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‘Fast X’s Resurrections Undermine the Franchise

May 26, 2023


Editor’s Note: The following contains Fast X spoilers.

Who would have guessed in 2001 that a street racing ripoff of Point Break would end up spawning one of the most consistently profitable blockbuster franchises in the industry? While recurring sagas like Mission: Impossible and the James Bond series have characters, stories, and hallmarks that elevate them above most action franchises, The Fast and the Furious saga has continued to court viewers with its incredibly ridiculous stunts, performances, and story beats. While The Fast and the Furious saga seemed to have found its way following the release of Fast Five, the last few sequels have pushed the absurdity to a level that’s making them less fun. When any character can seemingly be resurrected at any point, it’s hard to invest in anything ahead of the finale. The latest installment Fast X only underlines this further by continuing to revive seemingly-dead characters — most notably Gal Gadot’s Gisele.
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Fast X introduces a softer side of Dom (Vin Diesel), who experiences a joyful period in his life where he can bond with his son Brian Marcos (Abelo Perry) and his wife with Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez). However, Dom’s world is suddenly rocked by one of his past heists; the embittered son of the drug dealer he robbed in Fast Five, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), is out for revenge. Reyes is sadistic, but he’s intelligent and has found a way to expand his surveillance techniques by holding victims’ loved ones captive and adding new soldiers to his ranks; he absolutely destroys Cipher’s (Charlize Theron) criminal network in just one scene through his manipulation. He even comments that while she wanted to save the world, he wants to see it suffer and burn. Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Jakob (John Cena) are racing to reach Dom’s safehouse, but Dante has his sights on tearing apart Dom’s family by kidnapping his son. He lost his father and sees stealing Brian as the first step in a master plan. Unfortunately, the characters don’t feel more vulnerable by the end of the film; they just feel more indestructible.

RELATED:‘Fast X’ Ending Explained: The Family Learns All About Fear

Which Characters Get Resurrected in ‘Fast X’?
Fast X brings back more characters presumed to be dead when Gisele surprisingly returns from the dead to rescue Cipher and Letty. Letty herself was initially killed off before her survival was revealed in Fast Five, and Gisele’s death in Fast & Furious 6 was apparently not fatal. Han has also been resurrected thanks to F9, and both Owen (Luke Evans) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) have survived multiple dashes with death. Fast X also ties in characters once thought to be on their own paths, with Dwayne Johnson returning as Luke Hobbs as yet another ally to Dom after the notorious public dispute between Johnson and Diesel. The only deaths in The Fast and the Furious franchise that seem to stay dead are the villains; at this point, it wouldn’t be a shock to learn that Dom’s father is out on some deserted island and returned to serve as his mentor in the next two films.

Reviving characters seriously reduces a reason to get emotionally attached to any of this nonsense, because death seems to never be final. This is an issue that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had, as fake-out deaths were normal before, and the issue has only been intensified in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame thanks to the seemingly unlimited potential of the Multiverse. However, Marvel seems to have thus far managed to cut off future appearances by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), whose deaths (and in Steve’s case, retirement) seemed to truly impact fans. It only makes the final moments of Avengers: Endgame more tragic and moving, as Downey Jr.’s last words to a tearful Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) serve as a definitive closing point for the iconic character. The Fast and the Furious films will never have that power, because any death of an important character needs to be second-guessed. It doesn’t help that the increasingly ridiculous death-defying stunts don’t seem to leave any significant injuries or consequences. How many times have we watched Dom and his family ending a movie by having a big family cookout?

Death Doesn’t Matter in ‘Fast X’

During the final action sequence in Fast X, Jakob sacrifices himself by detonating his car and destroying Dante’s men, allowing Dom to escape with Brian. Dom’s reaction to losing a literal brother is shock and sadness, but it leads to immediate questions over whether that fate is permanent. We never see his body, and surviving an exploding car wouldn’t be a shock considering this is a franchise that has been to space. It’s particularly hard in the case of Fast X, which sets up Dante as the most malicious and lethal antagonist of the entire franchise. Jason Momoa’s excellent performance provides a riveting level of menace to the film, but it feels like Fast X is constantly undercutting him.

The film adds a new addition to Dom’s family when Tess (Brie Larson), the daughter of Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell), betrays her federal intelligence orders and comes to his rescue. Tess seems to be critically wounded by Dante in a way that would seemingly sideline her from future missions, but there’s no doubt that she’ll be back with strength in Fast X: Part 2 or Part 3. She had darkly hinted that her father had “gone missing,” in what is likely part of Dante’s plot, but any notion that he’s actually been killed means he’s probably being set up for a big heroic moment at some point. Should we even be surprised if Elena (Elsa Pataky) or Connor Rhodes (Kristofer Hivju) pops up to help? Since nearly all of The Fast & The Furious villains seem to come back as allies, should we expect to see Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), the antagonist of Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw, survive death and find redemption? Elba is a huge star whose cameo would certainly draw applause.

The Fast and Furious saga is set to conclude; The core series looks to be delivering its final chapter with this trilogy. Will Fast and Furious end its narrative on a rewarding narrative like the Infinity Saga, or will it go down The Rise of Skywalker route of being devoid of stakes or emotion? It will all depend on whether or not the saga is brave enough to embrace the consequences it has long been devoid of.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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