Movie Review: Fast X (2023)

Now in theatres from Universal.

This franchise is officially drifting. More than a dozen prominent movie stars seem to be steering their own disjointed performances within the cluttered contours of a slight plot with a diminishing return of nifty car chases in Louis Letterier’s limping actioner Fast X (C). Vin Diesel has basically devolved into complete caricature as hero Dom, the former criminal and professional street racer, who tries to keep his loved ones safe as a supervillain endeavors to entrap his friends. Luckily that antagonist is played with foppish delight by Jason Mamoa, chewing the scenery in blouses, bell bottoms and chunky jewelry across multiple continents as a psychotic drug lord hell bent on revenge against Dom and his crew. Letterier can’t quite crack the code of new things to do with fast cars and set pieces, and the stunts don’t hold a candle to the likes of the recent John Wick: Chapter 4. We simply get bombs rolling through the streets of Rome like boulders nipping at the heels of Indiana Jones and CGI vehicles dropped from planes and down the slopes of dams somehow continuing to function with nary a flat tire. It’s just as far-fetched as past entries in the series, of course, but it’s just not all that interesting this time around. Many sequences border on parody including Dom’s plaintive glances at photos of people he’s encountered over the years framed on the walls of homes, and they all just look like glossy publicity stills. The dad jokes and macho quips fall rather flat without the stakes being better defined. In addition to a bonkers Mamoa, the only other actors who perform some scenes with relish are the funny John Cena and Alan Ritchson. Actresses Michelle Rodriguez and Charlize Theron are relegated to fight like damsels on Dynasty without benefit of shoulder pads. Most of the movie feels less like a fully fleshed out story than a big budget exercise in passing the time. 

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