‘No one starts at the finish line’ growls Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) at younger son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry) on this newest iteration of the Fast & Furious saga. And with 9 movies, one spin-off, and over 21 hours of tyre-squealing mayhem previous it, you may nicely query the knowledge of constructing this instalment your entry level.
In impact, although, that’s what Louis Leterrier has performed by taking up the directorial reins simply because the franchise heads into its ultimate straight. And factor too: the Transporter/Incredible Hulk helmer brings a welcome injection of vitality and inventiveness to a sequence that has spent eight years striving to match as much as the emotional and dramatic highpoint that was 2015’s Furious 7.
But it’s a good earlier episode – 2011’s Fast Five – that gives the spark for Fast X, because it returns to that movie’s audacious Rio secure heist to disclose the hitherto unknown position performed by one Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa). Turns out it was Dante’s dad that Dom robbed and he’s been hungry for vengeance ever since – one thing he hopes to realize by placing on the prolonged ‘family’ the Torettos maintain so pricey.
After all of the muscle-bound baddies the Fasts have given us, it’s undoubtedly refreshing to see a villain as flamboyantly hirsute as Momoa’s sadistic show-off. Although a number of the character’s wilder excesses do considerably diminish the menace degree in favour of OTT laughs (notably when he’s discovered portray the toenails of a decomposing corpse).
Happily, the movie’s on way more agency footing when alluding to its antagonists’ religious convictions, with Dom and the demonic Dante’s private battle going as far as to position the Vatican in peril. Indeed, it’s a central set piece involving a large bomb rolling by means of Rome that provides X its most X-hilarating moments, recalling each the bouncing projectiles from The Dam Busters and the boulder chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
With an enormous ensemble to play with and new characters to introduce, it’s inevitable that some forged members (Brie Larson’s Agency operative Tess amongst them) get somewhat shortchanged. But with Fast XI on the playing cards for 2025, there’s nonetheless time to shine as brightly as John Cena does right here as Brian’s genially protecting uncle: a retooled half that matches him much better than the nefarious one he took in 2021’s F9.
Fast X is in UK and US cinemas on May 19.