Rio’s legendary heist had left a debt that Dominic Toretto’s ‘family’ did not suspect they would face in the future. The (now) dead drug lord, Hernan Reyes, had a son who survived that massacre and is now back for revenge. In the most excruciating way, not just deadly!
What’s the point of writing a review for the ninth (!) sequel to a super-successful franchise that always has to face its fans and face itself? From 2011 (and ‘Fast Five’) to the present day, sequels to ‘The Fast and the Furious’ series films have turned into a ride of cinematic entertainment, a juggernaut of spectacle and action, with the brakes the excess and respectively derailed appeal at the worldwide box office (with the 2019 spin-off, “Fast & Furious” occupying the eighth place in the charts of films with sequels in the history of cinema, grossing $ 6.6 billion recipes!). The only thing I have to pass on to readers, then, since the studio has (again) done its job and delivered us a product worthy of anticipation…those who understand what they are about to see, respect it in the context of the genre, enjoy it and they demand even more, it’s a certain value of positioning and comparing “Fast X” with the previous adventures of Dominic Toretto and… his family.
To put it bluntly, the tenth “Fast” is slightly inferior to “Fast & Furious 9: Street Fighter” for two specific reasons: a) in its action, it is a little more grounded than surrealism … savage (verses and in space!) of the first (some won’t consider this a “flaw”) and b) it has no end!
The former has its underpinnings in the script’s emphasis on family ties and an attempt to make the characters as human as possible, especially after the highly emotional (and realistic) loss of Paul Walker in “Furious 7.” Here the thing’s family is further boosted with the (virginal) appearance of grandmother Toretto (Rita Moreno), while her underage son Dominic is now at an age where his father allows him to drive and do “pedagogical” pirouettes. The intimacy that the other main characters have with each other now makes us treat them like normal family members, so this all has to find its balance alongside the demands of the outrageous action scenes (as usual ). Between these two elements, Louis Leterrier (franchise newbie) is in control and, what’s more, dares to flirt with another form of “extreme”, calling the vengeful son of the blessed Hernán Reyes (of “Fast Five”) ” absolute psycho baby”. ” who never had a happy childhood and in his adult life wishes to “play” with everything that causes him a completely sadistic inspiration. (first time) Jason Momoa’s performance is very controversial, much like Frank Booth of Dennis Hopper marching in a raging Gay Pride, causing less fear (as a super villain) and more…laughs (sometimes clearly on purpose!) However, it’s worth noting that even in this subplot, the institution of the family is the protagonist.
As for the… endless, we now know that Fast X is the first part of a trilogy, so the informed viewer will not be shocked to see the end credits scrolling without the climax of one of the most epic scenes of movie action. What was it like when the Hobbits crossed the river and then… you waited until next year to see the Lord of the Rings sequel? Similar logic is what viewers will be up against here, however, in their (possible) anger moment, Leterrier makes an appearance – a wild surprise from the franchise’s past (even I forgot he’s from “Fast “!), while the end credits “hide” yet another twist concerning the cast of the upcoming sequel (unfortunately, it will have to wait until 2025). And you end up with a good sense of anticipation. You just have to like what you see, for the right reasons.
Otherwise, lots of big, crazy sequences, which (each) feature quite a few classic scenes, explosions, firewood, meltdowns, gravity law debauchery and other natural consequences of injury (in the latter they were surpassed by the fourth “John Wick”!), still in high doses, with a bit of family melodrama (because someone always has to die / be sacrificed). People know what they are doing and they know what their audience expects. Let me repeat it emphatically: their audience. Do you belong there? And we talked about it a lot!
IT’S FOR ME?
I declare a fan. But even without showing sympathy for this particular franchise, I can’t deny that I’m having fun watching something like this in theaters. I don’t like it for “artistic” reasons, that’s what I hear. But… mercy somewhere, can we say that… tortured in a movie theater chair, watching similar spectacle and action on the big screen? Mercy somehow looks like “elitism”! We are dealing here with a product that has leveled its manufacturing specifications since 2011 and vice versa, maintaining its value without “discounts”. The rest is a matter of taste. But not honestly, if you ask me.
By Ilias Fragoulis, in collaboration with freecinema.gr