What to Watch This Weekend – Fast X

Fast X is the continuing story of a family that lives life a quarter mile at a time. As a team of international off-the-books spies, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew have amassed an impressive rogue’s gallery. After decades of serving them chaos, destruction, theft, and death—the bill comes due. Enter Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa). Ten years ago, Dom and his crew stole a bank vault from Dante’s father, Hernan (Joaquim de Almeida). The incident ended Hernan’s life and since then his son has been plotting revenge. Now Dante seeks to make Dom suffer by targeting those he loves most, especially his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry). In response, Dom’s squad bands together to create a united front against this new threat.

What works in Fast X is the adrenaline-fueled spectacle, filled with equal parts of thrills and fun. If there was an Academy Award for best stunts/choreography, Fast X would walk away with the prize and it wouldn’t even be close. Director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) leverages practical effects over CGI whenever possible, and the results show. This 10th installment in the series has yet again found new creative ways to engage in vehicle warfare. The results are some of the best action sequences to date. The scale and scope of Fast X feels massive, but also relevant. Because as impressive as the visuals are, they will keep audiences’ rapt attention not due to the explosions but rather the stakes involved. After so many films, the Fast and Furious franchise has slowly done a service to its characters by moving them away from one-dimensional stereotypes and into people with depth and motivation.

Speaking of characters, Momoa (Aquaman, Game of Thrones) as Dante is a marvel. It’s not easy to be simultaneously hilarious and sadistic, but Momoa pulls it off with impressive aplomb. His villainous performance will, justifiably, be the buzz of the film. It’s endlessly entertaining to watch him taunt Dom and his crew with childlike glee. In a franchise where everyone is already having fun, Momoa shows up and asks them to hold his Corona.

People who have a passing interest, or less, in the Fast & Furious movies likely won’t be won over by Fast X. To its supreme credit, Fast X is probably the most self-aware film of them yet with lots of winks and nods, but there remains an unhinged level of absurdity. Physics and biology are not welcome here. This might frustrate some viewers whose suspension of disbelief only goes so far. Furthermore, while it would be a stretch to call the previous 9 (10?) movies required viewing, those who have stuck through the installments are bound to enjoy this latest entry more as it serves as a direct continuation. This is not a entry point for newcomers.

Fast X is a remarkable feat. After hours upon hours of content, this latest outing feels fresh, funny, and bombastically entertaining. This is a franchise that knows the finish line is closer than the start and refuses to leave anything on the table as it begins to close out with several bangs.

Recommended if you Enjoyed: Avengers: Infinity War, Mission Impossible: Fallout

Fast X is available exclusively in theaters starting on May 19th.

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