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Review: Fast X is coming for Hunt, Wick and Bond

Vin Diesel is Dom in FAST X, directed by Louis Leterrier

My, my, there are a lot of people in Dom Toretto’s family. So many, in fact, that Fast X is only part 1 of a duology. The story was supposed to end the Fast & Furious franchise, but now that Fast X’s sequel (and a 12th film) have been slated, this might run and run (or, if you will, drive and drive).

A movie this big needs to service its cast, and Fast X does this so well. The pace is breakneck and the plot absolutely preposterous, seamlessly blending laughs with stunts and sappiness. Viewers who require accurate physics in their cinematic experiences checked out of this franchise long ago, but the rest of us are in for one hell of a ride.

Fast X begins with the introduction of the villain, Jason Momoa‘s Dante, a textbook psycho who has embraced both coding and his inner queen. Dante holds (surprise!) a long-gestating grudge against Vin Diesel‘s Dom. Dom, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Dom’s son Brian host a family lunch at their LA home. Key crew members Roman, Tej, Ramsey and Han chug beers and chill out, allowing Roman to brag about finally being in charge of a new covert ops mission in Italy for Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood). The cosy scene is ruined by the arrival of former villain Cypher (Charlize Theron) who has been attacked by Dante and lets Dom know that Dante is coming to “make him suffer”. After Dante frames Dom for a game of big bomb pinball in Vatican City, the gang surges to the top of security agent Aimes’s (Alan Ritchson) hit list. Dom must find out who is and isn’t part of his family.

Fast films hinge on top talent doing wild stunts and Fast X impressively fills 2.5 hours without pumping the brakes. That means that everybody gets an arc and there’s still plenty of room for Best Actress Oscar winners (Brie Larson, Helen Mirren) to turn up and provide a little sass, and sporty musclemen (John Cena and Jason Statham) to get creative with vehicles and their fists. Diesel might be on screen the most, but the star of Fast X is undoubtedly Momoa. His buckets of charisma (just) steer the performance away from Pantomime with his knife-licking, quippy one-liners and a wardrobe to die for. Dante just might be my favourite villain of the 21st Century.

Jason Momoa is Dante in FAST X, directed by Louis Leterrier

Two people who are not part of Dom’s crew are Ethan Hunt and John Wick, but their fingerprints are all over director Louis Letterier‘s movie. No longer a driving franchise, Fast X is a full-on action-adventure, with martial arts, sky-high explosions and some light spy craft. Is Toretto trying to give James Bond a run for his money?  The film cleverly plays as the greatest hits of the entire Fast franchise, Leterrier’s tongue is firmly in his cheek with this very knowing outing. And of course, the credits are worth staying for…

Fast X is perfect silly summer cinema. Is it too big? It can’t be if we’re all living 2.5 hours at a time while still wanting more.

Fast X is in cinemas on 19th May 2023.

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