Years ago, Universal announced their intentions of ending the Fast and Furious franchise with the tenth movie. In order to continue the series without going back on their word, Fast X then turned into a two-film conclusion. Just before the release of the tenth installment, however, it was announced that the two-part finale was being stretched out into three films. While I would normally bemoan the money-grubbing practices of studios and the obnoxious practice of cliffhangers in film franchises, Fast X is enough fun to leave me wanting plenty more.
The cast list keeps getting longer, but the focus of Fast X is still Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his growing “family” made up of a team of criminals and government agents along with endless blood relatives. You need a family tree to keep track of how each member is connected, with many of the villains from past films now also included in the dysfunctional family. Dom’s wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is back, though she spends much of the film imprisoned alongside (former?) villain Cypher (Charlize Theron). Their son is watched by Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), until his brother and F9’s villain Jakob (John Cena) takes over to redeem himself for past actions. Meanwhile, longtime team members Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), and relative newcomer Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) gather the rest of the gang for implied involvement in the next films, including a memorable scene with Shaw (Jason Statham). There is also a brief post-credit scene implying the return of Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
Although Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) is still nowhere to be found, Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) returns to help, along with the new addition of Mr. Nobody’s daughter, Tess (Brie Larson). Shaw’s mother Queenie also makes an appearance and there are suggestions she will be involved in the sequels’ narrative, making this more of a family affair. Even the newest villain Dante (Jason Momoa) has familial connections to the franchise, as the son of Fast Five’s drug lord bad guy Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). While not every performance in Fast X is praiseworthy (Larson was questionable at best), Momoa has enough fun chewing scenery as Dante to make his addition stand out, even amidst a cast list so bloated that Gal Gadot’s brief appearance implying her return to the franchise is little more than a cameo.
After the sloppy filmmaking and self-serious narrative in F9, Fast X is a return to ridiculous form for the Fast and Furious franchise, overstuffed with movie stars, bad one-liners, and over-the-top action sequences that feel like they come from the imagination of a 10-year-old. And I mean that in the best possible way. This is a franchise that works best when embracing the absurdity of the premise, embodying the spirit of terrible ‘80s action films that knew how to show the audience a good time at the expense of everything else.
The collector’s edition Blu-ray release of Fast X also comes with a DVD copy and code for a digital copy. In addition to the various ways to watch the film, the release includes hours of bonus features.
THIS IS FAMILY: Fans of the franchise know how important family is to the Fast and Furious films, and this featurette goes over the ever-expanding family tree with interviews from the actors who play the characters. Available on Blu-ray discs only.
FAST BREAKS: SCENE BREAKDOWNS WITH LOUIS LETERRIER: Director Louis Leterrier provides insight into the filming details of some of Fast X’s most exciting sequences. Available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
XTREME RIDES OF FAST X: Almost as important to the Fast and Furious franchise as family are the classic cars featured in the action sequences. This featurette takes a closer look at the classic cars rebuilt and customized for Fast X. Available on Blu-ray discs only.
BELLES OF THE BRAWL: Focusing specifically on the female cast members, this featurette shows off the stars’ varied abilities with action scenes. Available on Blu-ray discs only.
TUNED INTO RIO: Returning to Rio de Janeiro, this featurette traces the location’s history in the franchise, and all the elements that make it so significant. Available on Blu-ray discs only.
JASON MOMOA: CONQUERING ROME: Jason Momoa is the latest villain to join the franchise, and this featurette shows behind-the-scenes footage of the actor, along with interviews discussing his approach to the character. Available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
LITTLE B TAKES THE WHEEL: As important as family is and as long as the series has continued, it should come as no surprise that offspring of characters in the Fast and Furious franchise are now old enough to join in on the action. This featurette covers Fast X’s introduction of actor Leo Abelo Perry as Little B. Available on Blu-ray discs only.
A FRIEND IN THE END: Given the behind-the-scenes drama between cast members, one of the biggest surprises of Fast X is the post-credit scene announcing a beloved character’s return. This featurette breaks down that scene and what it means for the following films. Available on Blu-ray discs only.
GAG REEL: Available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
MUSIC VIDEOS: “Toretto” by J. Balvin, “Angel Pt. 1” by Kodak Black and NLE Choppa (featuring Jimin of BTS and Muni Long). Available on Blu-ray discs only.
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR LOUIS LETERRIER: Available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10
Historical Significance: 5/10
Special Features: 8/10