Fast X – movie review

Adrenalin pumping action and a big-name cast feature in Fast X. The film is the tenth in the Fast and Furious franchise, which began in 2001.

The pretence for Fast X goes back to 2011’s Fast Five. You might recall from the earlier movie that Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew took out nefarious Brazilian drug kingpin Hernan Reyes and decimated his empire on a bridge in Rio De Janeiro. What they didn’t know was that Reyes’ son, Dante (Jason Momoa), witnessed it. Dante has spent the past 12 years masterminding a plan to make Dom pay the ultimate price.

Dom’s eight-year-old son (Leo Abelo Perry) is targeted. As a result, Dom’s crew straddles the globe, as the action moves from Los Angeles to Rome, Brazil to London and Portugal to Antarctica. New and unexpected allies are forged, while old enemies resurface. The movie ticks off returning stalwarts such as Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Jason Statham. And that’s not to overlook John Cena, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron. The newbies include Brie Larson (Room), Daniela Melchior (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) and legendary Oscar winner Rita Moreno.

The franchise has managed to step up the high-octane stunts from one film to the next – and so it is here. That’s where Fast X and director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) really excel … and it happens from the get-go (no spoilers, other than to say an old friend reappears and brings a tear to the eye).

It’s no use imploring you to suspend belief, because we passed that point years ago. So long as it involves a muscle car or, to up the ante, other heavy-duty machinery, nothing is off-limits.  No idea is too crazy, whether that be on the road, in the air or in the water. Let’s face it, that’s one of the main reasons that the series continues to resonate and with Fast X they have pulled out all stops.

As Dom, Diesel plays his usual stoic, principled, family-first self (admittedly that mantra and his recitation of it is starting to wear thin) … always with one hand on the throttle.  John Cena has a significant role as uncle Jakob, for the most part protecting Dom’s son, while putting the pedal to the metal. Brie Larson makes her mark as Tess, who distances herself from the shadowy government organisation The Agency, which used to be run by her father. As for Tej (Ludacris), he’s constantly baiting and sniping at Roman (Tyrese Gibson), who is such an easy target. Meanwhile, Jason Momoa revels in the bad guy role: full of bravado, broad grin on his face throughout. He’s one of the best things about this film.

While the vengeance plot in Fast X is familiar territory, franchise stalwarts should find enough to savour in the awesome special effects.

Alex First

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