Fast X review: Iconic action saga kicks off its endgame on top form

·5-min read
L to R: Vin Diesel and Daniela Melchior in FAST X, directed by Louis Leterrier
Vin Diesel and Daniela Melchior in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier (Universal Pictures)
  • 🎞️ When is Fast X in cinemas: 19 May 2023

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🎭 Who's in it? Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Momoa, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Brie Larson, Alan Ritchson, Jason Statham.

  • 👍 What we liked: Jason Momoa is one of the franchise's best villains, the action is as thrilling, and the stakes have been raised incredibly well as the Fast saga enters its endgame.

  • 👎 What we didn't: Some characters are sidelined due to a multitude of storylines and subplots to work with.

  • 📖 What's it about?: Ten years after the events of Fast Five, Hernan Reyes' son Dante is determined to get revenge against Dom and the family, and it'll take everything they have to take him down.

After more than a decade, it is time to say goodbye to the Fast saga, or at least its time for fans to prepare themselves for the end of the iconic franchise.

Fast X, the first of a two-part conclusion (unless Vin Diesel is to be believed), is giving the franchise’s beloved characters one last hurrah by pitting them against their most terrifying enemy yet: Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa).

Read more: Fast X: The story of Fast and Furious so far

Reyes is the son of Fast Five’s villain Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), the Brazilian drug lord who Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and the family thwarted a decade earlier.

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

Fast X opens with the fifth film’s famous vault heist, but this time it tells the story from Dante’s perspective and after his father’s death it’s not enough to kill Dom and the family, Dante wants to make them suffer.

To do this, the villain launches an elaborate plot to tear them apart piece by piece – separating Dom from Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and forcing Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Han (Sung Kang) to go underground after a mission gone wrong.

Read more: Every Fast and Furious movie ranked from worst to best

This effectively splits the film into different factions, with the family trying to reunite whilst contending with a villain who is five steps ahead of them at every turn.

The Fast saga has had many great antagonists over the years, but Momoa is arguably one of the best the franchise has ever had. His Dante is chaotic, unpredictable, and as mad as a box of frogs, but what makes him stand out in the villain gallery is how much fun the actor is having in the role.

Some of the epic car chases in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier (Universal Pictures)
Some of the epic car chases in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier (Universal Pictures)

He embraces the more campy nature of the franchise and takes it up a notch by delivering Dante’s lines as gleefully as possible, making the character all the more ridiculous when juxtaposed with the death and destruction he leaves in his wake.

While there are a lot of storylines to juggle, every character gets their time to shine on camera, even if it's for just one scene.

Watch the trailer for Fast X.

Newcomers like Brie Larson and Alan Ritchson are able to find their place in the Fast family quite easily, so much so that it feels like their characters, Tess and Aimes, have always been part of the franchise.

But, having the family so far apart means we don’t get as many of the fun interactions and there are so many characters, and so many different storylines to contend with, that some end up more sidelined than others, like Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). Hopefully Fast 11 will rectify this.

What other critics thought of Fast X:

The Wrap: Jason Momoa Gives the Exhausted Franchise New Drive (4-min read)

The Telegraph: Trashy, wildly OTT, and just what the doctor ordered (3-min read)

Daily Beast: Even More Ridiculous and Exhausting Than You Think (6-min read)

Some of the epic car chases in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier (Universal Pictures)
Some of the epic car chases in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier (Universal Pictures)

Fast X has also upped the action of the franchise once again, the movie is full to the brim with epic car chases, explosive escapes, and fast-paced action sequences.

Read more: Fast X major cameo spoiled by news outlet, and fans are p****d

Dom continues to be a superhuman capable of surviving any scenario, and the action goes to some thrilling new heights thanks to Dante’s increasingly erratic actions.

There are also a plethora of callbacks, cameos, and moments of reflection that fans will love and serves as a poignant celebration of the franchise as a whole.

Brie Larson is Tess in FAST X, directed by Louis Leterrier
Brie Larson is Tess in FAST X, directed by Louis Leterrier

It is a tall order to try and wrap up a franchise like the Fast saga, but Fast X does a good job of setting the stage for its ultimate endgame: defeating Dante. Everyone — and we do mean everyone — will have to come together to face this formidable enemy, and by its end Fast X has put everything in place for its final act in a satisfactory way.

Although it can feel a tad ridiculous at times, Fast X is still endlessly entertaining, and, really, what more could you want from a Fast and Furious film?

Fast X will be released in cinemas and IMAX on Friday, 19 May.