Fast X (2023) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Despite the talent, one actor stands out - Momoa excels and does it extremely well.

Fast X (2023) Review
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Street racing has probably been around long before there were actual streets.  Centuries ago there were horse races, then illegal car races and now they have evolved into events all over the world with costly sports cars equipped with state-of-the-art technology.  Illegal street racing has also been depicted in movies since the 1950s if not earlier and even musicals, like Grease, had street racing scenes incorporated into their films.  In 2001, a movie centered on fast cars and street racing premiered in theaters.  That movie, titled The Fast and The Furious, created a culture and a legacy that has so far spanned 22 years and ten feature films.  Number eleven, Fast X, hits theaters worldwide this week.

As with every Fast film, it is all about family, BBQs, and getting in and out of trouble while driving souped-up sports cars (and the occasional tank).  This time though it is not only about the Toretto family.  This time it is about a psychopath who blames his father's death ten years earlier on Dom (Vin Diesel; Guardians of the Galaxy 3) and his plot to torture and kill everyone associated with Dominic Toretto.  The psychopath is Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa; Aquaman) who watched his father die on a bridge in Rio de Janeiro while Dom and associates drove away with Dante's family fortune. Dante is maniacal, unhinged, willing to use everyone and everything without remorse to obtain his end result, and is rather flamboyant and "over the top" personality-wise.

It is unsurprising that the budget for this film is estimated at over $300 million because cast salaries alone must have cost a small fortune.  The list of actors in this movie - from the main characters to the nostalgic cameos - is a list of who's who in Hollywood. The main cast is all there including Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez (Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves), Jordana Brewster (The Faculty), Tyrese Gibson (Transformers), and Ludacris (Crash). Recurring guest actors also join the team in cameos including Helen Mirren (The Queen), Jason Statham (The Meg), and Charlize Theron (Atomic Blonde) and some new faces get some screen time including Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Rita Moreno (West Side Story) and Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad). 

With all this talent it is difficult to imagine one actor standing out head and shoulders above everyone else but Momoa accomplishes that task and does it extremely well.  It isn't easy to see Momoa playing such an evil psychopath and when he was announced as part of the cast, there were already mixed reviews of the IDEA of him portraying Dante Reyes. However, he proves the naysayers wrong from the beginning with his characterization of this villain reminding one of Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight. Momoa's Dante is ruthless, unapologetic, seemingly brilliant in a criminally insane kind of way yet free-spirited and humorous. The Juxtaposition is startling but he somehow makes it work. Dante is memorable for both his cruelty and his infectious smile and personality.

While Fast X requires the audience to suspend belief as vehicles defy the laws of gravity, it is 150% better than Fast 9's "launch into outer space".  There are still some groan-worthy/eye-rolling moments throughout the film but the direction is better, the script is better, and the stunts are better than its most recent predecessor, which, let's face it, damn near killed the entire franchise.

I won't reveal any spoilers (but if you have read anything online, you already know them) but at my screening the audience gasped, hooted, and hollered as planes crashed, submarines surfaced and masks were removed as the movie ended.  We all know The Fast and The Furious franchise isn't Shakespeare but it is heart-pounding fun and if Fast X is any indication of what is still to come then you better buckle up and hang on for what is certain to be a wild ride.

Grade: B

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 141 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

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For more information about Fast X visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Fast X images are courtesy of Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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