The road is long, with many a winding turn. That leads us to who knows where… who knows where.
Given this is a franchise that started in 2001 with Californian street racers ripping off Panasonic VCRs, then turned them into international secret agents last seen launching a car into effing space (in 2021’s F9), it was hard to fathom where the Fast Saga could possibly escalate to next. But, with a new and capable pair of hands at the directing wheel in Louis ‘The Transporter’ Leterrier, Fast X screeches in determined to top all that’s gone before — while clinging tight to the Fast & Furious formula that made the series an unlikely box-office phenomenon.
It's all here: the perma-sleeveless Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) dispensing gravelly dime-store wisdom (“No-one starts at the finish line”; “Fear is the best teacher”; “Nothing’s impossible, you just have to have faith”). His ever-expanding team of heisters, bantering and bickering and making up and hugging. A token street race, featuring many close-ups of ladies’ bottoms. A bunch of ‘surprise’ guest appearances. Repeated use of the ‘f’ word (and we don’t mean ‘fuck’). A barbecue. And, of course, a fistful of OTT car stunts that “violate the laws of God and gravity,” as new Agency antagonist Aimes (Alan ‘Reacher’ Ritchson) puts it during one chokingly tongue-in-cheek monologue.
It’s utterly ridiculous. It’s kinda brilliant.
So you’ll witness Dom tackling a flaming neutron bomb on the streets of Rome, using his car to fight with helicopters, and driving it down the side of a dam pursued by what appears to be an avalanche of fire. It’s utterly ridiculous. It’s kinda brilliant.
The thin plot-tissue connecting these entertainingly preposterous set pieces is provided by a bit of retconning (another F&F tradition) that inserts Jason Momoa’s Dante Reyes into the thick of the climactic action of Fast Five, where his evil pappy Hernan dies. Described as both “a monster” and “the Devil”, this vengeful villain is hyped up as the deadliest baddie the Toretto crew has yet faced. But, if we’re supposed to treat Fast X as Infinity War on wheels, Dante doesn’t convince as a muscle-car Thanos. He spends much of his time perched in a high place with an impossibly good view, remote-controlling vehicles while cackling like a chunky Joker, dressed in a style reminiscent of Everything Everywhere’s Jobu Tupaki and pulling off ballet poses. Momoa’s commitment to unhinged flamboyance almost works, but for the most part he’s just flummoxingly irksome. We’d like to have seen a bit less of Dante, and a bit more of the psychedelic muffin (don’t ask, just watch).
After recent revelations by Vin Diesel about the film being part one of a climactic trilogy, it doesn’t feel too spoilery to say Fast X ends on a massive cliff-hanger, giving its final moments the vibe of those old-timey matinee serials where you know you can’t trust anything you’ve just seen — especially given this 22-year-old series’ predilection for resurrection. But, hey, one shouldn’t overthink such things. This is Fast & Furious. Logic is but a vanishing point in its rear-view. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.