It’s time to take a look at the latest Fast and the Furious film. As you can expect this one is going to be a ton of nonstop action and at this point in the series the cast is rather huge. I’d say the movie does a great job of giving everyone something to do. There are so many cutaways to different locations and it’s pretty much the Infinity War of the racing series. It’s easily one of the stronger films in the series and it really shows how this series has become consistently great ever since the 5th movie. It can now be compared with heavy hitters like Mission Impossible. Throw in the fact that this film is “Part 1” and you’re also guaranteed a fun cliffhanger.
The movie starts with a flashback to the 5th film introducing us to the new villain, Dante. He’s the son of the guy who got bumped off in the 5th movie and now he wants revenge. He has been biding his time for years now and is finally ready to make his move and take Dominic down. Specifically he wants to destroy his family first and then take Dominic down for the count. He will have to go up against an army of heroes though so does he really have what it takes? Well, time to find out.
So one of the benefits of a movie series is that you have a lot of time to introduce all of the characters and develop them over time. When handled correctly, an ambitious film 10 will always beat the oneshot adventure because you are able to make this as grand as possible. This movie brings in characters from so many films and so many plotlines that it automatically gives the film a big boost. It almost feels like a crossover to an extent even though it’s just one film. Particularly characters like Shaw and Jakob because they almost feel like they’re from different series.
The action scenes here are really on point as you would expect. The films have so many hand to hand fights now in addition to the car scenes and they all work well. The choreography is on point and it’s also nice seeing the different fighting styles. Jakob fights more like a special ops guy with precision shotgun blasts to the head, Shaw fights like an assassin using every trick in the book, Cipher fights with deadly short stabs, etc. At this point they’re all so powerful and some of these characters have to fight other established fighters which makes for a wild ride.
The pacing is also excellent. The chases and action scenes start off almost right away and from there it tends to be nonstop. The movie is long and it feels long, but in that time it still manages to cover more than you would expect. I like how the characters keep hopping across the globe into different countries. The constant change in scenery is nice and the film keeps up with the different song styles all throughout as well. The movies have always had a really solid soundtrack and I’d say this one fits right in. The songs always get your blood pumping as you get ready for more high intensity races.
At this point of course there aren’t a lot of actual races though. There are a ton of car chases and action scenes but there’s only one real race and it’s very short. It was still nice to see it for an instant though and I thought the movie did a great job of setting it up. We meet a hype character who has been winning a lot of races lately. She believes that beating Dominic will be easy, then you have Dante in his villainous car and one of Dominic’s local supporters. It had all the setup and stakes of a true race.
With this much nonstop action you may worry about it being too much but that’s not a problem. The action scenes are all different so that’s never really a concern. All of the best scenes involve some kind of action but the title never loses its heart either. My favorite moment was definitely when Letty decided to take down Cipher. Sure Cipher may be helpful in the current predicament but you can’t forget what she’s already done to the heroes so there’s no time to work as buddies. She just had to be taken out of the equation real quick.
Even with a film this great of course there will always be some issues. No movie is perfect after all. The weakest part in this one would be the main villain Dante. The film’s definitely playing him up as a super quirky villain. He has a lot of comedic moments in a dark humor kind of way like talking with dead bodies and generally acting insane. He probably laughs about as much as the Joker and Dante tries not to take himself too seriously. He’s always squealing and trying to play mind games on the heroes. So far we have not been able to really see him fight though as he folds like an omelet the instant the heroes finally get to him.
His planning is good of course and the guy is one step ahead of the heroes the whole time so you do have to give him a lot of credit. The guy is good at what he does and a true threat but I can’t say that I found him all that engaging or exciting as a villain. Personally I just was not impressed and he would be one of the weaker villains for me. His scenes tended to be the weakest part and you were just waiting for the heroes to step in. His intro scene of appearing before Cipher also had a whole ton of plot armor for him to get so far.
There’s also the one obligatory scene of Dominic driving towards a racing area where we get some random dancing and fanservice. I feel like they squeeze one scene like this into every film just for tradition even though it doesn’t actually add anything to the story. You’ll be rolling your eyes at that scene and just waiting for the next one but beyond that the rest of the film is definitely legit.
Meanwhile Cipher continues to be a great villain through and through. She really managed to overcome the odds by taking on such a large group of fighters. She was one of the big masterminds in previous films and I’m glad that she’s still got it. I did mix up her and Tess at one point because they look so similar but both are quality characters so that wasn’t much of a problem. Hopefully Cipher continues to get some more fights in the next one. Eventually they do need to take her down though, I hope all of the heroes hold a grudge like Letty and don’t just forget how evil she was.
Little Nobody doesn’t get to do a whole lot here. The guy continues to look incredibly unimpressive which is why we need the real Nobody back. I feel like this guy only exists to get styled on every single time. Tess was a fun addition to the cast though. I look forward to seeing her get to fight a little more next time but already she’s done a lot to prove that she is someone who shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Then there is Isabel who has a smaller role than most of the other characters but I liked her confidence in the race. She definitely knows how to race but at the same time if you’re Dominic you’re probably not worried. Shaw’s role is also pretty small here but I’d say in large part it’s because he would really steal the show if he was here longer. What are the villain’s really going to do against a fighter who is this skilled and prepared? Shaw is really in a different league from pretty much all the main characters here, even Dominic would likely go down against this guy. Always satisfying to see how he fights.
Roman and Tej have a lot of fun banter throughout the film as always. I tend to prefer Roman as a character because no matter how things turn out the guy always has something witty to say while Tej tries to bring the mood down. Their fight definitely felt like the most random part of the whole film though. I kept waiting for there to be a twist about how this was going to lure the villains’ out or something but I guess they actually did just need to mix it up a bit. Ultimately this subplot served its role well as the more comedic B plot.
Ramsey and Han also tagged along for the ride. Ramsey did her usual solid hacking and Han gave us a way to bring Shaw back into the mix so that was fun. In a way the characters didn’t get to do much other than just hanging out nd being themselves but that’s all you really need. Another benefit of this being a sequel, you already know the characters so it’s not like they have to be introduced again.
Then there is Mia whose appearance is small but she does well in it. She definitely still knows how to fight and gives the villains a really tough time all the way through. Hopefully they can incorporate her more into the plot again at some point. Then once Jakob shows up he really begins to steal the show in his subplot. The guy does a great job of looking after the kid for the most part and it felt like he kept a lot of the strength that he had as a villain. This guy isn’t going to go down easily and has a lot of his own contacts. Fans of the character should definitely be real satisfied here.
Letty does well as the main heroine. She is always quick to fight and did keep up with Dante for quite a while which was impressive. Whenever Dominic tries to leave on a solo mission she does not let him and that’s the right way to go. At this point they need to be a team so no running off solo like in the old days. At this point Dominic needs to be able to trust the team and she makes sure to press that point. Letty also more than justifies her own involvement since she can take care of herself.
Then we have the new government head Aimes who really doesn’t want to hear any stories and just wants to take Dominic down for the count. The guy is definitely as unreasonable as possible and doesn’t like the whole family approach. It is fun how he basically acknowledges that everyone always turns good and joins the barbeque by the end of the film. It’s the right level of awareness without actually breaking the 4th wall. In general I liked all of the callbacks here and references to different parts of the franchise. It worked really well.
Finally we have Dominic who is a great main character as always. He gives more lessons about just how important family is and never lets up on this. He goes through a lot here but always comes up with a plan and thinks things through. I really have no problems with Dominic because he’s just a stand up guy who always does the right thing and doesn’t waver. There aren’t any real flaws to point to here and that’s why he’s a character that everyone else can rally behind. As long as he has a car then he has a chance and that will always be the case here.
The film has a great cliffhanger to end things off. It takes full advantage of the fact that this is a multi parter and a two part film should never end with things appearing to be resolved. (Slight shots to the RWBY/Justice League film) This is definitely how you do it. Then you have an after credits scene which was excellent. One of the stand out scenes in the film. Now this isn’t how the film would play out but imagine for a minute if the second film only focused on the character who appeared at the end? Sort of like a redo but seeing if the strategy would work on this character. Trust me, I don’t think it will. This character does have some family weaknesses as well but he’s ready for action. The first thing I said when leaving the theatre is that the villain’s going to be in for a surprise because this guy won’t be going down the way a certain other character did.
New main character, new rules. This guy also isn’t hiding and the sheer top level confidence here was great. A super bold move would be not to bring back just about any of the characters from this film so the sequel is just the characters who were all right by the end of this one. Realistically though this is the kind of film where you’re expecting more of a full teamwork, celebration mood by the end. Nothing wrong with that either, but the possibilities for the sequel are just so good. X already set a high bar but the sequel could manage to top it and I’m eager to see how this plays out.
Overall, Fast X is a great film. It’s really got everything that you could want in an action thriller. A lot of action and a lot of thrills. Yeah that may just sound like more of the same but why fix what isn’t broken right? I would say there is probably still more action here than even in previous films though. It feels like the most nonstop out of all the films at least after watching it. It’s a perfect film for theaters in that respect as well because hearing all of the sounds and watching this on the big screen was a real treat. It may be tougher to watch if you haven’t seen the previous 9 but either way you want to catch this film before it leaves theaters because it is definitely on point!