Plot: What’s it about?
While I have been a fan of the Fast and the Furious films since the beginning, I can see the wear starting to show. I was fully on board with the 2001 original, and while the quality has varied greatly, I have enjoyed them overall to not nitpick too badly. That is at least until the Fate of the Furious in which I cared very little for, but also the absence of Paul Walker was felt strongly. We all know that Walker died in a 2013 car crash while filming for Furious 7 was underway. That film had a most fitting and satisfying sendoff for that character. Unfortunately, what came next was less than stellar. I won’t get too off topic here, but the previous two installments failed to do much for me. F9 got bogged down in ridiculous flashbacks and revived yet another character from the dead. While I feel Fast X has improved on the previous two entries, it still feels like time to reach the finish line. As of this writing, this film has failed to do a lot of business domestically. Globally it’s a big hit. I bring this up because word has it that they just may be planning on a trilogy to close out this series. With the not-so-great box office results here, that plan may be changed. Time will tell.
We flash back to ten years ago where we meet Dante (Jason Momoa) who is the son of Reyes in which Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his crew robbed from. This takes us back to the events of Fast Five where we not only see actual flashback footage from that film, but also a new perspective that shows Dante was there the whole time. He is presumed dead, and now he wants revenge. We see a lot of the returning characters as played by Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Brie Larson, and Ludacris, to name a few. There is some fun to be had, but mostly, Dom gets the spotlight here, with Dante stealing every scene he’s in. John Cena returns here, and he is now helping Dom with protecting his son. Their scenes get a bit too silly for my taste, but this series lost the sense of realism long ago.
A lot of the praise for the film has singled out Momoa as the spotlight and I only agree to an extent. He’s certainly a flamboyant character, and Momoa is clearly having fun in the role, but I wanted more menace out of the character. He’s setting off bombs, making threats to their family and all that good stuff, but too much of the time, I felt maybe he was let loose too much. He’s having just a bit too much fun here. Momoa is certainly an imposing actor, and to see him get knocked down by Diesel in one scene had me rolling my eyes. There’s that issue, but there’s also a staleness felt here. I was never bored with the film, but I can’t claim that I was truly engaged either. It feels as if the heart is truly missing. There’s also the Paul Walker issue. It’s truly devastating to have lost a major actor who was front and center throughout this series, but the character’s absence is hard to overlook now. I understand this is a hole in which the filmmakers might not be able to come out of, but it feels like the elephant in the room. Sure, they want to be respectful to the late actor, but with three sequels now, we can’t help but wonder where the guy is. The film has a cliffhanger ending, which I hope will be wrapped up by just one more film so this series can finally be put to rest. If spinoffs or reboots are what’s next, then so be it, but it’s beyond time to send these characters off.
Video: How’s it look?
This is the tenth installment in this franchise. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that everyone will know what these will look like visually. Is there a Corona bottle in the mix? Hmmmm, we’ll just have to see about that. Seriously, though, cars, cars, things blow up, gunfire, pretty faces. You know the drill. We’ve seen it all before. Again and again. That being said, it does look spot on perfect. There’s not an error to be found. So if you’re able to disassociate yourself from the goings on screen and focus on the technical details, you’ll be amazed and will have your mind blown.
Audio: How’s it sound?
These films have one thing in common (other than the proliferous use of the word “family”), they sound pretty damn good. The later films (and I have no idea where to draw that line) in particular and the Dolby Atmos mix certainly pulls no punches. You want gunshots? How about tires squealing? The rev of an engine? Things blowing up? You get the picture. This movie will have your speakers humming for the better part of two and a half hours and I’m sure there are those out there that will love it. Admittedly, it does add to the film’s fun (all of them, actually) so if ever there was a time to crank up the volume to 11 – here it is.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- This is Family – Family bonds are always the strongest. Reunite with your favorite FAST family members as we introduce new characters, travel across continents, reveal intimate views of epic stunts, and get personal about the beginning of the end of the FAST franchise.
- Fast Breaks: Scene Breakdowns with Louis Leterrier – Director Louis Leterrier gives insight into some of the magic that went into making the movie, breaking down how he filmed these unforgettable action scenes in legendary locations around the world.
- Xtreme Rides of Fast X – Casting cars like we cast characters. Take a closer look at how classic FAST cars were rebuilt, and which new vehicles are customized and introduced to enhance the lifeblood of the franchise.
- Belles of the Brawl – The women are not to be messed with. Watch as they add their special talents to huge fight scenes, from rehearsal to the real thing.
- Tuned into Rio – Revisit as our story takes us back to Rio de Janeiro, where we’ll experience a non-stop party, exotic cars, and a classic quarter mile street race.
- Jason Momoa: Conquering Rome – Jason Momoa joins the FAST franchise to portray a villain that pushes the team to the brink of disaster. Watch as Momoa discusses his approach to the character, biking down the narrow streets of Rome, and performing his own stunts.
- Little B Takes the Wheel – Get to know the youngest member of the Toretto family as we dive into Little B’s journey and introduce Leo Abelo Perry.
- A Friend in the End – The franchise has a history of shocking end-credit tags, and this one is no different. We take a special look at this scene and why, if you’re watching this, you never want to get up before the end credits are finished!
- Gag Reel
- Music Videos
- “Toretto” by J Balvin
- “Angel Pt. 1” by Kodak Black & NLE Choppa (feat. Jimin of BTS, JVKE & Muni Long)
- Audio Commentary – I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t have an interest in sitting down and listening to a 141 minute long commentary track. I flipped back and forth between the movie and the track and, as expected, it’s what every commentary track sounds like. It’s there if you want it, but this isn’t (and shouldn’t be) the selling point of the set.
The Bottom Line
Fast X does improve on the two mediocre previous films, but that isn’t saying much. This series has revived dead characters and made former foes friends. It feels like they’re really milking it for all they’ve got at this point. It doesn’t matter how big the action is when we stop caring. Hopefully it all ends sooner than later as it truly feels as if the heart is missing.