Review: ‘Fast X” gears up for more road rage, sets up sequels

“Fast X” has a 54% approval rating among critics and an 86% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes.

A movie poster for "Fast X."
"Fast X" is the latest sequel starring Vin Diesel at Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter. The action-adventure movie introduces a new villain played by Jason Momoa.
Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — You can’t outrun your past, It’s been said. And in “Fast X,” a new sequel in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, actor Vin Diesel learns that the hard way.

Diesel returns in “Fast X” as Dominic Toretto, the unofficial patriarch of a crew of like-minded, adrenaline-fueled, thrill-seeking drivers in past installments of the franchise. The motorists have carried out heists, including stealing the vault of a drug lord who was killed in the process.

Toretto’s idyllic home life consists of fixing up cars, giving driving lessons to his son and hosting backyard barbecues with his motley group of fellow drivers. But his now peaceful existence is soon shattered by a former enemy played by Charlize Theron who appears on his doorstep.

Theron surprises Toretto and his wife Letty Ortiz, who is played by Michelle Rodriguez, in the middle of the night at the modest home they share. Theron is there to warn them of a new villain that’s introduced in the new movie through flashbacks played by Jason Momoa.

Momoa’s star is on the rise with performances in the water-loving superhero “Aquaman” in the DC Extended Universe.mashup “Justice League” alongside Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.


Momoa’s crazy and flamboyant portrayal of Dante Reyes as a passionate, physically-imposing and relentless villain hell-bent on revenge for the death of his father a decade ago really drives the plot and the actions scenes along in the demo derby-like movie.

“Fast X” suffers from the bloat of too many characters that have been introduced in the film franchise since “The Fast and the Furious” came out in 2001 and made the gravelly voiced and bald Diesel a star along with the late Paul Walker, who died in a car accident in 2013.

“Fast X” runs two hours and 21 minutes and includes scenes in the movie that is rated PG-13 featuring Walker’s character Brian O'Conner, an undercover cop who later befriends Toretto and joins Toretto’s team of outlaws-on-wheels in their various action-packed adventures.

Most of the violence in the motion picture refrains from depicting on the big screen gory and grisly injuries and fatalities. But the sheer number of deaths in shootouts, car chases and explosions, of which there are many, could be disquieting to some moviegoers.

Apparently, the laws of physics do not apply to Toretto’s merry band of heroes because most of them escape serious injury and live to fight another day. Reyes and his henchmen, however, do not fare as well. The nameless goons seem to perish as quickly as they appear in the film.

“Fast X” is the tenth installment in the action or adventure series but it shows no signs of slowing down. “Fast X” deposed the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel to claim the top box office spot and “Fast & Furious” sequels are critic-proof with their continued success in theaters.

The ensemble cast of “Fast X” includes no less than two Academy Award-winning actors and two very surprising cameos that are guaranteed to delight even the most casual fan of the exhaust-filled sequel that leaves the lunacy and stunts of other car chase movies in the dust.

“Fast X” has a 54% approval rating among critics and an 86% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website for film and television. The difference in ratings may be a result of “Fast X” ending in a cliffhanger that sets up more sequels.


The consensus from the critics at "As irredeemably silly as it is satisfyingly self-aware, ‘Fast X’ should rev the engines of longtime fans while leaving many newcomers in neutral."

FRANK LEE is the movie columnist for the Brainerd Dispatch. He may be reached at 218-631-6470 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .

I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The weekly newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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