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Fast X

By Abhishek Sharma | May 22, 2023

F9: The Fast Saga went soo over-the-top with its bizarre action sequences and the “family” that it became overwhelming. Taking a car to outer space is lousy writing despite an interesting redemption story for the antagonist. Everything was made stupider by how it was choreographed and put together with VFX. So, I went in with a similar notion for Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier. But I admit, I really liked what writers Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau offered, and I was glad to be proven wrong.

The Fast & Furious franchise does NOT suddenly shift gears in its tenth main installment. In fact, there is more over-cranked action and illogically advanced technological jargon. Jumping a car off an airplane? Check. Coming out of a seemingly deadly collision alive? Present. Non-sensical mechanical upgrades to vehicles and the non-evolving self-referential drama? Everything that has made this franchise stagnant is here. Amusingly, there’s a self-referential dig at the franchise, “God and gravity-defying” action and stunts when Aimes (Alan Ricthson) irritably declares his unpleasantness towards the “family.”

“…a highway chase and car stunt Dom and company pulled ten years ago had unintended consequences. Now, Dante tracks, tricks, frames, and captures all involved.”

Fast X also tries to let viewers into an interlinked storyline that intends to conclude the mega-hit franchise with a bang. And that effort makes the tenth film an upgrade compared to its last two installments. There are callbacks to the past, appearances from old faces, and a new attempt to spread out the cast and their respective place. This contrasts with other films, which deliberately congest everybody in one frame. These additional elements in the otherwise familiar theme allow one to sit through the goofiness and enjoy the adrenaline-pumped action beats.

We begin with a decade-old flashback from Fast Five. A new character, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), is featured, and we are taken through a crash course of the film’s setup. Paul Walker’s archival footage sends one back in time. It turns out that a highway chase and car stunt Dom and company pulled ten years ago had unintended consequences. Now, Dante tracks, tricks, frames, and captures all involved. Are Dom (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Han (Sung Kang), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and the other family members finally in over their heads? Or can they band together and save the day once again?

The film juggles its colossal familial motifs and preachings for quite a while. But then, in an unusual twist, the narrative invites Dante into Dom’s world. Though appearing in the opening prologue, it’s not until this moment he shows off his sociopathically cunning and maddening nature on-screen. He shows up wearing unusual yet attractive colors, acting hysterically manic, and being right-out destructive. This amplifies the ever-enlarging scale of damage, explosions, and collisions.

Fast X (2023)

Directed: Louis Leterrier

Written: Justin Lin, Dan Mazeau

Starring: Vin Disel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Momoa, Jordana Brewster, Brie Larson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, John Cena, Charlize Theron, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

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"…leave your brain at the door and strap in for the ride."

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