Movie: FAST X
Rating: PG-13, intense sequences of violence and action, language and some suggestive material
Release Date: May 16, 2023
Jeanne: FAST X --- or FAST & FURIOUS 10 --- is truly a non-stop action film. Written by Dan Mazeau and Justin Lin based on a story by these two writers along with Zach Dean, director Louis Leterrier must have had a massive spreadsheet to keep track of all the machinations.
This time around, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) is being hotly pursued by the insanely vengeful Dante (Jason Momoa), whose father, Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), was killed by Dom in FAST FIVE (2011). Oh --- and Dom also stole Dante’s family fortune --- so there’s that, too. Anyway, Dante has been biding his time to exact his revenge, focusing on ways to destroy Dom’s crew and family --- particularly his son, Brian Marcos (Leo Abelo Perry).
FAST X is the first of a three-part finale to the FAST & FURIOUS franchise. Many of the long-time players, such as Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Jordana Brewster and Charlize Theron have returned to join in the mayhem. New additions include Momoa, Brie Larson as Tess, the daughter of Mr. Nobody, Daniela Melchior as Isabel, a Brazilian street racer, Alan Ritchson as Aimes, the new head of Mr. Nobody’s agency, who doesn’t like Tess or Dom, and the always fabulous Rita Moreno who plays Abuelita Toretto, Dom’s grandmother. If you’re not impressed --- you should be.
Filmed in Los Angeles, Italy, Brazil, London, Portugal and Antarctica featuring a plethora of astonishing cars --- even electric ones --- FAST X is one helluva ride. The special effects are incredible --- and bonkers --- along with phenomenal and implausible stunts.
The entire cast certainly brings its A game. Diesel and his crew are magnetic, and watching Rodriguez and Theron go at it is a blast. But it is undeniable that Momoa steals the film. He’s absolutely hysterical --- and wacko --- the perfect villain. Seriously, he’s a hoot --- a maniacal hoot. He looks like he’s having the time of his life. And though Helen Mirren’s appearance as Queenie is brief, it’s always great to see her on screen.
Despite all the action nearly putting David to sleep --- and a tad too-long running time of 141 minutes --- FAST X is thrilling to its core. Add Brian Tyler’s eclectic soundtrack to the mix and another blockbuster is here with a vengeance.
Opinion: See It Now!
David: The tenth entry in the FAST & FURIOUS franchise is appropriately titled FAST X. It features an all-star cast that includes returnees Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, John Cena, Jason Statham, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Jordana Brewster, Helen Mirren (cameo) and Charlize Theron. A slate of new characters includes Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson and Rita Moreno. So, the question I ask --- is it possible for one of the aforementioned to steal the show?
The answer is yes, and it is Momoa. He plays Dante Reyes, the son of the man who was killed by Dom Toretto’s (Diesel) team years before --- and he wants revenge. Momoa provides virtually all the comic relief as the gleefully effeminate Dante but with a distinct aura of evil. He wants Dom’s young son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) dead.
As fans of the franchise know well, these films feature a massive amount of car crashes, explosions and death. And some fantastic stunts, especially motorcycle riding which Momoa, known as an expert biker, does on his own. Thus, his sly inuendoes and posturing are a welcome change to all the chaos and destruction.
Diesel shows a great deal of empathy for his wife, Letty (Rodriguez) and their son, and he also loves his Dodge Chargers. Cena displays his usual tongue-in-cheek playing Uncle Jakob, Dom’s younger brother who takes Brian under his wing.
The women of FAST X are vicious fighters. Theron and Rodriguez have a fitful battle and Larson is athletic, agile and credible. She has wanted to be a cast member in a FAST & FURIOUS entry for a long time. Now that she has made it, she says her family thinks she’s cool --- finally.
French filmmaker Louis Leterrier, known for many action movies, takes the helm of FAST X, his first time as director in the series. The story takes place in a variety of global sites --- like Portugal and Antarctica, plus Rome, London, Rio and Los Angeles, where it all started over 20 years ago. Award-winning Director of Photography Stephen F. Windom has plenty to show for his efforts.
Opinion: See It Now!