"Fast X" review: drivers wanted. Again. (2023)


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Twenty-two years and nine parts of the Fast and the Furious series make it hard to keep the excitement alive.

"Fast X" review: drivers wanted. Again. (1)

AfterWesleya Morrisa

Quick X
Directed byLouisa Leterriera
Action, Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
2h 21m

There's so much exaggeration in these Fast and Furious movies - stunt and demolition, of course; but also family trees, breeds,feelbraids, pies, biceps, upper back - it wasn't until I saw what Jason Momoa was up to in the new Fast X sequel that I realized how much acting was left under the table. He drops by to play a brash terrorist named Dante Reyes. And it's pretty clear from the bad pranks he's been given and the cheesy treatment he's been given that the mustache Momoa is wearing is not his. It's about Rip Taylor.

For half a century, Taylor appeared all over American televisionin the rain of confettithat he quit for himself. It didn't work. Appeared. That's how Momoa works here, appearing wherever the film needs it (on patio furniture, upstairsBrama Aldeadávila) in lavender and snakeskin and everything rises, ignites to blow something up. There are no good ideas in these moviesfrom "Furious 7" eight years ago, immersed in a tug of war about hacking, surveillance and technology. And Momoa is here to fix things. So, along with Taylor's mustache, Momoa is also twirling. It's like watching an oak tree pretend to be a Christmas tree.

And yet, even though he vigorously destroys the Spanish Steps in Rome and makes statements like, "I know what you're thinking. And so: the carpet matches the curtains”, is not enough. Momoa gives Joker. But with Cesar Romero. Of course, she's the only one here who has devoted herself to pure and representative madness, following the post-macho slack by transforming the quotes around her into neck pillows.

Five movies and a dozen years ago, Dom (Vin Diesel) and the gang destroyed Rio de Janeiro's favelas and killed the father of drug lord Dante (along with dozens of innocent Brazilians, but we're not going there today). Now that the series is at the bottom of the barrel, Dante wants revenge. This means sending a giant bomb towards the Vatican. He doesn't quite succeed, but he fulfills his wish that Dom and the rest of the gang want the terrorists, creating a rift between them and the feds they secretly work for, and ruining the driving lessons Dom gives his 8-year-old son Brian (Leo Abelo) Perries).

There are about five interwoven plot threads, attributed to Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau (director Louis Leterrier replaces Lin as master of chaos). Home on the Run; Dom's brother Jakob (John Cena) babysits Brian (and they run away); some of Dom's crew - Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), Han (Sung Kang) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) - all backpack around Europe; Dom's wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), is arrested and imprisoned along with the team's cyberterrorist nemesis, Cipher (Charlize Theron); and two feds, Aimes (Alan Ritchson) and Tess (Brie Larson), argue over whether to help or arrest the "F&F" gang. And almost every plot stems from Dante's annoyance and remains a stumbling block that won't be resolved until a few years from now, eh, "Quick X+1"?

The best thing I can say about all this is that I wasn't bored. But it is a series that, by the time the fourth and fifth parts came out, had melded the freely erotic, multi-ethnic, multi-racial car culture of the original film with the "unbeatable" setting of Hollywood summer movies. Not that this fusion was ever boring. He had the thrill of novelty. How many times have I laughed, wondering what this series can do with all kinds of vehicles and people behind them. He insisted that a non-white universe could satisfy blockbuster filmmaking priorities and still make money around the world. It was exciting to see who they could include in this show (Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell).

After all, we are talking about 22 years and nine sequels. Putting rotations with two former professional wrestlers, four Oscar winners (Rita Moreno appears here as Grandma Dom) and Aquaman no longer feels like a radical inclusion in popular culture. He feels both defensive and greedy:Is the top of the AvengersI?From an industry standpoint, this shows how much less gonzo our movies are now. What other franchise would have the guts to imagine Statham as Mirren's son? Put Diesel in Moreno's arms, Larson's grace and Theron's hindrance?

There is a charitable, cashless reason why no one wants these things to end. Even though Paul Walker has been dead for a decade, in these movies his character Brian O'Conner is still alive, still married to Dom's sister, still a dad, still living somewhere on the beach. The opening minutes of "Fast X" re-imagine the death of Dante's father in "Fast 5" and thus give the film an excuse to resuscitate Walker. It's just astonishing that Brian would sit idly by now while his friends are threatened with extinction. But that's the implication of what these movies want us to believe is that his wife, Mia (Jordana Brewster), is more interested in defending her family than he is. Shooting this series marks Walker's dismissal. But because of this sentimentalism, these movies have nowhere else to go but their own newsreels. (Well, there's also Antarctica, the funniest of the date lines here.)

Instead, we get the wrong kind of chaos. You can see it in the inconsistency of the ride - and even that is not enough. Which is to waste the main actor of the series and the keeper of the flame. Back then, these movies knew what they had in Vin Diesel. Put him behind the wheel of anything and he'll be a star. The cameras in "Fast X" are too busy to really capture all those furrows, glances, grimaces. He's not some husband or lover or father or mastermind in these movies, but all you have to do is step on the accelerator and suddenly a man can act. His best moments in "Fast X" involve Vatican affairs. He thinks so. Dom's huge crucifix is ​​not an accessory. It's a promise. But later, when he was dragging two charred helicopter shells behind him, I was concerned about Diesel's lack of interest. The excitement is over.

He's not in the sequence where that bullet-bomb eats a piece of Rome, or any of the many, many gunfights and fights. Even in the fight Rodriguez and Theron have that should have killed both of their characters. It's visually messy, like many sequences in "Fast X". It's hard to care about a fight you can't follow or bother to suspend disbelief. This is the real death knell for this series: rationalism, nits, disappointment. (Whyhe can notBrian went out to play?)

The show doesn't need Momo's vampirism. Camp always came from a garage, the way these movies worked against physics, chronology, narrative logic, and DNA. Their theme was criminals struggling to be legal. Now they're practically a government agency protecting the planet - and they're so far in the moral mirror that they all look too comfortable. There's a reason why insisting on family in movies is getting ridiculous. We feel like in Olive Garden. Their stupidity made them important. Now their conceit has made them stupid. The characters are explaining these movies now - and as for the big, big, bronze Aimes,Mansprain their. They say things like, "It's like a car cult," "The consequences will be existential," and "This family got their hands dirty to keep ours clean."

Back in the day, these movies knew what was funny about them. They would give it to us until our hearts broke the speed limit. But I've seen a diesel driving at a 90-degree angle before. Old bravado now tastes like formula. The nerve is affected. There was a time when this series would have made Dante a shipparbullets rushing towards the Vatican.

Quick X
Rated PG-13. Duration: 2 hours and 21 minutes. in cinemas.

Wesley Morris is a general critic and co-host, with Jenna Wortham, of a culture podcast"I'm still processing."He won two Pulitzer Prizes for Criticism, including in 2021 for a series of essays that explored the intersection of race and pop culture. @wesley_morris

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