‘Fast X’ Review: Spectacle, Destruction, Madly Amusing Action & Jason Momoa Fuel Latest SequelMay 17, 2023
Not too many film franchises stick around for more than two decades, but the insanely wild motorized antics of Fast X roar ahead without a thought of applying the brakes.
With its seemingly inexhaustible supply of madly amusing action, this high-octane extravaganza attempts, and not infrequently succeeds, in obliterating any resistance with its disarming, outrageous and self-aware injections of often-hilarious camp. It’s a sometimes jaw-dropping ride that circles the globe in its never-ending search for fresh locations and ways to up the cinematic ante; in the process, it’s able to break down and prevail over its fundamental ludicrousness. It cost a bloody a fortune (reportedly over $300 million) but will make an even bigger one.
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The basics remain the same, but the scale of it all is certainly unparalleled for what began 22 years ago as a modest hot rod-racing drama. In the new film, many wonders of the ancient and as well as modern worlds are destroyed and Planet Earth will never look quite the same again, as remnants of earlier civilizations are blithely blown to bits.
Many characters who have appeared in some earlier Fast films turns up in this one, along with some new faces. The most notable of the latter is the formidable Jason Momoa, whose unhinged personality as the villainous Dante Reyes makes this by far the funniest entry in the series to date. The abundance of hearty laughs gives this entry a welcome added dimension.
At the outset, most everyone in the Fast world seems to be thriving. There’s a family down-hominess to the handful of early domestic scenes that serve to reconnect the viewer to the characters. There is also a host of women, most of whom are basically in and out in short order — characters played by the likes of Rita Moreno, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Cardi B, Jordana Brewster and even Helen Mirren, back for more in what she must consider a royal lark. Or maybe she really does like fast cars.
It seems like almost everyone who has been in a Fast feature and is still alive and turns up in this one, even if in some cases it’s just for a minute or two. But the initial geniality is soon overtaken by an earthly catastrophe, a veritable festival of destruction launched by Dante that obliterates everything in its path. The effects, it should be noted at the outset, are staggering; to be sure, no one’s ever seen such massive earthly destruction imagined in such realistically rendered visuals.
Ancient landmarks, modern wonders and world capitals are destroyed as if they were mere Cub Scout tents, and the attacks are, to employ a far too commonly used word, awesome indeed. And Dante can get away with it, as no one, at least initially, has a clue how to strike back against such aggression. To the perpetrator, nirvana has arrived; he positively exults in his victories and becomes more and more destructive, and fascinating to watch, as he has his way with whatever landmarks — ancient or modern — the world might strike his fancy to be obliterated. The spectacle is, to reuse a far-too-commonplace word, awesome, and Momoa absorbing his exultant satisfaction with his accomplishments is something to see. On top of that, it’s a vastly amusing rendition of a maniac who probably believes that a destroyed world is the ultimate destination, with himself as the presiding survivor.
From a technical perspective, the effects are truly — to use an overused word — astounding. One could just behold the visuals and be gobsmacked, but top that with a trove of impudent humor as the fate of the world’s wonders is so blithely toyed with and you’ve got something.
Title: Fast X
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Release date: May 19, 2023
Director: Louis Leterrier
Screenwriters: Misha Green and Andrea Berloff and Peter Craig
Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Momoa, Charlize Theron, Brie Larson, Alan Ritchson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michael Rooker, Daniela Melchior, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Ludacris, Cardi B, Scott Eastwood, Rita Moreno
Running time: 2 hr 21 min
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