15 August 2023

Fast ten your seatbelts: Vin Diesel and co. return for the Fast and Furious' 10th entry

| Jarryd Rowley
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Poster for Fast X

Fast X is the tenth instalment in the wildly popular Fast and Furious franchise. Photo: Supplied.

I’ve never been the biggest Fast and Furious fan.

The physics defying set pieces mixed with Vin Diesel’s monotone delivery about the importance of family were all just a bit much for me, and because of that, I could never understand how Fast and Furious became the sixth highest grossing film franchise in history.

I just didn’t get it, until I witnessed a bunch of early 2000s B-list celebrities take on a sociopathic Jason Mamoa, kitted out with a topknot and remote-control car, while attempting to save the Vatican from an indestructible bomb rolling down the endless streets of Rome, all with the backing soundtrack of the Notorious B.I.G.

It just began to make sense. These movies aren’t bad – my opinions were just wrong.

The tenth, yes tenth, instalment in this 22-year-old franchise sees Dom (Diesel) and his family framed for a terrorist attack, by an enemy from their past, following a botched heist in Rome.

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Now on the run, the crew attempt to clear their name, all while trying to take down their mysterious foe.

Now if you are expecting the directing of Francis Ford Coppola with the cinematography of Roger Deakins and the writing of Quentin Tarantino, then I’m sorry, this just isn’t it.

But, if you are wanting attempted profound dialogue hidden between car related puns while sweaty men and women in singlets perform stunts that have to be seen to be believed, all in the name of family, you will never need to watch another movie again.

OK, so the good stuff: Jason Mamoa is the best villain in the entire franchise, it’s not even a debate.

He is unhinged, unapologetic, and if you thought he was auditioning for the role of the Joker, you wouldn’t be the only one.

He finds the line between hilariously dark humour and surprisingly raw viciousness and uses it as a skipping rope to deliver a campy and twisted, yet sadistic antagonist.

John Cena also returns for his second outing as Jacob Torretto, Dom’s estranged brother, who is tasked with taking his nephew to a safe house that is so top secret, not even the scriptwriters knew where he was going.

Despite the direction for Cena not always making sense, he, alongside Leo Abelo Perry as Dom’s son Brian, make an entertaining duo in an already entertaining movie.

Now, on to the bad.

The issue that franchises that have as many instalments as the Fast and Furious has is that sometimes in later films things get so big and so many characters are introduced that things can feel tacked on or forgotten.

In this movie’s case, it was Brie Larson’s ‘Tess’ and Charlize Theron’s ‘Cipher’.

Now admittedly there were a couple of others who also felt out of place, but these two are the best examples.

In Larson’s case, she’s a new character brought in to help our heroes out of a sticky situation.

The issue with this comes as she is introduced almost out of nowhere halfway through the film.

This makes it feel like the writers ran out of ideas and thought, “Oh well, what if this character was introduced and saved everyone?”

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I know you’re supposed to turn your brain off for this kind of movie, but fun action doesn’t excuse poor writing.

The second example is Cipher. She was the villain of the eighth instalment – you know, the one where Dom is evil and turns his back on his ‘family’ (insert Vin Diesel voice).

She is one of several cameo-like appearances from past movies who appear throughout – I won’t spoil the others, but again it’s a strange story choice that feels like an attempt to connect the earlier movies with the later ones.

This is a bit of a leap too far logic-wise, as the first three films were about street racing and stealing TVs and in the previous entry they shot a car into space.

It didn’t quite work for me.

Despite all the nonsense about ‘living life a quarter mile at a time’ and cars being used as slingshots, battering rams, rocket launchers and at one point driving down the wall of a dam, Fast X, for me at least, was a fun time, and isn’t that what you want at the cinema?

To book your tickets to Fast X, click here and be sure to check out all the latest blockbuster releases on the big screen at Forum 6 Cinema Wagga Wagga.

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