May 15, 2023

CINEMA | Furious Times Ten – 'Fast X' Drives Into Car–nage

"It's like a cult with cars!"
Jason Momoa Louis Leterrier | Fast & Furious 10 | Fast X
Universal Pictures / Original Film
French action filmmaker Louis Leterrier takes over the directorial reigns from longtime Fast & Furious franchise director Justin Lin, who previously helmed five entries and remains credited as co-writer/producer, after abruptly departing the tenth film only a week into production. Fast X (aka Fast & Furious 10) is an ultra-maximalist sequel directly addressing the events of Fast Five. It takes the "family" to unhinged levels of car-based cinematic carnage and mayhem across the globe.

Original stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez return as our favourite, seemingly superhuman, street racers turned international operatives, Dom and Letty. They remain desperate to protect their family yet constantly put them in danger while living fairly out in the open despite their international notoriety.

Franchise newcomers Jason Momoa, the films true star, and Brie Larson co-star as the son and daughter of two separate, now-deceased (or maybe just missing) characters from previous films. Momoa's Dante is off the charts levels of outrageous chaos as an inspired, Joker-esque figure whose sole purpose is destroying Dom's life while keeping him alive just long enough to inflict emotional pain. He is let loose with his vampish banter and one-liners, teasing a pansexual sense of flamboyant machismo.

Vin Diesel | Fast & Furious 10 | Fast X

Franchise favourites John Cena, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron, who all started as villains before becoming (reluctant) allies to the team, also return but have little to do as most of the team is separated. There are also some insane, borderline non-sensical cameos that either make no narrative sense or grind the film's momentum to a halt in between either massive action sequences or an endless barrage of hand-to-hand combat fight scenes.

There's not a whole lot to Dan Mazeau and Lin's script aside from the aforementioned quest for vengeance where Dante seeks revenge for Dom's collateral damage from Brazil. Fast X is fun but exhausting in its wild sense of colossal destruction. Diesel's hammy approach to the material has remained surprisingly durable in spite of the narrative limitations of a street racing-based story.

Fast X is supremely silly and big dumb blockbuster fun, even for the Fast & Furious franchise. The stakes have gotten so big with far too many recycled elements and star actors. Replacing new, staler versions of old characters wears thin despite mostly enjoyable performances and insane scale of action.

More | YVArcade / Inverse / Polygon / ScreenCrush

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