Where do you go after a franchise travels to space? Well Fast X answers that with a look back to the past. Plausibility has always been lacking in this series of films so don't expect things to be grounded. However, by pulling plot threads from Fast Five the series has finally delivered a villain to match the ridiculous bombast of the action.
While logic has never been a strong quality of the Fast film, Fast X is almost logic free. A mega bomb destroys half of Rome, characters switch alliances without explanation, and the plot is as convoluted as usual. This is all cut by a deliciously campy performance by Jason Momoa. Whenever the film gets a little too earnest or self-serious, Momoa comes in with a welcomed lunacy.
The film opens with a reminder of the incredible bank vault being dragged through Rio scene from Fast Five. We learn that Reyes, the villain of that film, has a son Dante (Momoa). He sees his father killed and is now set on getting revenge on Dom (Vin Diesel) and his family. Don't overthink this connection, the Fast lore is full of holes. From there the film is a globetrotting hunt to save various people connected to Dom that Dante has targeted.
Who knew the thing that would breathe new life into this series would be a villain that feels like a flamboyant version of Norman Stansfield, Gary Oldman's corrupt psycho-cop from Leon: The Professional? Momoa giggles, quips, wears his hair in double buns, and paints his nails. His outfits alone are a blast to see.
Peppered in between the large action set pieces, the regulars of the series all get moments. All of it is pretty routine stuff. The jokes between Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson are getting a little stale. The knock-down fights Michelle Rodriguez is typically featured in are blurring together. Newcomer Brie Larson doesn't add a whole lot to the party. John Cena is fun here playing against Dom's 8-year-old son.
Director Louis Leterrier understands the assignment when it comes to action. It is silly, trashy fun to see what physics-defying act Dom and crew will achieve next. The pacing is quick as well. A heads up though that this is clearly part one of the final films for the franchise. It doesn't end with any kind of resolution so set your expectations correctly.
Fast X is an improvement over the last two films in this long-running franchise. This is largely due to Momoa's inspired performance which adds a welcome sense of silliness to a series that had become far too self-important.