Fast X is Absurd, Over the Top, and Extremely Enjoyable

Exaggerated. Over the top. No logic. Brainless. Explosive. Nonsensical. Improbable. Cheesy.

There are just so many ways to describe what the Fast and the Furious franchise has become. From its humble beginnings as a half-racing half-cop title to a spy/heist film with 15-minute runway chases and spacefaring cars that we know of it now, I think what people tend to forget about is that the movie is also fun, and sometimes, isn’t that all that matters?

Fast X is the latest installment in the long-running franchise that sees Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the son of slain kingpin Hernan Reyes from Fast Five, take on the whole family all by himself. With all the money he can get at his disposal, he has masterminded a plan that took 12 years in the making, all to take revenge on the team that took his family away from him.

It’s the toughest challenge that Dom (Vin Diesel) and his team will take on, and will Family be enough this time to overcome the odds?

First off, if you’re planning to watch Fast X without any prior exposure to the earlier installments, you’ll be missing out on important context. While the chronological order of events does not necessarily reflect the release of each of the films, some events in this movie will only make sense if you’ve watched previous installments. The action is still enjoyable, but I don’t really recommend diving into this one without exposure to the series.

I think the series is really great a finding these opportunities that, as unreal and as absurd as they may seem, bring another angle to the story that the directors and producers can exploit and make it seem like everything was really connected together from the start when it probably wasn’t. You got revelations like Jason Statham being the agent that crashed Han’s car in Tokyo Drift, and now, with Dante Reyes taking revenge for the death of his father. I’d say more, but I’m approaching spoiler territory here, so you get the drift (heh).

Doing all of this retroactive stuff works for the most part, but the plot as a whole isn’t the smoothest. Truth be told, I don’t think anyone expects a smooth-flowing story with intricate pieces woven together tightly at this point, and Fast X has a lot of sequences with separate groups of characters (Tej/Rome/Ramsey, Dom/Jakob, Letty/Cipher) that go back and forth like a disjointed mess. You’ll really have to just switch your brain off at some point and enjoy the ride.

The action in Fast X is as crazy as you would expect. If you’ve seen any of the trailers, it very much carries the trademark features that make this Fast film a Fast film. You’ve got cars jumping out of planes, a rolling bomb that threatens to blow up the Vatican, neon-lit street races, a lot of big guns and fancy cars, and much more. It’s hard to top past stunts and sequences like going to space, but Fast X is still balls-to-the-wall action that’s explosive and enjoyable as long as you’re not locked to logic.

FAST X - Vin Diesel and Daniela Melchior

One thing that ties Fast X together is the stellar portrayal of Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes. Momoa is flamboyant, and sinister, and is easily one of the best villains that the series has ever seen. He makes for a very compelling villain with over the top acting and cheesy one-liners, but there are times when you’ll really feel a level of hatred toward him, which is a sign of an effective character. It would be a smart move if he goes on to be the final villain as the series comes to a close because it is very hard to top him in this regard.

As with any Fast film also comes cheesy scenes that talk about family and other serious themes. At this point, it feels out of place, but also necessary at the same time since the whole theme was really built with that idea in mind. Family is stronger than anything, and it somehow miraculously saves the crew from the absurdity of any situation they’re caught in.

In fact, coming from F9, you’ll see Han, who we all thought was dead, make a return. It was explained there how his “death” was made to be the best way for him to stay alive, and no matter how crazy that sounds, we’ve all just come to accept that the family plot armor in the whole series is excellently ridiculous. Fast X has a lot of sequences here that defy logic, so keep an eye out for a very disarming smile toward the end of the film and how it sets things up in the next film!

FAST X - Jason Momoa

Overall, Fast X is really just more Fast and the Furious, but it was way better and enjoyable than I thought it would be. You’ll get more explosions, more stunts, more bullets and bombs, and more craziness as the family take on Dante Reyes. Most importantly, no matter how absurd it becomes, Fast X is simply fun and definitely unmissable. It’s not the type of movie to win awards nor will it be praised for excellent writing, but nobody can deny that it’ll leave you wanting more after its two-hour and twenty-minute run time.

Oh, and stay for a mid-credits scene that is certainly electrifying!

Fast X opens in Philippine Cinemas on May 17, 2023 courtesy of Universal Pictures.

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