Fast X Review: Jason Momoa Is the Only One of Us Having Any Fun

Movies
fast-x-review:-jason-momoa-is-the-only-one-of-us-having-any-fun

You may recall that the last entry in the Fast and Furious saga, 2021’s F9, featured a sequence in which two of the Avengers our heroes—the comic foils Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges—drove a car into outer space. There is not anything quite as wacky as that in the 10th and latest installment, Fast X, but there are still plenty of reality-defying stunts that keep this franchise from returning to Earth in any fashion that’s recognizably rooted in reality.

Still, back in F9, one got the sense that the film was at least leaning into its sheer ridiculousness, which made it more palatable and entertaining. With one notable exception, however, Dominic Toretto’s much-discussed Family is now taking itself far too seriously. As a result, the 141-minute movie is a fairly lumbering and tedious sit.

The exception is Jason Momoa as villain Dante Reyes, who in a bit of blatant retconning turns out to be the son of drug lord Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), defeated by Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and executed by Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) in Fast Five. It’s not clear why Dante has waited five movies to exact his revenge on Dom , but it seems likely that he spent at least part of that time watching The Dark Knight over and over and perfecting his Heath Ledger/Joker impersonation.

Yes, Momoa borrows heavily from that iconic performance—with a bit more sashaying and prancing – yet despite the derivative nature of his delivery, he’s terrific. It’s obvious that he’s having a blast and, as we often say, acting in his own separate movie. The same can’t be said for the rest of the Fast cast, who know exactly what movie they’re in and are starting to show signs of fatigue.

In a bit of a twist, Fast X starts off with the now-standard cookout in Dom’s backyard, instead of ending with it. Abuelita Toretto (Rita Moreno) gives the usual homily about family. The rest of the plot is pretty simple: Momoa’s Dante wants to avenge the death of his father by not just taking out Dom but also making sure that Dom sees the rest of his family—including Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Gibson), Tej (Bridges), Han (Sung Kang), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Jakob (John Cena), along with Dom’s son Little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry)—tormented and killed first.

Dante is ready to go to extreme lengths to accomplish his mission too. The film’s first major action sequence features the crew chasing a bouncing neutron bomb through the streets of Rome where Dante’s (again, Joker-like) ability to stay three steps ahead of the crew and have traps laid out for them certainly makes Momoa the franchise’s deadliest foe yet. But there’s just one problem with all this: The beats are so familiar by now that a certain numbness sets in, and it’s also become very evident over the course of the last few movies that the stakes in the Fast franchise are virtually nil. This is an issue when the characters, while graduating over the course of the series from illegal street racers to high-tech intelligence operatives, are still supposed to be human in some way.

But no human could withstand or survive the chaotic, pulverizing destruction that is wrought upon their bodies and vehicles, let alone even accomplish it (even if it looks more computer-generated than ever). And as we’ve also seen, thanks to the return of the supposedly deceased Han in F9, even death doesn’t keep these folks down. Hence how even a new death scene doesn’t even carry any emotional weight because it’s just as likely that the character will be back by Fast XI (supposedly the last one, although Diesel has been grunting something about a trilogy lately).

Again, this might all be much more fun if the franchise as a whole embraced its essential, absurd nature. But every time it steps in that direction, the turgid, by-the-numbers script, and especially the performance from Diesel himself, pull it back into the same endless speechifying about the family and faith and loyalty. That’s what makes Momoa’s performance so jarring. It stands apart from the rest of the film, even if Momoa’s doing a variation on the Clown Prince of Crime.

Elsewhere, most of the ensemble, aside from Diesel and Rodriguez, get shortchanged in various ways. Gibson and Bridges’ patter is stale by now while there is barely a shot in which Emmanuel isn’t chained to a laptop. Brewster is barely in the thing. As for Cena, his abrupt swerve from master assassin in the previous film to a kind of goofy uncle in this one is indicative of the real lack of attention paid to these characters as the series has gone along, although the actor does play to his comedic strengths and gets by on his sheer charisma.

The guest stars are all trotted dutifully out but given little to do. Of all of them, Charlize Theron’s Cipher perhaps fares the best while Helen Mirren, Jason Statham, and Scott Eastwood, along with newbies Brie Larson, Alan Ritchson, and Daniela Melchior, are all given a few minutes of screentime then hustled off.

As usual, Brian (the late Paul Walker) is said to be around and “safe” somewhere, but the series has really backed itself into a corner by pretending that he won’t come out to play even as his best friend Dom faces his gravest threat yet—a big, glaring elephant in the room that the franchise has utterly failed at handling.

Aside from Momoa’s flamboyant display, Fast X borrows other elements liberally from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, from the pursuit of a bomb in a truck through city streets (The Dark Knight Rises) to even lines of dialogue (“Oh, you wouldn’t be interested in that,” lifted right from Morgan Freeman’s mouth in Batman Begins and handed to Cena, also about a new vehicle). It’s kind of surprising that they didn’t go the well-worn “villain allows himself to be caught” route.

The aforementioned bomb chase sequence is actually quite exciting to watch for the most part, and a few of the other action sequences—as digitized and wildly impossible as they are—provide more than a few thrills, which is fairly impressive since Fast X is directed by pinch-hitter Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk), who too over from the abruptly departed Justin Lin. Those scenes combined with Momoa’s presence provides at least some spark of life to the movie, which more or less runs out the clock and ends with a cliffhanger. It’s not a spoiler to say that; we all know that Fast XI or Furious One Short of a Dozen, or whatever it’s called, is on the way.

There’s also a short tag before the credits roll that exacerbates some of the problems we’ve discussed, as well as a mid-credits scene that many of you have heard about by now. If Vin and company aimed for their Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises here (with a side of Avengers: Infinity War), then surely the Fast version of Avengers: Endgame is next. But Vin, please, let’s end it there.

Fast X opens in theaters on Thursday, May 18.

The post Fast X Review: Jason Momoa Is the Only One of Us Having Any Fun appeared first on Den of Geek.

Tag Post :
Movies
Share This :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Post

Try Our TV & Internet Services Just For $20 per month

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore

Categories

We Can Help You to Watch Your favorite Tv channels with NO lag no freeze, Worldwide channels, movies, series, and much more.

Newsletter

Developed by Future Tech Solutions

Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.