Facebook Twitter


Everything about “Fast X,” the latest entry in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, is big. Really big.

The a-lister cast list is a laundry list, including returning stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Charlize Theron along with the addition of Marvel superheroes Jason Momoa and Brie Larson. The villain is faster and more furious than ever before and the action can only be described as bigly. There’s even a surprise cameo from one of the world’s biggest movie stars.

But is bigger always better?

A jumble of the usual mix of family, friends, fast cars and flashbacks, “Fast X” begins with relative calm in the world of former criminal and professional street racer Dominic Toretto (Diesel). The patriarch of the “F&F” gang, he has left the fast life behind, and retired with wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and his son Brian. “We used to live our lives a quarter mile at a time,” he says. “But things change.”

Not so fast, there Dom.

Dom’s past comes back to haunt him in the form of flamboyant villain Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the sadistic, revenge fueled son of drug lord Hernan Reyes. “I’m Dante,” he says by way of introduction. “Enchanté.”

Way back in “Fast Five” Dom and Co. were responsible for the loss of the Reyes family fortune. “The great Dominic Toretto,” Dante snarls. “If you never would’ve gotten behind that wheel, I’d never be the man I am today. And now, I’m the man who’s going to break your family, piece by piece.”

Cue the set-up to the second part of the franchise’s three-part finale. It is, as they say on the movie poster, just the beginning of the end.

In the “Fast & Furious” world the word “ludicrous” is not just the name of prominent cast member Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, it’s also the name of the game. Since the franchise’s humble 2001 debut, the movies have grown bigger and sillier with each entry. “If it can violate the laws of God and gravity,” says Agent Aimes (Alan Ritchson) in “FX,” “they do it twice.”

The latest one redefines ridiculousness.

The out-of-control car stunts that crowd the screen have no touchstone in reality, other than the cars have four wheels and drive along streets when they aren’t bursting into flames or flying through the air. It’s as if the wild car chases were dreamed up by fourteen-year-olds playing with their Hot Wheels sets as images of canon cars danced in their heads. Anything goes, and no idea is too big or too ludicrous.

When the tires aren’t squealing, Dom is whinging on about the importance of family with a straight face and a serious tone that makes Leslie Nielsen’s “Naked Gun” deadpan look positively flamboyant. Only Momoa seems to understand how colossally silly the whole thing is, and has fun pulling faces, doing a Grand Jeté or two and peacocking around as he rolls a neutron bomb through the streets of Rome. It’s a ludicrous performance in a completely ludicrous movie and it fits.

The bombastic “Fast X” is overstuffed with characters—it seems like every actor in Hollywood has a cameo—plot and, if this is possible, it is overstuffed with excess. The very definition of “go big or go home,” it is for “F&F” fans who have been along for the ride for more than two decades everyone else may want to take a detour.

Comments are closed.