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Fast X review: Old and new faces keep the engine running

It's been a long time on the road but Jason Momoa's maniac villain gives the franchise a jolt

Vin Diesel and Daniela Melchior in 'Fast X'. Image via AP
Vin Diesel and Daniela Melchior in 'Fast X'. Image via AP

Fast X is a two-hour, 21-minute volley of action scenes and set pieces designed around hand-to-hand combat, souped-up cars and flying machines that hops between Los Angeles, Rome, Rio, Portugal and London. Director Louis Leterrier makes the most of his budget and playgrounds, launching a spherical bomb into Rome which hurtles through the streets. As cars and drivers try to avert the explosion, the bomb is like a ball bouncing off objects and riding along ramps in a pinball game. A gigantic vault is dragged through Rio in another crazy scene that is sure to be a fan favourite. Still, there’s nothing nearly as outlandish as launching a car and a couple of characters into space as they did in Fast 9

The opening scene of Fast X reverses 10 years to present a patchwork backstory that yanks Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) out of domestic bliss with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and their son Little B (Leo Abelo Perry), setting him on a collision course with Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), son of drug lord Herman Reyes. Fiercely protective of his family, Dom’s past deeds, particularly a theft in Rio De Janeiro, are now catching up with him, making his family most vulnerable and rattled by the unpredictable and unhinged Dante, a maniac thirsting for vengeance. He’s camped up, amped up and blows things up with glee. 

After 20-plus years (the first Fast & Furious film released in 2001) the recurring cast seems neither as fast nor as furious. Momoa, with his painted nails and cutesy hairstyles—imagine Johnny Depp’s Captain Sparrow styled by Zoolander—infuses this sequel with a burst of energy.

Legacy characters such as Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludcaris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Han (Sun Kang) return for the 10th episode. A mission, seemingly commissioned by Mr Nobody’s agency, takes this skilled team to Rome, under the leadership of Roman, where they learn of the ruse. A new adversary reveals himself and overpowers team Toretto. The contest between team Dante and team Dom is neither even nor fair. Even the cars are not always able to match Dante’s firepower. Dom is forced to pull out every driving trick to save his family and friends, even if it means some European cities will be collateral damage.  

Fast X is a set up for key characters from the last nine episodes to make a reentry and for some new stars to make unexpected debuts. John Cena as Dom’s brother Jakob Toretto, Charlize Theron as cyber terrorist Cipher, Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw and some other old favourites make surprising appearances, along with the addition of new faces such as Brie Larson as Mr. Nobody’s daughter Tess. The surprise returns and new players keep the engines revving in anticipation of the eleventh film (due in 2025), slated to be the concluding part of the Fast franchise.


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