Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family race back to cinemas in Universal Pictures Fast X. Following the conversational exit of Justin Lin (who previously helmed five films in the series), Louis Leterrier assumes steps up to the director's chair. While Louis Leterrier did some uncredited rewrites on the script, the bulk of the screenplay is courtesy of Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin, and Zach Dean.
Despite the villainous Cipher (Charlize Theron) escaping again, Dom and his crew were thriving in the preceding chapter's closing moments. Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris) embarked on a daring space voyage, Han (Sung Kang) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) were fully in the family fold, and even an unseen Brian showed up at the barbecue. Not to mention, Dom made amends with his wanted brother Jakob (John Cena), and his younger sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) was also on good terms with him.
Dom and his wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), continue raising their young son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry), quickly inhabiting his parent's love of cars. Naturally, everything isn't Kosher, and Dom soon learns he must protect his crew and family from Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the son of drug lord Herman Reyes, seeking revenge for the loss of his family's fortune from the heist in Rio de Janeiro (the events in Fast Five). Making matters worse, Cipher (Charlize Theron) is still on the loose, meaning Dom will have to call in some reinforcements. They include Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Tess (Brie Larson), the daughter of Mr. Nobody, and Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood).
Two-plus decades after a Vibe magazine article about illegal street racing in New York kicked off a franchise, the tenth entry arrives. Fans have seen the fast saga evolve from a remake mash-up of No Man's Land and Point Break to full-on big-budget popcorn entertainment. The Fast and Furious franchise has seen five directors, each bringing their unique spin to the franchise. However, the MVP was Justin Lin, who concurrently directed four films and the last entry. So it was surprising when it announced he was leaving the franchise due to creative differences.
Thankfully to his credit, director Louis Leterrier has an impressive and diverse filmography, dabbling in comedy, comic book, and martial arts films. For the most part,Leterrier is a director for hire, as he goes all out to keep the movie entertaining. We have stunts, fist fights, gun battles, and one-liners. Looking back on Leterrier's previous films nothing in Fast X speaks to his style.
Returning cast members Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris give the usual performances you would expect from the characters. Each character gets a moment to shine, which is refreshing to see. Later franchise additions John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron, and Helen Mirren are also back and having a grand time.
However, the film's real star is Jason Momoa as our antagonist Dante. Momoa previously played a villain in Bullet To The Head, where he squared off against Sly Stallone, but in that film, he didn't ham it up as much as he does here. The depiction of Dante is that of a jocular antagonist who relishes cracking jokes and conversing with the deceased.
Dante exudes a superabundance of self-regard and frequently appears on the verge of embracing himself. His fixation on inflicting agony upon Dominic Toretto is palpable, and he is accountable for the deaths of multiple individuals in a crazy sequence in the film's first act.
Although the script has some flaws, the movie closely follows the Avengers: Infinity War pattern. The focus is mainly on the villain, and the heroes are divided, leading up to a cliffhanger ending. Despite leaving viewers with a sense of incompleteness, we can look forward to Fast & Furious 11 for answers to some of our remaining questions.
Final Grade: B
Fast X opens in theaters tommorow