Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the vengeful son of slain drug lord Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), blames Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) for his father’s death, but he doesn’t just want to kill Dom, he wants to make him suffer by going after his whole family. This is installment one of a two-part finale, so expect a cliffhanger. (141 min.) 

click to enlarge Fast X is a bombastic hoot
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
PSYCHO KILLER QU’EST-CE QUE C’EST: Jason Momoa stars as Dante Reyes, an effeminate vengeful lunatic determined to make the Toretto family suffer, in Fast X, screening in local theaters.

Glen: When it first came out in 2001, I watched and liked the original The Fast and the Furious that spawned this popular franchise, but by the time the third film came along, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), I was over it. These films are for adolescents—obnoxious, ridiculous, and filled with pretty people pulling off outrageous car stunts in a world where the laws of physics and gravity don’t exist. While I haven’t kept up with the franchise—the Hobbs & Shaw (2019) spin-off was the last one I saw—I’m happy to report that missing movies three through nine didn’t stop this one from being amusing. I’m sure I missed a lot of references die-hard fans caught, but if you’re looking for an eye-popping diversion and want to see a swishy version of Momoa machismo and a cloying attempt at making an action film into a family drama, Fast X (Is it “ex” or “10”? I don’t know!), is your ticket to ride. I laughed pretty hard a couple of times, probably not where the writers and director intended.

Anna: I’ve been on the Fast & Furious ride at Universal Studios and watched Hobbs & Shaw with you a few years ago, but other than that, I really don’t think I’ve seen any of the franchise. This was more fun than expected. I remember feeling the same way about Hobbs & Shaw. Honestly, if we pull too far forward over a parking block our car is basically rendered useless, so watching vehicles drop from planes and defy any sort of physics takes a certain suspension of disbelief to buy into the bananas of it all. I know all of these characters, besides Dante, are well established in the franchise, and Momoa seems like an obvious choice to bring on board for the final two films. Are they really going to be done, though? Or is Fast & Furious XI a mere $350 million away from popping up next summer? I guess we’ll wait and see. For now, I have plenty of back catalog to catch up on whenever I feel the need for speed.

Glen: Frankly, I don’t know where the franchise could go after the next installment. They’ve teed-up Gal Gadot as a U-boat captain and the return of The Rock for part two, and this film included Brie Larson, Rita Moreno, Charlize Theron, Alan Ritchson, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, and the usual suspects—Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, John Cena—even a Pete Davidson cameo! Is there anyone in Hollywood who isn’t already attached to the franchise? Stunt-wise, what more can they do? I mean, they shot a Pontiac Fiero into space in F9! The series is as bloated and preposterous as they come. Maybe you’re right. Maybe they’ll resurrect the series after part two of film 10. If they do, I just might check it out. Maybe they’ll hire Henry Winkler to jump a Ford Fiesta over a shark. 

Anna: We can only hope! I doubt these are good on the small screen. I think the only way to capture my attention for something like this is to sit me in a dark theater to see big tricks, big explosions, bigger-than-life stunts. I enjoyed Momoa as the off-kilter bad dude. He was a fun, zany mess. I see why these films are so lucrative—they’re big and bold, and as long as there’s a whiff of a storyline, there’s reason to watch. I’m definitely filing this one under “guilty pleasure.”

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles listings. Comment at [email protected].

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