Fast X Review: Who Needs Logic When You’ve Got Family

The end of the road begins. Fast X, the tenth film in the Fast & Furious Saga, launches the final chapters of one of cinema’s most storied and popular global franchises, now in its third decade and still going strong with the same core cast and characters as when it began. Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family have outsmarted, out-nerved and outdriven every foe in their path. Now, they confront the most lethal opponent they’ve ever faced: A terrifying threat emerging from the shadows of the past who’s fueled by blood revenge, and who is determined to shatter this family and destroy everything—and everyone—that Dom loves, forever.

Fast X Trailer:

Fast X Video Review:

The Good:

With the tenth movie in the bag, Fast X knows what people are coming to see, and it delivers in full when it comes to the stunts. There’s no question that many of the chase scenes are exhilarating to watch and the explosive situations are enough to make Michael Bay drool. One of my favorite moments was the chase scene in Rome. What made it work for me was how practical they made the sequence feel. Sure, it was over the top, but in this Fast franchise, it actually had a pragmatic feel to it. (Until the end, but I’ll address that later.) No matter how insane some of the stunts were, you still couldn’t help but watch the madness ensue.

Jason Momoa as Dante in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.
Jason Momoa as Dante in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

Of all the performances, the absolute best highlight was Jason Momoa. He clearly was channeling his inner Joker with his performance. What I loved was how his performance matched up perfectly with his character, Dante. He was an absolute problem for the Fast family and it was refreshing to see a villain be so completely unhinged. The crazy thing is that Momoa’s character manages to accomplish things that the whole franchise wishes but can’t. For example, Dante’s commentary throughout the series is spot-on and hilarious. It was like all the positive energy that would go into making a movie great flowed into him and left everyone else out to dry.

The Bad:

While I did enjoy watching most of the stunts in Fast X, they always seemed to find a point of absurdity that made me check out and roll my eyes. The sad thing is that a lot of the stupidity that happens in the stunts are completely unnecessary. Either that, or they’re so unbelievable that whatever sense of urgency you may have felt being built up, immediately goes away because an outlandish moment makes you feel like you accidentally turned on a cartoon.

The other thing that made me check out at times was Vin Diesel and his acting. It’s kind of odd to see this character go from the mysteriously cool persona from the first couple of films to now being a super-strength, inspirational-quoting Rocky wannabe. Trust me, I NEVER go into these movies looking for award-level acting, but Diesel’s performance was cheesy and cringy most times he wasn’t driving a car. A lot of the contrived emotional drama felt like a low-budget soap opera. I should also mention, without spoilers, Dom Torretto is a terrible parent.

Vin Diesel as Dom in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.
Vin Diesel as Dom in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

Diesel wasn’t the only culprit either. Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce wasn’t one of my favorites either. I’ll grant that comedy is subjective for sure, but Tyrese’s scenes simply didn’t work for me. Every single one of his scenes felt like a deleted scene that forgot to be deleted. Will you get some cheap laughs? Maybe? For me, I’m just a little exhausted with his character not really adding anything meaningful to the franchise besides corny, poorly-timed, forced jokes.

When it comes to the plot of Fast X, the story was doing the absolute most. There were so many subplots and characters to juggle that the almost 2.5-hour run time started to weigh down at times. So much attention is misplaced on Dom that the other characters suffer as a result. Thankfully, a random action sequence was thrown in to help keep your attention. However, even then, I still found myself questioning why Fast X kept forcing situations in an inorganic way. People would be cool one minute, and then out of nowhere, they’d just start fighting. Why? Because fights are cool? Plus, the drama felt so forced. With so much of the story going all over the place, emotional beats fell flat because they had no time to really develop and pay off. Not to mention, given the fact that this franchise doesn’t allow characters to stay dead, the stakes in this film are lessened even more.

The Verdict:

Fast X is a culmination of all the nonsensical action that the Fast & Furious franchise has devolved into, yet manages to entertain audiences to some degree. It carries the same awe of a fireworks demonstration and the wonderment of witnessing a car crash. With ten movies in, and God knows how many more left to go, I’ve given up expecting this franchise to get any better. At the same time, being a fan of the first 5 movies, and loving the beautiful Paul Walker tribute in Fast 7, I fully admit that I’m not going anywhere. I‘m still going to watch these movies because I’d love to just see them finally cross the finish line. 

Vin Diesel as Dom in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.
Vin Diesel as Dom in Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier.

I’m fully aware Fast X doesn’t take itself seriously. I’m aware that no one is asking for Shakespearean-level acting. I watch action movies all the time and I know the standards. But the Fast and Furious franchise constantly finds a way to reach a new low while still throwing shiny explosions and cars on screen. It’s gotten so low that I think the Fast Franchise can’t even be compared anymore to other action films. In a similar way to how the John Wick franchise has separated itself into a different action category, so has Fast and Furious. It’s because of that I’m really tempted to judge this movie on a curve. It’s like a B-movie with a Hollywood budget and production team. At the same time, I also see how Tom Cruise manages to raise the stakes and stunts in each of his Mission Impossible movies proving that you can have action and logic work simultaneously.

If you wanted a sense of what Fast X will give you, I think it’s a combination of the absurdity brought to you in Fast 8 (The Fate of the Furious), but it’s a step above Fast 9. If you’re good with senseless action, corny jokes, and literally unbelievable stunts that abuse helicopters and cars, then Fast X is exactly what you’ll want to see.  Stay tuned for one post-credit scene that hopefully wasn’t spoiled for you. If you need to play catch up, the Fast & Furious collection is available on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Fast X

Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer(s): Justin Lin & Dan Mazeau
Stars: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jason Momoa, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, John Cena, Jason Statham, Sung Kang, Alan Ritchson, Daniela Melchior, Scott Eastwood, with Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Brie Larson and Rita Moreno
Fast X hits theaters May 19, 2023. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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Fast X Review: Who Needs Logic When You Got Family
  • Acting - 6/10
    6/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/10
    7/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 5/10
    5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
    7/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
    8/10
  • Rewatchability - 6/10
    6/10
Overall
6.5/10
6.5/10
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About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Rotten Tomatoes Approved, Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He's contributed to other outlets such as ScreenRant andThe Wrap, and has been featured on television such as MSNBC. Be sure to join the other fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]