Fast X is the eleventh film in the Fast franchise, a series that began with street races and became about globe-trotting spies defying the laws of physics. Louis Leterrier directs Vin Diesel and the rest of the Fast family, including Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Jordana Brewster. Joining the franchise for this installment are Brie Larson and Jason Momoa who plays the film’s villain.
The plot – to the extent that there is one – involves a villain from Dom’s (Diesel) past threatening his family. Momoa’s character wants to “make [Dom] suffer,” which is presumably why he passes up so many opportunities to dispatch Dom in the first reel of the film.
Momoa is the best part of Fast X. He’s playing the villain seemingly as queer with brightly colored nail polish and costume choices and a demeanor that borders on fay, which doesn’t work quite as well. The key to any movie as ridiculous as Fast X is for the actors to know what kind of nonsense they’re up to and to have as much fun with it as possible. Momoa understood the assignment and came to play.
The Fast franchise has historically ignored the laws of physics, and Fast X is no exception. However, while it’s part of the deal an audience makes with this movie to accept that a car can outrun an explosion and drag a multi-ton safe at ungodly speeds down the freeway, much of the editing makes some of these scenes incoherent and unintelligible. There are also a fair number of instances of teleportation editing: characters are in one position, and after a cut, suddenly the characters have teleported to another position. In one action sequence Dom uses a broken car door to deflect bullets, as one does, but in the previous shot the car door was nowhere in sight.
The audience for Fast movies knows what they want and like, but I think Fast X will disappoint even them, as the action sequences are not as good as other entries in the franchise. Fast X is not the end of the Fast films, but it has a penultimate feel; hopefully, for fans of the franchise, other entries will improve on this one.