Fast X Movie Review

Fast X movie poster

In Fast X, Vin Diesel opens his eyes just wide enough to notice, maybe, that newcomer Jason Momoa is the best and only good thing in this tired, virus of a movie. 

Three entries removed from the franchise’s 5/6/7 apex, which, it should be noted, starred the much more likable Paul Walker, the Fast and Furious franchise has festered, bloated, and spread like a pandemic, latching onto talent such as Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, John Cena, and Jason Statham and refusing to let them go.

Toss in the obnoxious core cast (looking at you, Ludacris, and you, Tyrese Gibson, and hell, let’s throw in poor Michelle Rodriguez, who seems to at least be aware of how lame the Fast movies have become and gives the corresponding effort) and you really have a menagerie of caricatures that still linger because this damn franchise won’t let them go. 

And yet.

Fast X is an improvement over the last one, which was so dreadful I actually refused to go see this one in theaters. It’s still dumb–cars defy gravity, Vin Diesel defies everything else–but under director Louis Leterrier, Fast X isn’t quite so dumb as its predecessors. 

The movie is dotted with several semi-strong action scenes, notably the destructive climax and a sequence which has the crew herding a gigantic bomb through the streets of Rome. Sure, they’re all a little stupid and over-the-top, but in the context of this stupid and over-the-top franchise, the silliness is much more chewable than, say, a car flying to space or Charlize Theron in dreadlocks. 

And then there’s Jason Momoa. He seems to be the only one in the movie who really realizes how outrageous and idiotic this franchise is; he leans in with gusto. His character is ridiculous and poorly written, but instead of going through the motions like most of the returning cast he flexes every flamboyant muscle in his very muscle-y body. He’s a riot and nearly makes Fast X worth watching for him alone.

Fast X isn’t a great movie. It isn’t even a good one. But low expectations combined with some decent action and a ridiculous performance by Momoa injects some NOS into the franchise, helping it accelerate as it nears what is hopefully the checkered flag.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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