Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years. Humans turn into superheroes. Muscle cars with hydraulics turn into space-age Chitty Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs.
So much has changed since copper Brian O’Conner (the late Paul Walker) tore up his Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R to take down future boon companion, street crook Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel, before he didn’t order editors to overlay a filter over him to shed fifteen years off his age) in Rob Cohen’s now unpardonably refined Point Break-riff The Fast and the Furious (2001).
Nine sequels later, Diesel still siphons the Fast inlet, cranking out bigger, bolder, and more bonkers-mad instalments at every mile. And despite the fact they’re essentially the same movie each time out, with the same predictable three-acts and “family” barbecue (at which time the film’s villain understands all is forgiven before being offered a Longaniza) before the fade to black – I challenge anyone to tell you the plot of each of the last nine films.
That’s how much the play like restored versions of one another.
Still, audiences keep circling back for another look.
If they’ve done a U-turn for Fast X hoping to see an uptick in characterisation, a brilliant libretto at play, or a performance by Diesel that doesn’t resemble a photo of a raw burrito with someone’s mouth speaking through a cut-out hole in it, their Falkens may come away a bit flat. On the other hand, if you return to these films for pure, leave-your-brain-at-the-door popcorn entertainment, something somewhat comforting for fatigued, overworked heads, and a good giggle – seriously, these films can now only be described as ‘Police Academy for Goodyear club members’ – Fast X and its recent predecessors are expendable entertainment that please like McHappy meals at a kids birthday party.
In the latest chapter of the franchise, ‘Dom’ Toretto (Diesel) and the ‘family’ are paid an unwelcome visit by a young man (Jason Momoa) claiming to be the resentful son of one of their past adversaries. This terrifying, well-driving mad-man is hellbent on destroying every man connected to his father’s demise – including any family members connected to the core group.
Is director Louis ‘The Incredible Hulk’ Letterier’s Fast X any better than the last few films in the serious?
Not sure, which ones were they again?
Anyone remember what happened in them?
Does anything eventful happen in this one that catapults this one into franchise pole position?
Can’t say it does.
Does it entertain?
Oh boy, does it ever — the two and a half hours fly by thanks to non-stop, seemingly stitched together wacky action sequences that don’t make a lick of sense but spur popcorn-choking thanks to their sheer lunacy.
The one thing Fast X, said to be the first in a three-part finale (I’ll believe it when I see it), has that precious instalments didn’t is the incontestably talented Jason Momoa. Momoa, even better here than he was as the titular fish man in flashy superhero hit Aquaman, is an absolute hoot as the new rogue – hamming it up with a diabolically delightful and hilariously over the top turn that channels every live-action incarnation of the Joker we’ve seen combined with Charlie Sheen, fresh from his Tiger blood transfusion circa 2010. He really goes for it here.
So, if you’re in the mood for something non-taxing, want to have a laugh (at truckloads of greenbacks being tossed onto the screen – not sure how much of that goes to that special overlay that’s used to make Diesel de-age and, seemingly, glow), and are keen to see Momoa go full Patrick Bateman, there’s worse spots you could park than in a seat before a theatre screen projecting Fast X.