Fast X (2023)
May 18, 2023 10:47 PM - Subscribe

Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family (everyone, minus Jason Momoa) have outsmarted, out-nerved and outdriven every foe in their path. Now, they confront the most lethal opponent they've ever faced: A terrifying threat (Jason Momoa) emerging from the shadows of the past who's fueled by blood revenge, and who is determined to shatter this family and destroy everything--and everyone--that Dom loves, forever.

This is...a lot more of the same. A lot. But if you like extremely silly action movies, I'm not sure you'll enjoy the somewhat sombre tone of this one. And if you don't, I'm not sure what you're looking for! Jason Momoa plays one of those irritating villains who is somehow both a chaos agent and capable of pulling off perfectly-timed elaborate schemes involving dozens of people. He does enjoy chewing the scenery, but it's a little odd to see so blatantly queer-coded a villain in this land of clenched manly jaws.
posted by praemunire (19 comments total)
Is this one about family?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:43 AM on May 19, 2023 [14 favorites]

Of course not!

(Just kidding.)
posted by praemunire at 2:09 PM on May 19, 2023 [4 favorites]

I consider it an improvement over the dip that was 8 and 9 - maybe there's something magic about Fast 5 that makes even this (as the direct sequel) decent too, instead of just crazed wheel-spinning plotwise. I forgot the details of the on-set drama so I forgot who took over from Lin, but with how they recalibrated their movie physics to something approaching sensical (benchmark here being Fast 5) I kept an eye out at the credits and cheered when I saw it's Louis Leterrier. You're right on the queer-coded villain trope tho, even as Momoa is clearly having the time of his life chewing scenery. Even Vin Diesel got to flex some acting muscles! I was impressed that the pacing felt good, none of the slated fights and setpieces felt like necessary fanservice to be checked off *only*with no regard to their fig leaf of a story.

Between this and MI7 in July (and based on the trailer alone) I spent half of the movie preemptively laughing because this year marks the completion of the plot/narrative/character beat convergence of these two silly franchises. By the time the submarine showed up I'm just rolling on the floor (metaphorically for now; once I'm watching this at home, I'll stay seated on the floor in preparation).
posted by cendawanita at 8:40 PM on May 19, 2023

Also, how I know I'm in way deep with the lore of this damned series: when they did the whole stupid "hitting the NOS and have the camera follow the burst from the button all the way to the engine" visual callback, I cheered. A tiny bit.
posted by cendawanita at 8:45 PM on May 19, 2023 [3 favorites]

"Coding" is not a concept I generally like to apply in modern day pop culture analysis, but...dude wore purple satin. And painted his nails. I'm sure that Momoa personally is very comfortable with his sexuality regardless of what he's wearing, but you can't magic context away. So...a little strange.

No one drove in space this time, so that's an improvement?
posted by praemunire at 8:56 PM on May 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

Also, I would swipe right on Han any day. The actor has aged well.
posted by praemunire at 8:56 PM on May 19, 2023 [5 favorites]

they recalibrated their movie physics to something approaching sensical (benchmark here being Fast 5)

Fast 5 is the benchmark? The one where they drag a vault through the streets of Rio on steel cables behind two cars, through traffic, through pedestrian areas and eventually into the back of a garbage truck with pinpoint accuracy and no fatalities? *That's* the benchmark?

I stopped watching the series at 5, and my friend, with that statement you have absolutely rekindled a desire to catch up now - how much more ludicrous can it get?!
posted by Molesome at 12:51 AM on May 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

They went to space in whaling-era submariner suits :)
posted by cendawanita at 3:20 AM on May 20, 2023 [4 favorites]

how much more ludicrous can it get?!

Very. I would also agree, Fast 5 is the benchmark.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:43 AM on May 20, 2023 [3 favorites]

The one where they drag a vault through the streets of Rio on steel cables behind two cars, through traffic, through pedestrian areas and eventually into the back of a garbage truck with pinpoint accuracy and no fatalities?

Funny you should mention that........

(Actually, I will say, one thing that I actively disliked, as opposed to just sort of sitting through, is the number of people they kill without any apparent concern who, at most, are temporarily on the wrong side for a legitimate reason. It feels like a breach of action-movie conventions that mostly do allow you to overlook foreseeable collateral damage.)
posted by praemunire at 8:57 AM on May 20, 2023

I think that's no longer been an action movie convention for a few years now.
posted by mediareport at 1:01 PM on May 20, 2023

Depends on the rating. This is PG-13.
posted by praemunire at 5:01 PM on May 20, 2023

It's weird that an 8 year old killed multiple people, right?
posted by amarynth at 6:40 PM on May 20, 2023 [7 favorites]

Hard agree on Sung Kang's attractiveness, and also Michelle Rodriguez and Helen Mirren- I was so into this franchise showing women onscreen who looked the right age and were so attractive. The queer coding of Jason Momoa weirded me out, as did the increase in cross imagery and the use of the word 'faith.' And that little Brian fired real weapons and blew up cars with people in them and it was played off like a video game.

I love these movies so much though, and can't wait to see where it goes next to wrap it all up.
posted by lizard music at 2:19 PM on May 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

I've been rewatching the whole series with friends and one of them has been keeping track of how many times the word "family" appears in each movie. I don't remember which one was the high point before this one, but the number for that one was 17.

The number for X is 24.
posted by tomorrowromance at 8:19 AM on May 22, 2023 [1 favorite]

What I would love to see is after the final climactic scene of the final movie occurs, it fades to black…

Then you hear voices of kids, under 10 - excitedly describing those final events… from a pinprick the blackness fades to fill the screen with all of our favourite characters- as their kid selves, at the playground, playing in the sandbox, with their cars, tanks, “army men” happily smashing them into each other with increasingly incredible scenarios…. Then their parents show up, and they all return to their families as it fades to black again…

Either that, the scene opens instead of a shot of a DMV office, where there is an 80-year old Dom snoozing in a chair, and they call his name, he wakes with a smile and then shuffles over to the license renewal desk…
posted by rozcakj at 9:17 PM on June 16, 2023 [2 favorites]

Love it, rozcakj!
posted by praemunire at 9:24 AM on June 17, 2023

how much more ludicrous can it get?!

TBH I thought Ludacris was a bit underutilized in this one, but point taken.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:50 PM on July 3, 2023 [2 favorites]

On Amazon Prime now.

I feel this had two big issues, both really arising from it being the tenth installment of a long-running franchise that's creaking under the weight of accumulated backstory and characters.

Firstly, a "who's that then?" problem. Am I supposed to know who Aimes is, or is he new in this one as a similarly-muscled stand-in for The Rock? Similarly, I must've completely forgotten F9 as I had no memory of Uncle Jakob.

Secondly, an "is in it, but not in any significant way" problem. Is Jason Statham in this one? Yeah, but only really for one fight scene. Is Helen Mirren in it? Only very briefly.

Jason Momoa clearly having the most fun here; some of the other acting feels very leaden.

Pretty sure that a product-placement Stella Artois isn't the Belgian beer that Nobody had in mind; he was more of a Trappist guy. "Those monks got it right."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:20 PM on January 24

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