Fast X

These tires need to be rotated.

My loyal readers on my website will know that I have not been a fan of the “Fast & Furious” sequels lately. I disliked “The Fate of the Furious,” I hated both “Hobbs & Shaw” and “F9,” and I dislike “Fast X,” but not as much as the last three entries.

It wants to be long, so its new story can be expanded into the next film, and it wants to add more big names to the cast. I can see the potential this entry wants to have, but I also expect it to drive real fast and real smooth.

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is back, along with Michelle Rodriguez as his wife Letty, Jordanna Brewster as his sister Mia, and John Cena as his brother Jakob, among others. And this driver loves his family, especially his son Little Brian (Leo Abelo Perry).

The evil cyberterrorist Ciper (Charlize Theron), losing that bad “Dumb and Dumber” hairstyle from “F9,” comes crawling to Dom to warn him that a new villain has emerged. And that villain happens to be Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the son of the drug lord Herman Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), whom Dom’s team stole the money from and whom Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson cameoing later in the film) killed in “Fast Five.” Momoa seems to be channeling on every Joker movie to have been released, more in the ranks of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger than Joaquin Phoenix. It’s kind of a clown performance that makes him appealing.

You also get a car chase scene in Rome, which combines certain elements from “Speed,” “Batman Returns,” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” A bomb in a vehicle, which is being remote controlled, and has the bomb rolling down the streets, which leads to a big explosion. This is why Aimes (Alan Ritchson), the new head of Mr. Nobody’s agency, says Dom’s team is “like a cult with cars,” and why he makes him and his team wanted fugitives.

You get more tired jokes between Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han Lue (Sung Kang), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), especially since Roman wants to be treated like a team leader.

You have Jakob protecting his nephew by driving a 90s car with 90s music (feat. Marky Mark, and the Pharcyde), and by changing their names.

You have new characters in the mix, like Aimes, Isabel (Daniela Melchior), who is the younger sister of Dom’s murdered love Elena, Tess (Brie Larson), who is Mr. Nobody’s strong-willed daughter, and Dom’s grandmother (Rita Moreno), who looks more like his mother than grandmother.

“Fast X” isn’t as bad as the last three films, because I liked Momoa as the villain, and I liked various moments of the film regarding 90s humor, and certain chases and fights are pretty cool, like how Han duels with his attacker Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). But it all feels routine and exhausting with elements that rip off better scenes in “Fast Five” and “Fast and Furious 6.” This tenth film, directed by Louis Leterrier, can be stupid fun if it wants to, but doesn’t really justify itself from the best entries in the series.

“It ain’t no “Roman Holiday”,” says Queenie Shaw (Helen Mirren), the mother of Deckard. And she makes a good point, because this Spring/Summer season has two films that disrespect Rome. There was the awful “Mafia Mamma” with Toni Collette having to read the Wikipedia summary for “The Godfather,” and now, we have “Fast X,” which I would choose over that, but that’s not really saying much.

And even if its story wants to be released in two parts, it ain’t exactly “The Empire Strikes Back.” It’s not even “Avengers: Infinity War.”

At least I was right about this tenth film using “X” in the title, although my guess was “FX.” I guess they wanted to avoid confusion with the channel.

Obviously, I can’t stop you fans from seeing this, but we can have something to talk about afterwards. Time for an oil change.

Rating: 2 out of 4.

Categories: Action, Adventure, Sequel

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