Courtesy Universal Studios

Movie Review: Fast X

07:00 May 26, 2023
By: Fritz Esker

The tenth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise is as bloated, silly, and over-reliant on CGI action scenes as any previous installment in the series.

Fast X, which is allegedly the penultimate film in the series, is part of a new trend of splitting super-long movies in half. However, movies split in half still need to work on their own as individual movies. The Empire Strikes Back is part of a continuous multi-film story and ends in a cliffhanger, but it's still a film with a clear structure and clear character arcs. Fast X has no such structure. When it ends, it just ends abruptly.

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team of car thieves find themselves the target of a revenge campaign launched by the unhinged son (Jason Momoa) of a Brazilian gangster they had killed. Fast X, which is just the first half of that storyline, somehow takes 141 minutes to finish.

Aside from the previously mentioned CGI-heavy action scenes that last an eternity, Fast X, just like most of the other films in the series, has lots of Toretto and others blathering on about what a family the car thieves are. The film also seems to feel like it has to bring back almost every other character (far too many to list while adhering to a word count) from other Furiousmovies for an appearance. As a result, the film just feels shapeless and unfocused.

Watching Fast X made me appreciate Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (a good mainstream blockbuster entertainment) more. Guardians 3, like Fast X, juggles a lot of characters and is trying to wrap up a story that's been going on for a long time. But the relationships between the characters in Guardians 3 at least feel somewhat genuine, so the finale does have an emotional kick that Fast X seems to be trying for but fails to achieve. Guardians 3 also managed to have arcs for its main characters. Fast X has none. It's just a lot of cardboard dialogue sandwiched in between repetitive action scenes.

Action movies also heavily depend on the quality of the villains. Here, Jason Momoa's character is too jokey and campy to ever be taken seriously. Even worse, the jokes aren't funny and many of the scenes where he attempts to be funny are just cringey.

But when a franchise has lasted as long as the Furious films have, its fans will likely show up no matter what and others know enough to stay away (unless you have a side gig writing movie reviews).

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