FILM REVIEW — Great action saves “Fast X”

Published 12:02 am Friday, May 19, 2023

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“Fast X”

Universal Pictures

Directed by Louis Leterrier

Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Momoa, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham and Jordana Brewster

Rated PG-13

2 ½ Stars

The 10th installment in “The Fast and the Furious” movie franchise zooms into theaters this weekend with the somewhat disappointing title of “Fast X.”

It’s as if the filmmakers have stopped trying to come up with cool names for their movies, knowing full-well audiences won’t care about that as long as the action sequences are top notch.

I find myself firmly in that camp. “Fast X” is a film with a nonsensical plot and a cast that’s so expansive that many of them fail to make an impression. Much like its title, this is not a good movie, but I don’t really care.

This is a film filled to overflowing with exciting car chases and fight sequences. It’s edge of your seat stuff, and I suspect if you are a fan of the previous few films in the franchise, then you will also enjoy this latest ride.

Lazy title and all.

The plot, what little of it there is that makes sense, introduces us to a new uber villain, Dante, who’s played by an over-the-top Jason Momoa. He’s the son of the bad guy from “Fast 5” and has declared war on our heroes and everyone they love.

He will enact his revenge through a series of highly orchestrated and completely implausible action sequences that are so crazy they are utterly delightful.

Roll a giant bomb through the streets of Rome in an attempt to blow up the Vatican? Sure, why not?

Drive your car off an airplane and land it smack-dab in the middle of a car chase? Okey-dokey.

After you’ve driven a car into space, as happened in the last film, there simply isn’t any action sequence too crazy for franchise.

Despite the brilliant stunt work, the surprise in this movie comes from Momoa’s campy villain performance. These films have always featured manly-men in pure hero-mode, so it’s a hoot watching Momoa prancing into the scene with a queer-coded character who is very funny but also undeniably dangerous.

Apart from the muscle cars, he delivers the most-enjoyable performance in “Fast X.”

The rest of the cast doesn’t fare as well, but I can’t really blame the actors. There are so many characters in this franchise that it’s difficult to remember who they are and why we should care about them.

Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez are still the stars, with Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson adding some comic flair, but the rest of the cast gets lost in all the mayhem.

Still, nobody in their right mind is going to see “Fast X” for the acting or story lines. That’s a good thing, as there are a few lines of dialogue here that are wince-inducing clunkers.

But the film’s many faults are quickly forgiven whenever Diesel mentions anything about “family” before peeling out in his muscle car to once again save the world through a series of physics-defying stunts.

It frequently doesn’t make much sense, but I grinned all the way through. I can’t wait to see the next film, although I’m hoping for a better title than just “Fast XI.”

Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Orange Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at