and of course, family members, Fast X acts as the first part in a two-part series finale that no one asked for. Doubling back to the events of 2011’s Fast Five, the main draw of this one comes in the form of the flamboyant drug lord Dante Reyes (Jason Mamoa) as he takes revenge on Dom for offing his criminal father and turning his life upside down. What follows is another over-the-top tale of what it takes to keep Dom’s family together while coming to terms with past deeds that have returned to haunt them in a way that could spell doom for everyone involved, Dom’s young son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) especially.
I don’t know what I expected from a series that has quite literally gone to space and back, but it certainly wasn’t this steaming pile of a cash grab, so let’s get the positives out of the way first so I can bash this movie for what it is: Jason Mamoa is clearly having a good time as the latest bad guy to have beef with Dom and his family, a role I enjoyed him in despite his character’s terrible scripting, and some of the action sequences are somewhat entertaining to see. That’s it. And no, I’m not exaggerating.
From action beats that are almost entirely computerized to dramatic elements that are indistinguishable from a Telemundo soap opera to characters and dialogue that are cringe to the max, this is the Fast & Furious franchise at its worst, and that’s saying something considering the up and down quality of what we’ve gotten over the years. Telling a pointless, aimless, and contrived story that tries to pretend it’s being clever by looping past movies into a script that does nothing of note, the fact that the best parts of the movie are the handful of reused Fast Five clips ensures this film is a constant reminder of how far this franchise has fallen in from where it once sat, as Fast Five is still hands down the best in the series. Furthermore, and I don’t really care if this is a spoiler, the filmmakers deciding to end this film right in the middle of an action sequence as if I actually care about what happens next is one of the most annoying ways a movie like this could have ended, legitimately making me groan out loud in the theater. Gross.
Fast X is a complete and utter disappointment in my book, made even worse by the fact there’s still one more entry left in this franchise to suffer through before it’s all over. And while I still don’t understand why the talent involved in this series can’t find a way to cobble together something of better substance, I honestly don’t think they care enough to bother with putting forth the effort anymore as long as this series makes money, which I hope this one doesn’t. At least that mid-credit sequence could lead to something interesting, but I’m not holding my breath.