‘Fast X’: A Franchise Running on Low Fuel


‘Fast X’ Poster (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

By Graham Jones, Arts Writer, Audio Producer


In June of 2021, I spent a week watching all the Fast & Furious movies back to back. The experience was something akin to a fever dream. It was constant noise and action filled with melodramatic speeches about the importance of family. I had never had so much fun watching so many terrible movies. Since then I have labeled myself as a “Fast & Furious Fan,” acknowledging the series as the popcorn schlock it is while also touting them as some of the most entertaining films you can experience. Even “F9,” the now infamous installment where the crew flies a car into space, was a hoot despite being one of the worst things I’ve seen projected on a big screen. Because of all this, I had to catch the newest installment “Fast Xas soon as I possibly could. 

The End of the Road

“Fast X” is the first installment in what star Vin Diesel says will be a three-part finale to the action franchise. In the film, Dominic Toretto and his family are split up when a mysterious enemy from their past emerges, set on destroying their peaceful existence. Each crew races against time to defend against the sinister foe before he makes a strike too damaging to fix. 

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, “Fast X” is a terrible movie. The cast is over-stuffed with big-name actors and the story is convoluted to the point of incomprehension. It’s hard not to feel like you’ve just stuffed your face at a fast food buffet when the credits finally roll. Its two hours and 20-minute runtime feels longer than the three-hour abstract dark comedy “Beau is Afraid,despite having action sequences every ten minutes and refusing to ever use an unmoving shot.

The dialogue is unintelligible and feels like the cross between the writings of a seven-year-old and ChatGPT.  Even the most mundane of lines are worthy of laughing out loud due to the actor’s straight-face delivery of them. I haven’t seen a film this bewildering since well, “F9″.  That all being said, the Fast & Furious franchise is one of the few, if not the only series of films where being good isn’t a requirement for receiving a recommendation.

Jason Momoa in ‘Fast X’ (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)


Jason Momoa Steals the Show

Looking at the returning cast, there’s not much new. Everyone is giving the same, stilted performances they’ve been giving for the last three installments. For Diesel, there are at least a few times where the script asks him to look scared which is an emotion I rarely see from the actor. The biggest and only performance worth commenting on comes from the new cast member Jason Momoa, who plays the franchise’s newest big baddie, Dante.

Momoa is essentially playing a modern, more flamboyant version of the Joker who happens to be really into cars and artillery weapons. The character of Dante brings a refreshingly dark sense of humor to the series which can often be off-putting but equally intriguing. I can’t help but somewhat respect Momoa’s dedication to such a silly role, giving his all to every outrageous line and action he is given. While I wouldn’t call it a great performance by most acting standards, it certainly elevates the film and makes it a far more entertaining watch. 

Non-Stop Bonkers Action

As mentioned earlier, “Fast X” is filled to the brim with action. Characters don’t talk for more than five minutes before being thrown into a 20-minute action sequence. As the first big chase sequence of the film began, I felt myself already becoming exhausted by the collision of loud cars and endless gunshots. Yet, as it evolved into a 60s Batman bomb sequence on steroids, I found myself being sucked into the absurdity of it all. This is how I felt most of the movie, letting the action play as white noise until the physics were dropped and the scenes became crazier and crazier in concept. When I’m seated for a Fast & Furious movie, I’m seated for ridiculous, out-of-this-world, testosterone-fueled action sequences — not the basic car chases I’ve seen done better in hundreds of other movies. “Fast X” delivers scenes of ludicrous action but only after revving up for what I would argue is too long.

Vin Diesel and Daniela Melchior in ‘Fast X’ (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

I enjoyed watching “Fast X” more than “F9″ but it is obvious that any resemblance of quality control has been thrown out the window. “Fast X” is the second worst film of the year, only standing ahead of the Gerard Butler atrocity “Plane.” 

I found myself entertained by a large section of the tenth installment, but I can’t say that it deserves my recommendation even as a nonsense popcorn flick. Momoa’s goofy performance and the preposterous fight scenes are fun but were not engaging enough for me not to check my watch multiple times throughout the film. For me, “Fast X” would be a fantastic airplane movie or something to have on in the background as I do house chores. 


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