Fast X Review: Not Out of Fuel Yet, But Your Mileage May Vary
“Fast X” has arrived with a squeal of tires and an explosion of adrenaline, proving yet again that the franchise is not out of fuel, though the mileage may vary. “Fast X” AKA “Fast 10” AKA “Fast Ten Your Seatbelts… groan” serves as the latest high-octane entry in the long-running “Fast and Furious” franchise and is a relentless joyride, careening headlong into absurdity with unflinching audacity. It offers a smorgasbord of bombastic action sequences that, while ludicrous (and also feature Ludacris!), are undeniably entertaining. Every set piece is a spectacle of its own, with muscle cars dropping from planes causing mayhem on an epic scale.
However, the film’s reliance on CGI sometimes overshadows the gritty essence of practical stunts that the franchise once celebrated. The spectacle feels artificial, somewhat disconnecting from the thrill of stunt driving that feels more “real.” Furthermore, the attempt to incorporate every historical star from the franchise into their own individual action moments felt somewhat overloaded and under-delivered. We get it, you’ve got a lot of ‘memberberries to serve up, but it needs to be a bit more tactful.
Jason Momoa, who plays Dante, the villain in the film, stands as a beacon in the otherwise underwhelming cast performance, though. Momoa’s character is fascinating to watch, oscillating between flamboyant responses and sinister machinations. He is a delightful paradox, making him one of the most entertaining elements of the film. And yes, the returning cast also brings their characteristic charm, each receiving an equal share of the limelight. The film’s pacing is commendable despite juggling so many characters and plotlines. However, this certainly feels like the first part of a bigger story, leaving some narratives feeling underdeveloped.
The transition from Justin Lin to Louis Leterrier as director was met with some skepticism. However, Leterrier’s direction, particularly his management of the action sequences, is a pleasant surprise. His touch introduces a refreshing energy and creativity to the franchise without straying too far from its established style and tone. And the overall humor infused in “Fast X” is a welcome touch. Momoa’s Dante takes the lead in this aspect; his flashy responses and attempts at being menacing leave the audience laughing both with and at the movie. A few duds butt against the rest of the film, including one bizarre cameo, but for the most part, the film moves and works well.
As an addition to the “Fast and Furious” franchise, “Fast X” stays true to the series’ new roots of unapologetic melodrama and insane action sequences. Yet, it begs the question – does it truly necessitate a multi-part finale? The cliffhanger, while intriguing, raises concerns about the risk of bloating the franchise. I mean, this ain’t “The Hobbit,” and that was an unnecessary trilogy!
Still, in this final lap, “Fast X” is an exhilarating, albeit flawed joyride and a high-octane romp that captures the franchise’s spirit with its over-the-top action and humor. It’s a thrilling, if somewhat uneven, installment in a beloved series that doesn’t seem to know when to hit the brakes.
RATING: 3.0 out of 5.
Fast X is in theaters on May 19th.