Jason Momoa Flamboyantly Steals The Show In This Ridiculous Yet Entertaining Wild Ride

May 19, 2023

You will either watch “Fast X” or you won’t. It’s not a film series that people are on the fence over, and they’ve probably made up their minds long before now. The multibillion-dollar franchise that kicked off over 20 years ago has left what it originally was far behind, eating its dust. However, this penultimate entry in the series has an ace up its sleeve that few will have seen coming.
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One of the franchise’s new additions, Jason Momoa, plays bad guy Dante Reyes. He’s the son of “Fast Five” villain, drug lord Hernan Reyes. He’s out for revenge after Vin Diesel‘s Dominic Toretto and Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner stole the family’s fortune in a heist in Rio de Janeiro. Reyes Jr. has been plotting ever since, biding his time and putting pieces in play, but now he’s ready to crush Toretto, his crew, and his family, taking away everything he cares about.
Momoa, under the encouraging eye of director Louis Leterrier, goes all in on creating a villain who is as flamboyant as he is menacing, stealing every scene he’s in. He’s fabulously megalomaniacal, part Joker and part pantomime baddie, mining the dark tones and comedy beats like his life depends on it. Momoa is always best when he is having fun with his acting, and what “Fast X” has given him is a role of a lifetime. The actor, who has described Dante as someone with “daddy issues” and “sadistic, androgynous and a bit of a peacock,” embodies and embraces those qualities flawlessly. Even though it is Vin Diesel’s at the top of this franchise’s Totem Pole, “Fast X” is Momoa’s movie. He is a revelationary riot.
If you have never seen a “Fast” film before and this is where you decide to get on board, even if little of what is going on makes sense, his performance is worth the price of a ticket alone. Drink it up.
To say “Fast X” has an ensemble cast wouldn’t even begin to cover it. With Toretto’s circle seemingly increasing exponentially with each movie, the fact that “Fast X” gives every character something to do is to its considerable credit. In addition to the legacy cast including Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, and Nathalie Emmanuel, “F9: The Fast Saga” addition John Cena returns, as does Jason Statham‘s Deckard Shaw, Helen Mirren‘s Queenie and “The Fate of the Furious” nemesis Charlize Theron. Aside from the marvelous Momoa, new faces include Brie Larson as Tess, the daughter of Kurt Russell‘s (absent) agent Mr. Nobody, “Jack Reacher” lead actor Alan Ritchson playing solid addition Aimes and Rita Moreno as Abuela Toretto. There is a reason for everyone being there, the size of the role they play might differ widely, but no one feels like a spare part. With this being the first installment of the franchise’s two-part finale, you get the sense that you haven’t seen the last of any of them.  
After the messy and absolutely bananas “F9: The Fast Saga” and over-the-top but disappointing “The Fate of the Furious,””Fast X” takes pages out of the books of both, mixes it with lore, and kicks it up a notch. While the previous entry took some of Toretto’s collective into space, this is comparatively more grounded of the three, even though it is, for want of a better phrase, absolutely ridiculous. The “Fast” movies have always been larger than life but, in recent years, have required an almost entire suspension of disbelief, and this one is no exception. That said, even in its most extreme moments, “Fast X” grounds itself in the insane and unreal but with an accepting tinge of ‘Sure. Why the Fast not?’ part of the action movie Venn diagram. It’s exhausting and exhilarating, and when the audience has experienced what it has to get here, everyone knows all the bets have been off for a long time.
Of course, the set pieces are breathtaking ballets of mayhem; one involving a bomb rolling through Rome might be the longest in the franchise yet, and like doing shots of pure adrenaline. Others are shorter but no less impactful and, in between being reminded of the importance of family, are as entertaining as they are captivating. However, now and then, the effects aren’t quite right and yank you out of it. Something not being real is one thing, but there is a line. The upside is that the carnage will draw you back in just as quickly. There are moments of hamfisted and clunky dialogue too, but if you’re looking for, or expecting, something more cerebral, you are in the wrong place.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about “Fast X” is how it toys with multiple tones. Audiences expect mind-blowing action and intrigue, tender moments involving family, and some humor, but this is perhaps the first entry with moments where the comedy is much darker. Also, some of the straight darker moments have hints of horror. Leterrier has managed to juggle and mesh everything together without ever feeling overstuffed, messy, or lacking narrative or stylistic cohesion and should be given the credit it deserves. While best known for his film work on “The Transporter” films, “Clash of the Titans,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Now You See Me,” it feels like his episodic TV work has given him the skills needed to not only deftly weave this web of arcs but nail the cliffhanger. 
“Fast X” is what it is, and that is an absurdly fun popcorn movie. That is nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re down with that, that’s great. If not, why are you here? [B-]

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